UN anx­ious over South African xeno­pho­bic at­tacks

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

The United Na­tions on Fri­day ex­pressed con­cern at the lat­est round of xeno­pho­bic at­tacks in South Africa, say­ing the vi­o­lence had dis­placed 5,000 peo­ple.

At least six peo­ple have been killed with the un­rest spread­ing from the eastern port city of Dur­ban to the coun­try’s fi­nan­cial hub Jo­han­nes­burg.

“In South Africa, xeno­pho­bic at­tacks over the last three weeks have ... dis­placed over 5,000 for­eign na­tion­als, in­clud­ing refugees and asy­lum seek­ers,” the U.N. High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees said, adding it was “ex­tremely con­cerned.”

“We would like to un­der­score that those af­fected in th­ese xeno­pho­bic at­tacks are refugees and asy­lum seek­ers who were forced to leave their coun­tries due to war and per­se­cu­tion,” it said.

“They are in South Africa be­cause they need pro­tec­tion.”

In the past two weeks, shops and homes owned by So­ma­lis, Ethiopi­ans, Malaw­ians and other im­mi­grants in Dur­ban and sur­round­ing town­ships have been tar­geted, forc­ing fam­i­lies to flee to camps pro­tected by armed guards.

For­eign- owned shops in the Jeppestown area of cen­tral Jo­han­nes­burg have also been at­tacked.

Lo­cals and African im­mi­grants in South Africa of­ten com­pete for scarce jobs, mak­ing them a tar­get for vi­o­lence and in­tim­i­da­tion.

Anti- for­eigner at­tacks have hap­pened off and on for the past decade in South Africa.

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