Water cannons used to help disperse refugees
Police in the South African city of Cape Town have used water cannons while dispersing and arresting hundreds of foreigners who have camped for weeks outside the UN refugee agency’s office.
Some of the refugees and asylum seekers told local media they are seeking to be relocated outside the country after a wave of deadly attacks on foreigners in South African cities earlier this year.
During yesterday’s confrontation, there were scuffles with officers and small children clung to people being dragged away by police.
Police said they had arrested about 100 people who “failed to heed the call to disperse”.
They said earlier efforts by the UN refugee agency and others to resolve the situation amicably “yielded no positive result”.
Police said officers were executing an October 18 court order after a landlord applied to evict the 300 or
A woman protests with her baby outside the UN refugee agency’s offices in Cape Town city centre
so people who had been camping in the city centre arcade in a protest.
Last week, the UN refugee agency issued a statement saying “false messages” were being circulated about resettlement and evacuation.
It added that only a very small number of refugees meet the criteria for resettlement and that no
planes or buses were on the way to help in evacuations.
It also warned of fraudulent requests for fees for resettlement and repeated its services are free.
Earlier this year, more than 12 people were killed and more than 700 arrested after bands of South Africans in Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria launched attacks against foreign-owned shops and stalls, looting and burning them and attacking some shopkeepers.
The attacks angered many African countries and led to an airlift of hundreds of Nigerians.
Small children clungtopeople being dragged away by police