Thursday, June 11, 2015

South Africa: 131 Organizations Urge against Repatriation of Foreign Nationals

TWS||Nicholas Waigwa
Civil Society Organizations operating on the African Continent are calling on the Africa Union (AU) to ensure that South Africa holds leaders and persons in authority accountable for their role in inciting violence and intolerance, or for the systematic failure since 2008 to implement effective prevention and protection plans for migrants and refugees at risk of attack, property destruction and displacement.
In an open letter presented to the AU chair Dr. Dlamini Zuma on the 10th June 2015, the organizations have cautioned against repatriation of all foreign nationals, saying that the acts of those carrying out attacks against foreign nationals should not be rewarded by assisting them to achieve their objective of ridding South Africa of foreign nationals.
They say that according to South Africa's Department of Home Affairs, 2767 foreign nationals including some 913 Malawians, 637 Mozambicans, 17 Tanzanians and 1098 Zimbabweans have been repatriated since the April.
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The Civil Society Organizations have expressed concern about mass raids, rounding up of foreigners and ongoing deportations which do not appear to adhere to any procedural safeguards such as investigations into immigration status and access to legal representation.
They are appealing to the African Union to call upon the government of South Africa to condemn unequivocally comments by persons in positions of authority and influence which may amount to incitement to violence.
At the same time they have called on the African Union to urge President Zuma’s government to effectively engage the broadest possible South African public, in order to curb and eradicate xenophobia and xenophobic violence.
The 131 organizations further urged the AU leadership to call upon governments of other countries to ensure requisite steps are taken to prevent reprisals against South African nationals in their respective countries.
The 25th Session of the Assembly of the African Union is scheduled to take place on Sunday 14 and Monday 15th June 2015.
Read the Joint statement to the AU on Xenophobia HERE
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