IGAD condemns xenophobic attacks in South Africa
19 April 2015, 17:39
Nairobi - East African regional bloc IGAD Saturday condemned
increased wave of xenophobic attacks against foreign nationals that has
gripped parts of South Africa in the past week.
The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Executive
Secretary Mahboub Maalim described the attacks that have left at least
six people dead in the violence that erupted on March 25, as
"unfortunate and requiring urgent action".
"Maalim noted with regret that citizens of IGAD member states are among those directly affected," said the statement.
He lauded measures being taken by the government of South Africa to
restore law and order in affected areas and called for further decisive
measures to stop the attacks and murder of innocent African foreigners
in South Africa.
Violence targeting immigrant shops started in the port city of
Durban, where two foreigners and three South Africans were killed.
Residents have accused African immigrants of taking their jobs and
A sixth person died on Wednesday with the body of the foreign
national being found in Verulam town, where a mob attacked the man at
his home. The 58 year-old deceased fled and died of his injuries near
his home, South African police said.
According to police, some 120 people have been arrested throughout
KwaZulu-Natal Province for various offenses related to the violence.
In his statement, Maalim commended efforts being taken by the
governments and diplomatic mission of the six member regional bloc,
IGAD, in South Africa towards protection and repatriation of their
He said African countries need to work together to address challenges
of poverty and unemployment that sparked xenophobic attacks in South
Africa and build a better future for their citizens.
Frequent outbreaks of anti-immigrant violence have been blamed on
high unemployment, officially around 25 percent -- although economists
say in reality much higher -- widespread poverty and glaring income
The latest wave of unrest began after Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini
was quoted by local media as saying that foreigners should leave South
Africa. He has since said his comments were misinterpreted and has urged
residents to be calm.
Kenya said Thursday it was making frantic efforts to evacuate
nationals who are living in South Africa following increased xenophobic
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Minister
Amina Mohamed confirmed that there were no Kenyan casualties in the
attacks that have caused uproar.
About 400 Kenyans are in the central business district of Durban;
about 100 work in the informal sector, while another 50 are employees of
two sugar farms on the outskirts of Durban city.
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