Press Review 09 Janaury 2017

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Tags: Europe forced migration;refugees; asylum seekers;development;xenophobia refoulement; asylum; Africa; refugees South Africa

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NATIONAL

South Africa: Minister Malusi Gigaba – Second Mkhaya South African Migrants Awards

allAfrica, 12 December 2016

Address by the Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba MP, on the occasion of the Second Mkhaya South African Migrants Awards in Johannesburg

Fellow South Africans:

Tonight, we have convened to honour those who have distinguished themselves in different categories of our national life and who, by their actions, have elevated our country’s name and its humanity – UBUNTU – beyond our national borders. Their actions extend beyond what is happening tonight, and long after tonight’s ceremonies have passed, peoples of the world will continue to talk about what we are doing as South Africans to extend the frontiers of freedom and peace, to live up to and continue to give new meaning to the spirit of Ubuntu as well as to contribute towards the colossal effort of African unity…

‘Criminals are criminals – whether South Africans or foreign nationals’‚ says Msimanga

Mail & Guardian, 12 December 2016

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga has taken a different stance on foreign nationals to that of his City of Johannesburg DA counterpart‚ Herman Mashaba. Mashaba drew the ire of many when he blamed crime in Johannesburg on illegal foreign nationals. He said all illegal foreigners from African countries should leave the city because they were criminals. Addressing the media on Monday in his Centurion offices‚ Msimanga said he would not blame illegal foreign nationals for criminal activities in Tshwane. “Criminals are criminals‚” he said.

South Africa: Home Affairs Minister, Joburg Mayor Meet Over Immigration

allAfrica, 13 December 2016

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba met in Pretoria on Tuesday to discuss issues related to the management of international migration. The meeting was prompted by utterances attributed to the Johannesburg Mayor, wherein illegal immigrants were labelled as criminals. Minister Gigaba viewed the comments as unfortunate and called for a meeting with the Mayor to explain to him government’s policy and interventions in relation to the management of international migration. Addressing the media after their meeting, Minister Gigaba said they had a very good meeting with the mayor.

South Africa: Home Affairs Says No Renewal of ZSP

Ground Up, 14 December 2016

A Whatsapp message has been circulating claiming officials said the Zimbabwean Special Permit will be renewed. The Department of Home Affairs will not renew the Zimbabwe Special Permit (ZSP). It is due to expire in 2017. This was communicated to GroundUp after we sought clarification from Home Affairs over a WhatsApp message that has been circulating among Zimbabweans living in South Africa. The message states that the ZSP will be renewed next year. In an email to GroundUp, Home Affairs Media Liaison Officer Thabo Mokgola said, “Only the Minister of Home Affairs can make a determination in relation to the extension of any special dispensation. The Minister has made it clear that there would not be an extension of the ZSP.”

Immigrants picket Mashaba’s anti-immigrant comments

Ground Up, 21 December 2016

“Overwhelming evidence that some migrants do not possess paperwork because of corruption, maladministration and bureaucratic hurdles” at Home Affairs, says protest leader. About 50 people led by the Africa Diaspora Forum (ADF) picketed outside the offices of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba on Monday. This follows comments by the mayor linking undocumented immigrants and criminality in the city. The Daily Maverick quoted Mashaba saying in a news conference to mark his first 100 days in office: “Anyone who’s been in the city illegally must be prepared to face us. We are not going to tolerate illegality in our city… I’m actually declaring war against illegality in our city.” The Huffington Post reported Mashaba saying: “Anyone who is in the city illegally must be prepared to face the law. They must know we are not going to be the government that tolerates criminality.” The protesters were concerned that Mashaba’s comments could endanger immigrants in the city especially given the outbreaks of violence that have taken in place in the past decade. A large contingent of metro police watched over the protesters as they called for the mayor to come down and accept their memorandum.

OPINION: Christmas is about refugees

IOL News, 24 December 2016

We get so caught up in the joy of the birth of the Saviour and celebrating it, forgetting the real struggles his parents had, writes Stephen Brislin. Spare a thought and a prayer for the plight of refugees this Christmas. It’s estimated there are more than 65 million refugees worldwide and more than a quarterof those are in Africa. Some say the number of refugees in South Africa is as high as a million people, but that is not certain.  Christmas has made me think of refugees. We usually get so caught up in the joy of the birth of the Saviour and celebrating it, forgetting the real struggles his parents had. They could “find no place in the inn” and were, for all intents and purposes, homeless until given a stable. After the birth of Jesus the Holy Family had to flee, fearing the persecution of a ruthless and tyrannical king. Vulnerable and at great risk, they went to a foreign country and were dependent on the hospitality of strangers. That really sums up what a refugee is – one who is displaced, usually to another country, through war, persecution or natural disaster.

REGIONAL

South Africa: 30 Malawian Nationals Repatriated Back to Their Country

allAfrica, 14 December 2016

Thirty (30) minors out of the 57 individuals who were alleged to have been trafficked in a truck from Malawi to South Africa were repatriated back to their country of origin. The children flew from O.R Tambo airport early on Wednesday morning. Meanwhile the adults were handed over to the Department of Home Affairs two days ago for deportation and they are expected to leave the country by the end of the week. On 24 July 2016 SAPS members stationed at Boitekong in North West were conducting their routine patrol when they stopped a speeding truck. Upon opening the back of the truck,30 minors aged between 11 and 17 and 27 adults aged between 18 and 28 were found cramped inside the windowless back of the truck. Three Malawian nationals were arrested for Trafficking in Persons; the driver, Jabu Sailesi (48), and two adult occupants, Mussa Kaswili (31) and Uka Wasili (30). The 57 pupils were taken to safe homes and the Malawian Embassy was engaged.

Climate Refugees: People and the Environment Treated as Disposable

Refugees Deeply, 16 December 2016

As part of our “Displaced and Disposable” series, social researcher Bruna Kadletz meets a Malawian family displaced by the impact of climate change and explores the failure to protect them and other climate refugees. Melina was only three years old when she left her home in southern Malawi with her parents. In her remote village, the subsistence farming that had ensured the community’s livelihood for countless generations had become unfeasible. They could no longer grow maize, the most important form of nutrition for the family. Mashed into a thick flour, the grain is usually cooked with water in a traditional dish called “nsima.” In some African countries, this basic meal is often served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Following several years of drought and crop failures, Melina’s family migrated to South Africa in 2008, hoping to find stability.

Fleeing war, South Sudanese create booming camps in Uganda

eNCA, 26 December 2016

“I don’t want to go back,” James Issac declared, just minutes after becoming a refugee. “I don’t want to die.” For two days, the slender 30-year-old from South Sudan’s Equatoria region navigated his way out of civil war, riding a motorcycle along dirt roads and avoiding government soldiers who, according to accounts by refugees to The Associated Press, have taken aim at civilians. In his last steps on South Sudanese soil, Issac passed a group of rag-tag rebel soldiers and crossed a rickety bridge into Uganda, and safety. “I am happy,” he said, as Ugandan soldiers searched his belongings for contraband. “There (are) no problems here.” He is one of 440,000 refugees who have fled South Sudan’s spiralling conflict into Uganda this year alone, creating some of the world’s largest refugee camps in just six months’ time. More than one million refugees have fled South Sudan, spilling across borders in East Africa as the international community warns that the conflict and its ethnic violence could destabilise the region.

INTERNATIONAL

[OPNION] Refugees in Africa faced bitter disappointments in 2016

Eyewitness News, 23 December 2016

This year, 471,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) voted in presidential elections. They voted even though most of them live in exile in Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo and Chad, having fled an ongoing civil war which began in 2012. Their participation reflects a collective determination to rebuild their country. Sadly, after a year filled with hopes of change, conflict has escalated in their country again. This was an experience repeated throughout the continent this year. There was great hope that the number of Africa’s asylum-seekers and refugees would be reduced and great ambitions to find a durable and proper solution for those displaced due to persecution. But for many all that was left by year-end was bitter disappointment.

2016: The year the world stopped caring about refugees

Aljazeera, 29 December 2016

Refugees, rights groups, aid organisations say empathy towards refugees is fading even as deaths in Mediterranean soar. The number of refugees who drowned in the Mediterranean this year rose to an annual record. More than 5,000 people lost their lives at sea as they took on perilous journeys to escape war, poverty, and persecution – often all three. In 2015, some 3,771 refugees died while crossing the Mediterranean, up from 3,279 deaths the year before. In short, 2016 has not been an easy year.

Refugees Resettled In Chicago Help Make Its Most Famous Cheesecake

The Salt, 3 January 2017

In Chicago, war refugees have a hand in the city’s most famous handmade cheesecake.  “People who come as refugees have great skills,” says Marc Schulman, the president of Eli’s Cheesecake, which has sold cheesecakes and other baked desserts since 1980. One-third of adult refugees arriving in the U.S. have college degrees, according to the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., a think tank that tracks the movement of people worldwide. And refugee employment is a successful model for finding skilled workers for a food business that has become high tech, says Schulman.

The Political Lives of Refugees

Refugees Deeply, 4 January 2017

Refugees are not passive, apolitical victims, say Oxford University’s Alexander Betts and Will Jones in their new book ‘Mobilising the Diaspora.’ In an extract, they examine the political lives of exiles and how they are often shaped by the ambivalent role of outsiders. The majority of the world’s population lives in authoritarian regimes. From North Korea to Syria, autocratic governments suppress political engagement. Deprived of fundamental rights and the ability to engage meaningfully in political life, many flee across international borders. Yet far from the common portrayal of refugees as passive, apolitical victims, exiled populations sometimes mobilize transnationally to contest the politics of the homeland state. Authoritarianism leads to a geographical relocation of political life. Effective autocracy rarely extinguishes political life. But it generally means that the only viable space for opposition politics may be outside the territory and jurisdiction of that state. When political opponents, dissidents and activists are unable to operate within the country of origin, the most significant politics for a state is likely to take place transnationally, across states and among dispersed national communities.

World Fatalities of Migrants, Refugees Approach 7,500 in 2016 as Three-year Total Tops 18,501

Relief Web, 6 January 2017

IOM released preliminary figures on Friday, 6 January for all migrant or refugee deaths worldwide in 2016 – reporting an estimate of 7,495 men, women and children dead or missing across five continents. That total compares to 5,267 in 2014 and 5,740 last year. The three-year total: 18,501. Much of the increase is due to the more advanced research methods used by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, although many IOM officials believe migrant routes also grew more deadly in 2016, particularly along the Central Mediterranean route between North Africa and Europe, where nearly 4,600 migrants perished last year (see https://missingmigrants.iom.int/latest-global-figures).

 

 

Tags: Europe    forced migration;refugees; asylum seekers;development;xenophobia    refoulement; asylum; Africa; refugees    South Africa   

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