Press Review 12 December 2016

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Tags: africa; xenophobia Europe forced migration;refugees; asylum seekers;development;xenophobia

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NATIONAL

Mashaba won’t keep quiet about illegal immigrants – spokesperson

News24, 6 December 2016

Mayor Herman Mashaba’s statements on illegal immigrants are being misinterpreted, but this doesn’t mean he will keep quiet on the matter, a spokesperson said on Tuesday. Mashaba’s comments were in no way xenophobic, director of mayoral communications Tony Taverna-Turisan told News24. Taverna-Turisan was responding to statements by the home affairs department, warning Mashaba that comments he recently made could be twisted and spark an outbreak of xenophobic violence.

Africa: Immigrants Link SA to the Rest of Africa, Meeting Told

allAfrica, 1 December 2016

Refugees and asylum seekers are a link between South Africa and the rest of Africa, Vuyani Shwane, director of the Cape Town Refugee Centre, said in Joe Slovo Park this week. Speaking at an event at the Joe Slovo Sport and Recreation Centre to celebrate different cultures, he said: “We want to acknowledge the rich diversity that refugees and asylum seekers bring to South Africa. It enriches us. Actually they integrate us to the African continent.” “The diverse cultures, languages and religions should not be seen as impediments to national unity, given the statutory equality accorded to all citizens. Europe’s refugee crisis is not about economics. It is about culture. Culture is one of the biggest challenges in the acceptance and integration of refugees in Europe.”

KZN family who helped refugees returns home after 6 months in hiding

News24, 28 November 2016

A KwaZulu-Natal family who had to flee their home and go into hiding, after a group of refugees they tried to help turned on them, are finally back and settled on their farm. Rae Wartnaby, her husband Andrew and their 11 children finally returned home after six months in hiding. “It is really good to be home,” Rae told News24 on Monday morning.

Home affairs a corrupt hell for refugees

The Citizen, 26 November 2016

Asylum seekers are expected to start paying bribes from the moment they get to the gate, says an NGO. Corruption at the department of home affairs (DHA) relating to asylum seekers is now so widespread that only a resolute effort by multiple stakeholders can hope to curb it. This is the finding of Corruption Watch, which this week released a new report, Project Lokisa: Asylum at a Price, which claims that the department has failed to respond to any of the attempts made by Corruption Watch and its civil society partners to alert them to the reports of corruption received from foreign nationals.

South Africa: Dispute Over City of Cape Town’s Confiscation of Informal Traders’ Goods

News24, 25 November 2016

A number of informal traders in St George’s Mall had their goods confiscated during a raid by the City of Cape Town’s law enforcement last week. The City alleges that they were trading illegally. Riedewaan Charles, chairperson of the Western Cape Informal Traders Coalition, said the City was clamping down on informal traders and claimed that law enforcement did not always adhere to the city’s by-laws.

SA insincere on migrant crisis, says African Diaspora Forum

The citizen, 22 November 2016

The treatment of refugees and asylum seekers by the home affairs department in South Africa is a cause for concern in a country considered by many as a beacon of hope in Africa, the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) said on Tuesday. “We cannot assume that the South African government doesn’t know what is happening here at the Marabastad Refugee Reception Office [in Pretoria]. This facility is managed by an oiled system of corrupt individuals who are employed by home affairs,” said Marc Gbaffou, chairperson of the ADF.

REGIONAL

East Africa: Refugee Influx Poses Challenges to WFP

allAfrica, 1 December 2016

The influx of Burundi refugees in Tanzania poses major challenges to the World Food Programme (WFP) as it experiences a shortfall in funding, it was disclosed yesterday. WFP Writer-Public Information, Max Wohlgemuth, revealed this during a brief visit to the Tanzania Standard Newspapers Limited (TSN) headquarters in Dar es Salaam yesterday. He said that according to figures from the UN High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) that between September and October the agency recorded more than 10,000 arrivals.

Burundi Exodus Fueling African Refugee Crisis, Charity Says

Voice of America, 16 November 2016

A fivefold surge in Burundians fleeing to Tanzania to escape political violence in their troubled central African homeland is creating one of Africa’s biggest refugee crises, a charity said Wednesday, amid warnings from activists of genocide threats. Some 10,000 Burundians have arrived in neighboring Tanzania each month since August, increasing the population in three overcrowded northwestern camps to almost 250,000 people, said Doctors Without Borders, known by its French initials, MSF.

Beneath the surface of Uganda’s ‘exemplary’ refugee settlement, tensions simmer

Mail & Guardian Africa, 16 November 2016

Nyirahubinka Maria, a Congolese refugee and mother of two, lives in “New Congo”, the oldest and largest of 86 small villages scattered over the plains and low rising hills that surround Lake Nakivale in south-west Uganda. Three years ago, she and her family were offered the opportunity to resettle in the United States, the dream of many of Uganda’s roughly 800,000 refugees – but they turned it down. Uganda, they say, has been both generous and welcoming: Maria runs a small shop that sells fabrics and drinks, while her husband has a bar in the town of Kisoro, nearly 200 km (125 miles) to the west of Nakivale, Uganda’s third largest refugee settlement. Between them, they can afford to send their children to private school in the nearby town of Mbarara. “I have no desire to leave,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Kenya: Reprieve but No Solution for Kenya’s Dadaab Refugees

IRIN, 16 November 2016

The Kenyan government has postponed its closure of the Dadaab refugee camp by six months, but the reprieve does not reverse its ultimate decision to send home 261,000 Somali refugees, despite the loud protest by human rights groups. The international community appears to have given up on a search for an alternative to closing Dadaab, even though the mass returns promised by Kenya, starting in just four months’ time, are likely to generate a humanitarian crisis. The Kenyan government has also been slow to provide promised funding to Somalia to help improve conditions for returns to a country that is already struggling to cope with 1.1 million internally displaced people.

INTERNATIONAL

Sharp increase in refugees fleeing Horn of Africa

eNCA, 30 November 2016

The number of refugees fleeing from conflict in the Horn of Africa by boat to Yemen has risen dramatically and has been accompanied by an increase in the risks the desperate refugees are prepared to take to get to the Arab country, despite it being in the middle of a devastating war. Accordingly, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called for urgent action to be taken to deter these hazardous sea crossings and save the refugees from the risks they face. The UNHCR said since the middle of the month, some 105,971 people – migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees, mostly from Ethiopia (88,667) and Somalia (17,293) – had crossed the Gulf of Aden only to arrive in lands where they faced conflict, abuse and exploitation, William Spindler, a spokesperson for the agency told the regular bi-weekly press briefing in Geneva on Tuesday.

2016 sets new record for asylum seekers reaching Italy by boat

Guardian, 28 November 2016

More asylum seekers have now reached Italy by boat in 2016 than in any previous year on record. Nearly 171,000 people have arrived in Italy from North Africa since the start of the year, according to statistics compiled by the UN refugee agency and the Italian government. As of Monday, the total had surpassed the previous record of 170,000, set in 2014. Migration flows in the eastern Mediterranean between Turkey and Greece have been drastically reduced after improvements in Turkish policing, increased threats of deportation from Greece, and the closure of a humanitarian corridor between Greece and Germany

UNHCR uses drones to help displaced populations in Africa

ReliefWeb, 21 November 2016

For many people drones conjure up images of remotely piloted aircraft bristling with missiles, used for military ends. But in conflict-affected parts of Africa, versions of the technology are being used by humanitarian aid organizations like UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to plan relief responses and save lives. Drones are increasingly in use in countries like Niger, Burkina Faso and Uganda to help map huge populations of displaced people, assess their needs and figure out how best to get assistance to them. They are also being used to evaluate environmental damage caused by displacement. “There are numerous peaceful applications of this technology, whether in human rights, aid delivery, or settlement mapping,” says Andrew Harper, head of UNHCR’s Innovation unit, noting that the potential use for drones is “overwhelming.”

 

 

 

Tags: africa; xenophobia    Europe    forced migration;refugees; asylum seekers;development;xenophobia   

Categorised in: Press Review