Press Review 15 September 2015

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Tags: Europe illegal migrants immigration policy mediterranean refoulement; asylum; Africa; refugees

Future-of-Syria-refugee-children-map-UNHCR

Image credit: UNHCR

National

Xenophobia: SA’s King Bhungane III says sorry to Zimbabwe

News24, 01 September 2015

South Africa’s King Bhungane III of AmaHlubi was reportedly in Zimbabwe over the weekend, where he apologised for the xenophobic attacks earlier this year in which at least seven people died. The xenophobic violence, which took place in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, also saw thousands being displaced.

 SA to send refugees home

TimesLive, 04 September 2015

About 2000 Angolan refugees many of whom have been living in South Africa for as long as 18 years face deportation following the withdrawal of their refugee status. And those from at least three other African countries are next on the list. This is part of the government’s new strategy to repatriate refugees once peace and stability have returned to their countries. Home Affairs officials confirmed this week that refugees from Liberia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone could also face deportation. These countries have been declared safe by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which over the past seven years has declared a “cessation of refugee status” for all four countries.

SA committed to fulfilling obligations towards refugees

TimesLive, 05 September 2015

The South African government is firmly committed to ensuring the fulfilment of its international obligations towards refugees and asylum seekers in terms of its ratification of the relevant international protocols‚ the Department of Home Affairs said on Friday. The department said it had noted with concern misleading media reports in relation to the Angolan Cessation process and wished to correct certain misrepresentations that “seek to paint the South African government in a negative light”.

SA not asked to help with European refugee crisis – home affairs

News24, 07 September 2015

South Africa has not yet been asked to provide help during the European refugee crisis, the Department of Home Affairs said on Monday. Spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete said the country helped through its contributions to various United Nations agencies, but so far had not been approached by individuals or any of the European countries caught up in the crisis.

SA migrant time bomb

The Citizen, 08 September 2015

Just days after a picture of a three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless body, washed up on shore on the beach in Bodrum, Turkey, sparking worldwide attention on the migration crisis facing Europe – the local spotlight has shifted to South Africa’s own refugee dilemma, which according to experts, came directly from bad policy decisions.

Kayumba Nyamwasa’s refugee status attacked

The Citizen, 14 September 2015

A High Court ruling that former Rwandan General Kayumba Nyamwasa was entitled to refugee status in South Africa sends out a message that the country has become a safe haven for suspected international criminals. This will be the argument presented by the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) when it applies for leave to appeal in the High Court in Pretoria against the ruling on Tuesday.

Calm restored in Westville but UKZN campus remains closed

eNCA, 14 September 2015

Calm has been restored to Westville in KwaZulu-Natal following protests this morning. One person died as he ran from police — he became ensnared in a power cable, and was electrocuted. People had gathered to demonstrate over service delivery and xenophobia in the area. Several protesters were injured as police tried to restore order.  Two people were arrested for public violence.  Protesters say some foreigners, displaced by xenophobic violence in April, have not been allowed back into the community.

Regional

African countries ‘deporting thousands of migrants’

eNCA, 03 September 2015

Papa Demba Sow left Senegal two years ago hoping to make a better life in the oil-rich central African country of Gabon, but in July he was arrested by police, thrown in jail for a month and deported along with hundreds of other Africans. The plight of African migrants struggling to reach Europe, alongside thousands fleeing violence in the Middle East, has stirred international alarm this year, with hundreds dying at sea on the perilous Mediterranean crossing. But the majority of Africans who emigrate remain within Africa. Yet, amid rising concerns over the spread of Islamist militant groups on the continent and several economies hit by a slump in commodities prices, some African nations are clamping down on those migration flows.

Illegal migration reaches unprecedented level in Africa: Official

Egypt Independent, 14 September 2015

The phenomenon of illegal immigration has reached unprecedented levels in Africa recently. Human trafficking has also increased, both issues having recorded alarming numbers since the beginning of the 21st century, said Assistant Foreign Minister for international security Hesham Badr during the opening session of the regional conference for the African Union on human trafficking and illegal migration.

Poverty, unemployment, conflict causes of Africa-Europe migration – Obasanjo

Business Day, 15 September 2015

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has disclosed that worsening level of unemployment, poverty and unresolved conflict across the African continent are major threats responsible for increasing illegal migration from Africa, through Mediterranean, to Europe by Africans, saying the African leaders must act now to end illegal migration on the continent.

International

Boat full of migrants sinks off Libya

iOL News, 28 August 2015

A boat packed with mainly African migrants bound for Italy sank off the Libyan coast on Thursday and officials said up to 200 might have died. A security official in the western town of Zuwara, from where the overcrowded boat had set off, said there had around 400 people on board. Many appeared to have been trapped in the hold when it capsized.

Mediterranea’ brings plight of African migrants to the big screen

France24, 03 September 2015

“Mediterranea”, which opens in French cinemas on Wednesday, is a stark exploration of illegal immigrants’ perilous journey from North Africa to Europe. Few topics could have more international relevance and urgency than the ongoing tragedy of “boat people” crossing the Mediterranean, the subject of Italian-American director Jonas Carpignano’s first feature film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says more than 2,600 people have died attempting the hazardous crossing this year – and thousands more have moved on to a precarious existence in Italy and other European countries.

E.U. Nations Urged to Accept 160,000 Migrants

The New York Times, 09 September 2015

The European Union’s top executive proposed a plan on Wednesday to distribute 160,000 migrants throughout the member nations, even while acknowledging that this measure alone was inadequate to the depth of the crisis. Citing history, morality and economics, the official, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, urged the bloc to put aside deep divisions over welcoming refugees from war-torn and poverty-stricken nations in the Middle East and Africa, and forge a stronger and more unified response.

As Europe Begins to Welcome Syrians, African Refugees Fear Being Left Behind

Time, 12 September 2015

There is growing concern that Europe may unwittingly divide migrants into two distinct classes With E.U. leaders finally working on a Europe-wide refugee policy, there is growing concern among some migrants and aid officials that the new policies might unwittingly divide the migrants into two distinct classes—with two different kinds of welcomes.

Refugee Crisis Has European Union Grappling With Its Destiny

The Daily Signal, 14 September 2015

As Europe has struggled to articulate a collective response to a flood of refugees from the Middle East and Africa, Germany has positioned itself as the continent’s good cop, coming to the rescue with a vow to take in 800,000 migrants. With that pledge, German Chancellor Angela Merkel hoped to inspire the European Union’s 27 other member nations to come together and accept more migrants, allocating refugees among themselves.

 

Tags: Europe    illegal migrants    immigration policy    mediterranean    refoulement; asylum; Africa; refugees   

Categorised in: Press Review

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