Press Review 30 November 2015

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Tags: africa; xenophobia Europe refugee amendment bill; migration policy; southern Africa; migrants

NATIONAL

South Africa: Home Affairs Reviewing Migration Policy

allAfrica, 10 November 2015

The Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) set up to look at migration, Minister Jeff Radebe, says government is reviewing South Africa’s migration policy in a bid to deal with the strain between locals and foreign nationals that has affected some communities. Minister Radebe, who is also responsible for the Ministry of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, said this when briefing Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee on Violence against Foreign Nationals on Tuesday.

Attacks on migrants show failure to stem racial tension

Mail & Guardian, 10 November 2015

An outbreak of violence against foreign nationals in South Africa has highlighted the government’s failure to get to grips with xenophobia, amid worries that there is more violence to come. It started, as these things so often do, with a rumour. An “Arab man with a beard” was said to be responsible for a string of murders and mutilations in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. It ended with violence and fire and destruction, and an unmistakeable message to foreigners: you are no longer welcome here. Grahamstown is a quaint, quiet university town, largely unremarkable except for the density of its churches and for the fact its faultlines are so obvious and so often mirror South Africa’s as a whole.

Grahamstown hotel a refuge for foreigners

iOL News, 10 November 2015

The sleepy town of Grahamstown, best known for its annual arts festival, is still reeling from a spate of violent xenophobic attacks which have left hundreds of foreigners destitute and fearing for their lives. For over two weeks, hundreds of Ethiopian, Somali and Pakistani asylum seekers have been holed up at the Stone Crescent Hotel just outside Grahamstown, following the total destruction of their homes and shops in xenophobic violence on October 21 and 22. Thanks to the largesse of the hotel’s owner Tariq Hayat, the 500 victims were not left to sleep out on the streets.

South Africa Court Sentences 8 Ex-Policemen in Immigrant’s Murder

The New York Times, 11 November 2015

A South African judge on Wednesday sentenced eight former police officers to prison for the murder of a taxi driver from Mozambique who was handcuffed to the back of a police van, dragged about a third of a mile and then placed in a police holding cell, where he was beaten. The case drew worldwide attention after a bystander’s video of the arrest and dragging was widely shared on social media. It highlighted the xenophobic violence that many migrant workers face in South Africa, which is struggling with high rates of violent crime and a troubled legacy of police brutality two decades after the end of apartheid.

South Africa: Robbers Target Foreign Hawkers in Port Elizabeth

allAfrica, 16 November 2015

Foreign nationals trading in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth, live in fear following a spike in robberies in recent months. The traders say they are being targeted by criminals who rob them of their goods and then sell the loot to locals at a heavily discounted price. Most robberies happen in daylight. The hawkers are vulnerable because they carry their goods with them to make door to door deliveries. They sell on credit and after striking a deal they return on an agreed date to collect payment. Most are refugees and asylum seekers from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Lesotho.

REGIONAL

3 Malawians wrapped in plastic attempt to enter Zim

Eyewitness News, 16 November 2015

Reports from Zimbabwe say three Malawians wrapped themselves in plastic and hid in a truck in an attempt to evade immigration officials at Beit Bridge on one of the hottest days of the year. The three, and their driver, have been arrested and charged under Zimbabwe’s immigration laws. This was an extremely hot, and certainly dangerous, way of trying to get through Beit Bridge Border Post undetected.

Somali refugees killed as forces clash in Mogadishu

BBC News, 16 November 2015

At least 11 people have been killed in Mogadishu after rival Somali security forces argued over who was in charge, witnesses say. The security forces opened fire while people queued for food cards at a camp for internally displaced people. The mayor of Mogadishu Yusuf Hussein Jimale said some suspects had already been arrested and others will follow. The camp houses people fleeing Islamist militants al-Shabab, drought and the country’s long-running conflict.

INTERNATIONAL

Africa and Europe Need Coherent Policies on African Migration

allAfrica, 05 November 2015

The migration summit in Malta on 11-12 November must bring nuance to the debate and consider constructive responses to a long-term challenge. 2015 has seen an unprecedented amount of attention paid to what has been termed ‘the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War’. According to the EU border agency (Frontex) nearly 500,000 refugees entered Europe in the year to September 2015. The European Council has organized an International Summit on Migration, taking place in Malta on 11-12 November. Though recent coverage has centred on the plight of Syrian migrants, migration from Africa remains significant – and is perhaps a more complex policy challenge to the EU and its partners.

EU, African leaders tackle migrants

Business Day Live, 09 November 2015

European Union (EU) leaders will push their wary African counterparts to help tackle the migration crisis at a summit in Malta this week, offering them billions of euros in aid in exchange for co-operation. Having recently pressed Turkey to stem the flow of Syrian refugees, Europe is turning its attention to the other main source of an unprecedented number of people fleeing across the Mediterranean. The gathering of more than 50 leaders from both continents on Tuesday and Wednesday will see an overwhelmed Europe call on Africa to take back more people classed as economic migrants and not refugees from war. In return, Europe will offer development funds in a fresh thrust by the wealthy EU to tackle the wars and poverty in Africa that are the root cause of nearly a quarter of the nearly 800,000 migrant arrivals in Europe this year.

Africa unhappy with €1.9bn migration fund

News24, 12 November 2015

The European Union launched a €1.9bn fund on Thursday to tackle migration from Africa, but struggled to impress recipient countries, which accused Europe of focusing too much on sending Africans back home.

Zuma’s warning after Paris attacks

iOL News, 16 November 2015

President Jacob Zuma has condemned the terror attacks in France, where more than 130 people died, and at the same time he has warned against labelling all refugees as “terrorists”.

Migrants in Libya risk ‘brutal violence’

News24, 16 November 2015

Migrants who travel to Libya hoping to reach the shores of Europe risk “brutal violence” at the hands of people smugglers, a United Nations report said on Monday. The report said “refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants, particularly from sub-Saharan Africa … are increasingly vulnerable to killing, detention in inhumane conditions, torture, kidnapping, physical assault, armed robbery and exploitation”. Many “become victims of brutal violence, coercion and abuse perpetrated by smugglers along smuggling routes”, said the report, published jointly by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Human Rights Office.

15 Sudanese Migrants Killed at Egypt-Israel Border, Officials Say

The New York Times, 15 November 2015

At least 15 Sudanese migrants trying to cross from Egypt into Israel were shot and killed at the border early Sunday, possibly by Egyptian police officers, according to security officials and news reports. The death toll, if confirmed, would be one of the highest in years for migrants and asylum seekers making the treacherous journey across the Sinai Peninsula into Israel. People coming from Sudan, Eritrea and other countries in East Africa have been tortured by traffickers, beaten or shot by the Egyptian security services and have faced open-ended detention by the Israeli authorities, according to human rights groups.

 

Tags: africa; xenophobia    Europe    refugee amendment bill; migration policy; southern Africa; migrants   

Categorised in: Press Review