Press Review 55 12-26 June 2015
Times Live, 11 June 2015
The Department of Home Affairs will link up with other government agencies for a new initiative to be called “Operation Pyramid” to secure South Africa’s borders. Acting Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams said on Thursday that Operation Pyramid‚ to be launched later this month in Skukuza‚ Mpumalanga‚ is intended to “better coordinate and align” SA’s border projects‚ programmes and interventions. This initiative will be operational until the scheduled establishment of the Border Management Agency in 2017‚ according to a government report.
News24, 12 June 2015
Forty-two percent of people arrested under Operation Fiela-Reclaim were undocumented foreigners, Parliament heard today. This was despite the fact that this group constitutes only 5% of the total population; researcher Adam Salmon told the newly constituted ad hoc joint committee that is probing violence against foreign nationals.
Grounded up Newsletter, 17 June 2015
In a keynote address of the event organized by Scalabrini Centre and the Haulocaust Centre in Cape Town to celebrate the World Refugee Day, a senior researcher from the African Centre for Cities presented the findings of the study on the roles of migrants and refugees in the economy. The research shows that migrants are making significant contributions to South Africa by servicing the needs of the poorer consumers.
The Daily Vox, 18 June 2015
QINISO MBILI spoke to a leader of the South African Federations of the Unemployed Peoples Union (SAFUPU) who openly drummed up xenophobic sentiments to mobilise unemployed people in the city. “Foreigners need to leave. Those who want to remain here (in the country) need to stop being economically active,” Lungani Khwela, president of the South African Federations of the Unemployed Peoples Union (SAFUPU), told a crowd in King Dinuzulu Park in Durban last week.
News24, 22 June 2015
The SA Human Rights Commission is not ready yet to hand over the findings on its report on alleged xenophobic remarks by King Goodwill Zwelithini, an official said on Monday.
News24, 22 June 2015
Durban’s last refugee shelter housing those who fled the recent xenophobic violence in the city will close at the end of the month. eThekwini Metro municipality spokesperson Tozi Mthethwa said: “The Chatsworth interim shelter that was home to thousands of African immigrants during the attacks against African immigrants and looting of foreign owned shops, will be closed as from Tuesday, June 30.”
Operation Fiela’s warrantless searches challenged
Mail & Guardian, 23 June 2015
A police crackdown on foreigners—initially framed as a response to xenophobia—was violating both the law and constitutional rights, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) told the high court in Pretoria on Tuesday. LHR, which has a strong focus on the rights of migrants, is challenging the way in which Operation Fiela is being conducted.
Mail & Guardian, 24 June 2015
Stereotypes and myths have largely informed South Africans’ views on issues of migration and foreign nationals. These myths perpetuate xenophobia in South Africa and are used seemingly as a basis for policy decisions around migration. Extensive research by institutions such as the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) and African Centre for Migration and Society has gone a long way in dispelling these myths: Myth 1: Foreigners want to live in South Africa “illegally”; Myth 2: Foreigners are “stealing” our jobs ; Myth 3: “They only come here to take our healthcare”
Business Day Live, 24 June
It is believed that deporting illegal immigrants is not a pleasant business, those who transport these unfortunate people to detention centres, police cells or the nearest border post in South Africa may find it necessary to have brotherly sounding names. Deportees can presumably expect a touch of brotherly love from and quite pleasant names such as My Boet.
The New York Times, 11 June 2015
The United Nations World Food Program has announced that it is temporarily cutting rations to half-million refugees in Kenya by nearly a third in a move to conserve the dwindling supplies and funds.
IOL news, 12 June 2015
Human rights groups have urged the African Union (AU) to call on the South African authorities to provide a long-term security guarantee for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers living in the country. Amnesty International and other 12 civil society organisations issued this call on the sidelines of the AU summit now underway in Johannesburg.
News24, 14 June 2015
President Jacob Zuma told African leaders during an African Union meeting on xenophobia in South Africa that South Africans were not xenophobic. Zuma told the leaders in a closed-door session at the start of the AU assembly of heads of state in Sandton on Sunday morning that the recent attacks on foreign nationals also saw the death of three South Africans.
eNCA, 15 June 2015
African heads of state must find effective interventions to eradicate the scourge of war on the continent, Zimbabwean President and African Union Chairman Robert Mugabe said on Sunday
Ikaze Iwacu, 20 June 2015
According to Radio France International (RFI), the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) has lied about abductions and detentions of Rwandan refugees in the transit camp in Kisangani, while subjecting them to inhuman treatment in order to force them to return to Rwanda against their will.
Daily News, 21 June 2015
The government of the Republic of Tanzania warned the refugees currently living in local camps against taking part in the forthcoming general election, lest they face legal actions. The warning was issued by the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Mathias Chikawe, during the occasion to mark the International Refugee Day.
The Guardian, 16 June 2015
Police on Italy’s border with France have forcibly removed about a hundred migrants who were stranded in the Italian city of Ventimiglia and denied entry into France, escalating tensions between the two countries over the free movement of migrants to northern Europe. Some of the migrants – who are mostly from Sudan and Eritrea – were resisting police and trying to hang on to signposts in their desperate attempt to make their way across the border.
The Guardian, 17 June 2015
A total of 33 migrants have died in the Sahara desert in Niger while enroute to Europe this year, including 18 found dehydrated last week near a road to the border with Algeria, the government of Niger said on Tuesday. International assessments, however, have put the number closer to 50. Many thousands attempt to cross the vast and inhospitable terrain in order to reach the Libyan coast, where they hope to begin another hazardous trip by boat to Europe.
International Business Times, 22 June 2015
The European Union launched a yearlong naval operation to disrupt the trafficking and smuggling networks that are bringing migrants across the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa. The initiative, which will cost around 12 million euros ($13.5 million), will deploy the navies of EU nations to catch the smugglers who operate the boats and seize the vessels. The goal is to lessen the number of migrant deaths and also reduce the heavy burden experienced by Europe’s Mediterranean countries once the migrants arrive on their shores.
Mail & Guardian, 24 June 2015
World refugee day was on June 19, and former secretary-general of the United Nations Kofi Annan made a comment on his Twitter handle that was as profound as it was subtle, suggesting that the world must come to terms with a “new normal.” “It is time to accept the reality that the ebb and flow of human movement cannot be stopped,” Annan tweeted. More than 1 750 migrants, mostly from West Africa and North Africa and some parts of the Middle East have perished in the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of the year, attempting to seek “greener pastures” in Europe. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), this number is more than 30 times higher than that recorded during the corresponding period in 2014. As the rosy narratives about Africa’s economic growth and burgeoning middle class are vigorously exchanged at talk-shops, the question begs; what would cause thousands to abandon their homes, families and put their lives at risk at sea, facing the risks potential of shipwrecks and possible human trafficking?
Bloomberg Business, 25 June 2015
Born and raised in Israel, David Blum always thought of his country as a refuge for the persecuted. Why then, he asks, is the government stepping up efforts to deport African refugees? He says the policy is a betrayal of Israel’s traditions and bad business given that the Africans are the backbone of the restaurant and hotel industry.
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