Press Review 55 12-26 June 2015

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Tags: africa; xenophobia Europe Israel migration management refoulement; asylum; Africa; refugees

National

New ‘Operation Pyramid’ to secure SA’s borders: Cabinet

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.

Xenophobia: 42% of people nabbed in army raids were in SA illegally

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.

How immigrants contribute to the SA economy

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.

South Africa: In Durban; Using Xenophobia to Mobilise Unemployed People

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.

South Africa: HRC Not Ready to Release Findings on King’s Alleged Xenophobic Remarks

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.

South Africa: Last Refugee Shelter for Xenophobia Victims to Close

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.

Three powerful myths that fuel xenophobia

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”

Illegal immigrants in SA deported in a congenial manner

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.

Regional

Anti-hunger agency to cut food rations to refugees in Kenya

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.

AU asked to help protect refugees in SA

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.

Zuma denies xenophobia in AU discussion

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.

End continental conflict, stop xenophobia: Mugabe at AU Summit

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

MONUSCO lies about Rwandan refugees

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.

Refugees cautioned against electioneering

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.

International

Italian police forcibly remove migrants stranded near French border

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.

Dozens of migrants dying in Sahara desert trying to reach Europe

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.

Europe launches Naval Operation against Mediterranean smugglers taking migrants from North Africa

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.

If Africa is rising, why are so many running away?

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?

Israel needs African migrants, so why is it expelling them?

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.

Tags: africa; xenophobia    Europe    Israel    migration management    refoulement; asylum; Africa; refugees   

Categorised in: Press Review