Press Review 6 April 2016

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Tags: european union immigration policy refugee amendment bill; migration policy; southern Africa; migrants southern Africa

NATIONAL

SA keeping refugees out

Times Live, 23 March 2016

According to an analysis of UN High Commissioner for Refugees data conducted by Code4SA’s Data Journalism Academy, in 2014 and the first half of 2015, the Department of Home Affairs turned down 81% of refugee applications, compared with the international average of 21%. In that period, more than 150,000 people from 24 countries sought asylum in South Africa, making it the third most popular destination for refugees. This was at a time when Europe received one of its largest influxes of refugees from the Middle East.

Supra Mahumapelo’s xenophobic strategy will be the North West’s undoing

Rand Daily Mail, 5 April 2016

North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo recently surprised many when he proposed to seize all foreign-owned spaza shops in the province, and hand them over to South Africans, barring foreigners from opening any shops in future. This is despite the fact that many of those shopkeepers are asylum seekers and refugees who are legally entitled to work in the country, and have few other means of supporting themselves. While seizing anyone’s hard-earned business, not because of any conduct on their part, but because of some intrinsic feature belonging to them such as their nationality, is self-evidently unjust, there are a number of other reasons to be appalled by the premier’s plan.

UPDATE: Long-awaited 2015 xenophobia report released

eNCA, 5 April 2016

A long-awaited report on the 2015 xenophobia attacks has been released in Durban.  It was put together by the Reference Group on Migration and Community Integration which was commissioned by the KZN provincial government. Headed by former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Judge Navi Pillay, the group also investigated threats to social cohesion. It found, among other things, that shortcomings in law enforcement agencies contributed to the attacks.

South Africa: Home Affairs to Be Taken to Court

allAfrica, 5 April 2016

Immigration lawyers have accused the Department of Home Affairs of being in contempt of a High Court order after the department withdrew an instruction allowing asylum seekers and refugees to apply for permanent residence without giving up their asylum or refugee status, and to apply for temporary residence without a valid passport. Temporary residence include relatives’ visas and work visas.

Zulu King snubbed xenophobia investigators – former judge

News 24, 5 April 2016

A special reference group appointed by the KwaZulu-Natal government was snubbed repeatedly by King Goodwill Zwelithini while investigating a spate of xenophobic attacks last year. The king’s apparent unwillingness to meet with the investigation panel, chaired by retired Judge Navi Pillay, emerged at the release of a report compiled by the group. The attacks claimed the lives of several people and left thousands displaced, with violence against foreign nationals emanating in KwaZulu-Natal and spreading across the country.

REGIONAL

Sudan to end free movement of South Sudanese refugees

StarAfrica, 18 March 2016

The Sudanese cabinet decided in its Thursday chaired by President Bashir to end the free movement it granted to Southern Sudanese fled to the civil war in their young state. The Sudanese council of ministers said in statement seen by APA that it will block the free entering of the Southerners, treating them as foreigners in one week. It further warned it will prosecute any illegal southern migrant found in the country without legal documents.

Kenya: Life Was Much Better in Ugandan Camp, Say Former Refugees in Row

allAfrica, 22 March 2016

Jane Wangui is a bitter woman. She is among people who have been camping outside Sheria House along Harambee Avenue in Nairobi since Thursday last week demanding the Sh400, 000 resettlement package the government promised her when she returned after living as a refugee in Uganda. Ms Wangui, a mother of one, is among about 6,500 Kenyans who fled the 2007-2008 post-election violence following the bungled presidential elections and settled at Kiryandogo Refugee Settlement in Masindi District. She was in a cohort of 700 other families who returned home last year, lured back by what she terms promises of sizeable resettlement packages and land to restart their lives. A year later, Ms Wangui feels neglected and betrayed by the same government that promised her a decent life back home.

Mozambique: Refugees Pay the Price of Power Struggle

IRIN, 24 March 2016

The losers in a power struggle between the Mozambican government and opposition RENAMO party are the refugees that have streamed across the border into Malawi, fleeing insecurity and allegations of human rights violations by the army. More than 11,500 civilians have left Mozambique since military operations began in October 2015 to disarm RENAMO militants, predominantly in the coal-rich central province of Tete, which borders southern Malawi. According to the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, as many as 250 refugees were crossing each day in early March. Most find shelter in the small Malawian village of Kapise, five kilometres across the border. Facilities in the overcrowded, makeshift camp are inadequate, with just 14 latrines and limited boreholes to supply water.

Africa: Migration is an Opportunity for Africa, If Managed Properly

allAfrica, 2 April 2016

Africans are among the most mobile people on earth. 31 million people from the continent have migrated to various parts of the world, including many African countries. Some people choose to migrate, while others are forced to do so either due to war, poverty or persecution. Many become refugees, asylum seekers and labour migrants…Mustapha S. Kaloko, the Commissioner for Social Affairs at the African Union’s Special Session of the Labour and Social Affairs Commission said migration has the potential to reduce unemployment by contributing to economic development through remittances and by importing skills, knowledge and technology to both the countries of origin and destination. Remittance inflows to Africa have quadrupled since 1990, reaching nearly $40 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) in 2010, becoming the continent’s largest source of net foreign inflows after foreign direct investment (FDI).

Migration streams within Africa much larger than out of continent-UN

Star Africa, 3 April 2016

Migration streams within Africa are much larger than those out of the continent with only about 28 percent of migrants from Africa going to Europe, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) says on Saturday. “We are reacting against the dominant perception that Africans are on rushing to go to Europe. It is not true. When we look at the statistics, the bulk of migration is within Africa. International Migration is within Africa. And only a small proportion of migrants about only 28 percent are going to Europe,” Takyiwaa Manuh, Director of Social development policy division told APA in an interview at the sideline event of the African Development Week being held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

INTERNATIONAL

Africa handled refugee crisis better than Europe

The Southern Times, 24 March 2016

Europe’s reluctance to open up its borders to asylum seekers brought to light that Africa has handled its refugees’ situation well better than their European counterparts over the years. Following the Arab Spring in North Africa and subsequent internal turmoil in the Middle East including the civil war in Syria, Europe has been struggling to cope with the waves of immigrants. Some European countries have shut their borders leaving hundreds of thousands of people including women and children stranded without food, water, shelter and no option to return home.

The homeless refugee speaking out for female asylum seekers

The Guardian, 24 March 2016

Mariam Ibrahim Yusuf migrated to the UK from Somalia in 2008 to seek asylum from the war and gender-based violence in her country. She thought her two children would soon be joining her, but after eight years, she is still separated from them, submerged in the asylum system, and homeless. While these hardships are heavy, they do not weigh her down. Mariam campaigns for the rights of other female refugees who want to rebuild their lives, and was recently honoured as Woman of the Year by the Women on the Move awards, which celebrates exceptional contributions by migrant and refugee women to UK society.

Hand-picked from Kenya’s vast camps, refugees run for Rio Olympic dream team

Mail & Guardian Africa, 31 March 2016

HIGH up in Kenya’s rugged Ngong Hills, refugees sprint around an athletics track in intensive training they hope will see them selected for a unique team for the Rio Olympics. Hand-picked from Kenya’s vast refugee camps – including Dadaab, the biggest in the world – to join the training camp just outside the capital Nairobi, the athletes here have their eyes set on racing in Rio de Janeiro in August.

 

 

 

Tags: european union    immigration policy    refugee amendment bill; migration policy; southern Africa; migrants    southern Africa   

Categorised in: Review