Press Review January 2019

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Could South Africa cope with a Migration Crisis like that of Syria?  18 January 2019

The scenario of a Zimbabwean migration may be the result of the current crisis in that nation. If it happens, is South Africa’s government ready to respond? Have they drawn from the lessons of the Syrian catastrophe?

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#StopXenophobia in all its guises 30 January 2019

Xenophobia remains part of South African life, with ongoing attacks. At an official level, focus on foreign migrants from the South is claimed to be based on the need for regularisation and legality. In fact, it is very hard to attain official documentation and that does not stop the incitement and attacks on vulnerable refugees.

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Concourt takes compassionate approach to people who enter country unlawfully 17 January 2019

If a foreign national arrives in South Africa unlawfully and takes as long as 15 months to apply for asylum, are they barred from doing so? Is the person liable for deportation or should they be given an opportunity to at least apply for asylum? The Constitutional Court recently considered these questions.

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Zimbabweans living in SA stranded after cross border buses cancelled 15 January 2019

Zimbabweans living in South Africa who had hoped to travel home this week have been left stranded at Johannesburg’s Park Station, amid a violent shutdown in that country in the wake of a 150% fuel price hike.

Cross border buses have temporarily cancelled their routes to Zimbabwe for safety reasons, after a bus was set alight during the national strike which started on Monday.

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South Africa can’t afford a Zimbabwe meltdown 18 January 2019

Johannesburg – Zimbabwe’s economic crisis has reached catastrophic proportions. With the government raising the cost of fuel from R19 to R41 a litre, fuel has become more expensive in Zimbabwe than anywhere else in the world.

The economic meltdown of our northern neighbour poses a serious threat to our national interest. If Zimbabweans are unable to survive, it is to South Africa they will turn, and how will we absorb thousands of new economic migrants with our current levels of unemployment and overstretched social services?

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ANALYSIS: Are South Africa’s public hospitals ‘overburdened’ by foreign patients? 29 January 2019


South Africa’s health system was “overburdened” by having to care for more people than it could afford, health minister Aaron Motsoaledi said at a nurses’ summit on 14 November 2018.

In an interview with SAfm’s Stephen Grootes the next day, the minister blamed this on inadequate funding and “the issue of foreign nationals”.

Grootes asked if there were statistics on the share of foreign nationals using public healthcare. Motsoaledi said the health department did not officially collect this data as it was a “very sensitive matter”.


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No Citizenship, No Financial Aid: Refugee students in SA get raw deal 18 January 2019


Business is booming at Beit Bridge border post near Musina in Limpopo since the Zimbabwean government announced a fuel hike of approximately 150% this week. Some of the Zimbabwean nationals have ventured into selling empty 20 and 25 litre water drums to those stocking up fuel as some motorists have begun panic buying in SA.

Zimbabwe has been gripped by violent protests since President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a fuel hike of R45 per litre.


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30 000 fled Nigerian town in two days amid Boko Haram threat: UN 29 January 2019

Over 30 000 people fled the Nigerian town of Rann and across the border to Cameroon over the weekend amid fears of renewed attacks by Boko Haram jihadists, the UN said on Tuesday.

“All the population seems to be panicking and they are on the run as a preemptive measure to save their lives,” UN refugee agency spokesman Babar Baloch told reporters.


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IOM: 200 refugees drowned in the Mediterranean this year 21 January 2019

Two-hundred refugees have died while trying to cross the Mediterranean this year, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said. On Saturday, two dinghies sank while trying to make the journey across the Mediterranean, leaving 117 dead.

Last year, around 2,297 migrants died or went missing in the Mediterranean while 116,959 people reached Europe by sea.

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UN refugee agency seeks more resources for African refugees 14 January 2019

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on Monday called for more resources to help African refugees in 2019. The comments by Filippo Grandi came during a two-day visit to Egypt where he met President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and other government officials.

His trip to Cairo also comes as Egypt prepares to assume the presidency of the African Union in February.

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At least 43 migrants dead after two boats capsize near Djibouti 30 January 2019

At least 43 migrants have drowned after two boats capsized off the coast of Djibouti, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Wednesday. The UN organization had previously counted only 28 recovered bodies.

“We are expecting the death toll to be much higher than that,” IOM spokesman Joel Millman told dpa.

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Ethiopia opens wide window of opportunities for refugees 2 January 2019

Ethiopia has again come under the international spotlight for enacting a new law this week allowing refugees several opportunities hitherto denied to millions seeking refuge in the country.

Among other things, the law will allow refugees to obtain work permits, access primary education, obtain drivers’ licenses, legally register life events such as births and marriages and open up access to national financial services, such as banking.

Ethiopia currently hosts over 900,000 refugees, primarily from neighbouring South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea, as well as smaller numbers of refugees from Yemen and Syria.

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 Two trends are common to discussions of displacement during conflict. Arguably, neither reflects the situation on the ground. First, most maps representing the journey of displaced people display arrows flowing in one direction: out of the country of origin. Second, most observers distinguish individuals escaping from conflict zones as being either internally displaced people (IDPs) or refugees, but never as both. However, experiences on the ground are more complex.

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The link between climate change, conflict, and migration 28 January 2019

For the first time, an international team of researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis near Vienna, Austria have shown a causal link between climatic change, conflict, and migration. The recent study published in the January edition of Global Environmental Change has provided “an empirical assessment of scientific evidence on the popular claim regarding the role of climate change on conflict and migration.”

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The Marrakech Compact on Migration: Myths & Realities 29 January 2019

When 164 UN member states adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (the Marrakech Compact on Migration) on 10 December last year, I read on social media that they had decided to give up control over migration to the UN.

So, did that mean, as someone who works on migration in the UN, I could pick and choose who gets to go where?
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ILO to facilitate better access to labour market opportunities for refugees and IDPs 28 January 2019

ILO News (Addis Ababa): ILO launches a new program to support the sustainable socio-economic integration of forcibly displaced populations with host communities. The program aims to avail technical assistance in employment and job creation for the Ethiopian government in its effort to operationalise Job Compact and its nine policy pledges. This aligns with the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) mechanism, a commitment made at the NY Summit in 2016 as part of the Global Compact for Refugees.

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