Press Review 56 27 June to 09 July
Durban - Foreigners in a refugee camp in Chatsworth on Tuesday resisted the government’s plan to close down the camp; most refused to leave. Thousands of those who sought refuge at the camp after the attacks on foreigners in March have either been repatriated, reintegrated into the communities they fled from, or resettled. However, close to 200 Congolese and Burundians remained at the camp, citing fear of being victims of xenophobia if they went back to their communities or had to return to conditions of civil and political unrest in their home countries. Asylum seekers in Cape Town are struggling to obtain documentation, because they can only apply for refugee permits in Pretoria, Durban or Musina. With no jobs and no money to make their way to these centres, incoming refugees can find themselves stranded. Refugees who need to renew their permits are also affected. A South African mother claims Zimbabwean immigration officers deported her 12-year-old daughter on arrival in Harare in a "tit for tat game". She said her daughter was travelling on an emergency travel certificate to write a school entrance exam - as well as to visit her sick father. Thousands of refugees have fled to Paris over the past several months, prompting heated debates on how to manage the escalating asylum seeker crisis. Many refugees are Eritreans, fleeing a tiny police state viewed as Africa’s North Korea. Even in Paris, Eritreans fear the ‘mosquitoes’ – informers for the regime of Isaias Afwerki, a freedom fighter turned alcoholic dictator who has ruled the country with an iron fist since Eritrean independence in 1993.