Xenophobia in South Africa against African Immigrants Must Stop Now!

April 20th, 2015 Print Print Email Email

The Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians, (GARE) and Ethiopiawinnet: Council for the Protection of Citizens Rights, (E-CPCR) expresses its utter disbelief and outrage concerning the deepening Xenophobia, more appropriately, Afro-phobia that is unfolding in South Africa. We condemn the brutal and senseless killings of Ethiopians and other Black Africans. These atrocities, including the petrol bombing of six Black Africans including two Ethiopians by mobs and other individuals and groups, is travesty in today’s globally interconnected world. Ethiopians seek refuge in South Africa because of political repression and lack of job opportunities in their home country.

Ethiopia contributed to the Anti-Apartheid movement and Ethiopians welcomed and hosted numerous black South Africans in their home country at the height of their greatest need. It is therefore stunning to us that Goodwill Zwelrthin, the King of the Zulus and President Zuma’s son would add fuel to the fire by demanding that Ethiopians and other Black Africans leave South Africa. It is tragic these mob actions against Black African refugees are taking place in a country for whose freedom Blacks struggled.

It is ironic that South Africa would welcome Whites expelled from Zimbabwe. We are also aware that there are numerically more Asian immigrants who compete and often displace South Africans in most every economic sector- from local vending which used to be dominated by poor South African women, to micro enterprise to scaled-up production and distribution of goods and services. Yet not one Asian was tortured or killed. Could this be reflective of the official government attitude towards African immigrants? Why would South Africans target immigrants from other African countries who seek refuge from political oppression and economic deprivation and not others? Should the South African government not address the problems of the different categories of African immigrants, and where feasible, repatriate them to their home countries with dignity and meet its international obligation towards asylum seekers?

The Government of South Africa has an obligation under international law to protect refugees. We therefore, demand that President Zuma and his Government intervene and stop these atrocities immediately.

We appreciate President Zuma’s cancellation of his international trip to address the dire condition of Ethiopian and other African immigrants. At the same time, we demand that immediate and tangible actions be taken to ensure the safety of Ethiopian immigrants and other African immigrants.

GARE and E-CPCR urges the Government of South Africa to immediately:

-. Take appropriate urgent action to stop Xenophobia attacks against Ethiopian and other African immigrants
-. Provide medical attention, emergency assistance and appropriate shelter for those displaced from their homes and scattered in police stations and churches,
- Take appropriate lawful action against officials inciting Africa-phobia attacks
- Provide appropriate compensations to those killed, injured and for those who have lost properties,

We urge the United Nations, the African Union, the United States, the European Community and the International community at large to use their influence and demand the South African government to take immediate legal actions to protect immigrants under its protection,

UNHCR to transfer refugees who are becoming victims of the repeated South African xenophobic attacks to a safer location,

We encourage domestic and International Human Rights Organizations to provide pro bono legal assistance to the Ethiopian victims of xenophobia in South Africa,

Finally, we recognize that the grim socio-economic and political situation in Ethiopia is driving thousands of young girls and boys from their home land and exposing them to inhuman treatment abroad. The Ethiopian government must take responsibility and take appropriate and immediate action to protect the rights of its citizens who are being subjected to barbaric killings in the streets of South Africa.

  1. Sam
    | #1

    GARE and E-CPCR ask “why would South Africans target immigrants from other African countries who seek refuge from political oppression and economic deprivation and not others? The question is misleading. It is not the whole South Africans who targeted African immigrants; it is the black South Africans. Why? It is because the African immigrants reside, open small businesses, and get employed in the black neighborhoods. The African immigrants are not competing with white South Africans for jobs and opportunities. As long as the black South Africans remain economically marginalized, their anger, wrongly for sure, was directed, and will remain directed to people whom they believe to have taken jobs that should belong to them.

  2. Lemlem Tsegaw
    | #2

    እንዲት መጠለያ መጠጊያ ያጣል ሰው?!
    አረብ አገር ሄጀ
    ሰማሁ መገደሏን ያች ስደተኛ
    ድህነት ሲያባራት ደግሞ እንደ ቀማኛ
    አየሁ በዳር ደንበር፣ በኤርትራም ጭምር፤
    በሥር ቤት ሲማቅቅ የኢትዮጵያ ወታደር።
    እንዲት መጠለያ መጠጊያ ያጣል ሰው፤
    ምነው ተፈቀደ የኢትዮጵያን ልጆች
    ማንም እንዲያርዳቸው፣
    በኬኒያ እንኳን እንሰሳ መብት አለው።
    በሳውዝ አፍሪቃ፣ በየመን፣ በሊቢያ…ወዘተ እየተገደሉ ላሉ እትዮጵያውያን መታሰቢያ! ለምለም ፀጋው, April 20, 2015

  3. Tazabi
    | #3

    Ethiopia is a symbol of hope and freedom for all black people around the world.The victory of Adwa still serves as the beacon of black struggle against racism and xenophobia for Afro Americans and Africans alike. The late Emperor Haileselassie and the military government,both,supported the liberation movement of Black South Africans against the White Minority Apartheid junta without reservation.Do the South African Xenophobic thugs know their recent history? Does the ANC government teach its youth about the sacrifice made by the former OAU and its member states to liberate them from slavery? I’ve doubts.These thugs didn’t even once used their finger nails to scratch whites who enslaved and treated them inhumanly,and yet they form a mob and kill their own African brothers.This is not acceptable.Africans need to call off their political,economic and sporting event,etc. ties with Pretoria,until the ANC feels the impact and begins to act African.
    While I personally express my deepest sorrow to what is happening to Ethiopians in Libya,Yemen,The ME and South Africa,I would also like to remind Ethiopians that the similar horrific and inhuman killings of Amharas by TPLF,OLF and OPDO in Bedeno,Arbagugu,Water,Assosa,Jimma,GuraFerda,Kemashi,Metekel,Gondar and elsewhere is in our memory and wont be forgotten.This needs to be mentioned since xenophobic elements and organisations are still spreading hate openly in our own backyard.

  4. Kirubel
    | #4

    Today it is xenophobia. Tomorrow it will be genocide. This is a huge insult to the rest of Africa. It is akin to the black on black violence orchestrated by the now defunct white minority apartheid regime. However, the ghost of apartheid is still lurking around. We are not very far now from hearing millions of black Africans being massacred in the streets of south Africa. There is an impending genocide. The black south Africans living in the same immoral domain of apartheid.

  5. Anonymous
    | #5

    “Ethiopia is a symbol of hope and freedom for black people”. What a fatuous fallacy. Why not Haiti since won war against the French before Adowa. Be that as it may. But one doesn’t see the connection what is going in south Africa with what happened in in Ethiopia. Those Ethiopians, Somalis, Malawians etc. are in SA for economic prospects that hardly available in their respective countries. There are other ways how to expel and get rid of foreigners. Not the way these instinctively barbarians Zulu did with the encouragement of the police behind the scene and so called their emperor and the polygamist prime minister. Well, what can one say except be contended with the idiom: a leopard can’t change its spots. Zulus for all exposure to material world what the white people offered them than any other African countries, they are still at the stage where the dreadful Neanderthal thrived.

  6. Tazabi
    | #6

    #5. . . if you were for real why hide behind “anonymous”? IS inflicts atrocities by concealing its face with a mask.Denial of Ethiopian history and recent extremist and xenophobic killings exposes your true colors.The victims’ soul will haunt your like where ever you hide.Remember,we shall not forget.

  7. Anonymous
    | #7

    lets be united with other africans no to fight with because that course so much conflict between Africans and other countries

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