The anti-foreigner protest led by over 5,000 residents have been ongoing in the busy streets of Durban in South Africa in the past few weeks. No less than five individuals have been killed, hundreds compelled to escape their homes and dozens arrested. Protesters were seen led by the city Mayor and the head of KwaZulu-Natal region. of Durban singing “Down with xenophobia” and “A United Africa”.
Angry locals have harassed and attacked foreigners living in Durban, accusing them of causing social and economic harm to their country. From the assaults on ambitious African foreigners from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Somalia, Nigeria and Malawi who run their businesses in the economy, critics are of the opinion that the assaults on non-natives is more of afrophobic, than xenophopic because as it seems, south Africans believe that the foreigners have taken their jobs and opportunities from them.
Migrants have began arming themselves with weapons to safeguard themselves and foreign entrepreneurs in Johannesburg have taken to shutting their doors for fear of the assaults spreading to the city and getting to them.
However, Marcher Vanessa Govender told the BBC: “It’s simply a mammoth show of backing for each one of those outsiders who have succumbed to the previous two weeks of xenophobic viciousness.”
Conversely, South Africa’s police minister Nkosinathi Nhleko said during a briefing on the attacks “I can tell you now that this so-called xenophobia is not that. It’s more ‘Afrophobia.’ It’s ideologically driven. It is African-on-African and not on other nationalities. But we are on top of it. We are in control and are handling the situation well,”
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma condemned the violence and assigned a couple of cabinet ministers to bring the attacks and protests to an end, alongside officials in KwaZulu-Natal province, which includes Durban.
The South African government has however assured diplomats from Nigeria, Somalia, Malawi, Mozambique and Ethiopia, where many of the migrants come from, that their residents will be protected.
#SayNotoViolence: Let us all as true citizens of the world, become a part of South Africa’s “peace march” and with one voice restore humanity by bringing an end to the attacks and discrimination!
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