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South Africa: Xenophobic violence against foreigners spreads


ECOWAS has condemned the “barbaric, criminal and xenophobic” murder of innocent African foreigners in South Africa, and urged the South African Government to act quickly to stop the increasing wave of attacks across its country.

A statement signed by the Chair of the Authority, President John Dramani Mahama, also condemned the individual South Africans involved in the act.

The West African sub-regional body said it was a “pity” that the very people whose nations sacrificed to help South Africans fight, repel and defeat apartheid, will today be considered aliens and hacked to death in such barbaric manners.

“We welcome the statement of our brother, President Jacob Zuma, and his assurances of a peaceful resolution, but we request for an urgent national action plan, backed by a behavioral change campaign against xenophobia in South Africa,” the statement added.

In a related development, the flag-bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, has also condemned the wave of xenophobic attacks that have rocked South Africa, leading to the loss of at least five African lives, including that of a Ghanaian.

In his statement released Friday, Akufo-Addo said he had learnt with “utmost shock about the sickening and despicable acts of appalling brutality being perpetrated by local mobs in some parts of South Africa against immigrants, mainly black Africans and their businesses”.

Akufo-Addo said; “I condemn in the strongest terms these acts of persecution, which have so far, according to reports, claimed the lives of at least six people, including a 14-year old boy. There are also unconfirmed reports of a Ghanaian being among the dead. We expect Ghana's mission in South Africa to be a lot more helpful with the flow of information for Ghanaians worried about the fate of our compatriots in South Africa.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed in these unacceptable attacks. My thoughts and prayers are with the injured and the displaced.”

“I know at firsthand the extraordinary warmth and decency of the people of South Africa, the vast majority of whom are against acts that seek to violate the right to life of others. To this end, I respectfully urge President Jacob Zuma to do all in his power to ensure that these attacks end, as well as bring to book all persons responsible for this wave of violence,” the three-time presidential candidate of the main opposition party in Ghana pointed out.

“President Mahama, through Ghana's High Commission in South Africa, must come to the aid of all Ghanaians who are in need of help.”

The attacks have also been condemned by South Africa President, Jacob Zuma, who has described them as "shocking".

"No amount of frustration or anger can justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops," he told parliament on Thursday.

Many jobless South Africans, who accuse foreigners of taking their jobs, are attacking Africans and chasing many of them out of their homes.

Two weeks ago locals began attacking and looting properties owned by fellow Africans, in the wake of alleged comments by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini telling migrants to go home – although he says he was mistranslated.

Meanwhile, The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hannah Tetteh, has confirmed that a Ghanaian, Emmanuel Quarcoo, has been killed in the attacks.

According to Hannah Tetteh, Quarcoo was found dead by the roadside with head injuries.

“The matter is being investigated by the South African Police and our embassy is following up on this matter. There will be a meeting at the South African Ministry of Foreign Affairs with African ambassadors today to discuss the matters. Our Embassy will advise on the need for evacuation of Ghanaian citizens if necessary,” she tweeted.

The xenophobic attacks against Africans have killed at least five people, injured many more, forced many to flee their homes and shops and move into temporary shelters.


(myghanalinks, graphic.com.gh)


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