Dozens of foreigners camp outside UN offices, want to leave South Africa

CAPE TOWN (AFP) – Dozens of foreign nationals on Wednesday camped outside the Cape Town offices of the United Nations (UN) refugee agency demanding to be removed from South Africa saying they were no longer safe.

Around 250 foreigners, many claiming to be asylum seekers from various African countries, vowed not to leave the premises until the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) addressed their concerns.

Wrapped in blankets, women and children lay on mats, while men paced up and down, according to AFP.

“We are here because we want the UN and other organisations to help …refugees, to take us somewhere safe,” Radjab Mugemangango 47, a Rwandan Uber driver, told AFP.

“There is no peace in South Africa, it’s not safe!” said l Mugemangango.

In August and early September, the country saw a wave of xenophobic violence that left 12 people killed, most of them South Africans, when mobs descended on foreign-owned stores in and aro-und Johannesburg, destroying properties and looting.

South Africa is a magnet for economic migrants searching for better job prospects and asylum seekers looking for safety.

The continent’s most industrialised economy attracts people from neighbouring Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Others come from farther afield including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria and South Asian countries.