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Friday, June 13, 2014

S/Africa not protecting Somali refugees - AI - Africa - News -

S/Africa not protecting Somali refugees - AI - Africa - News -

The South African government and the police have not protected Somali refugees from violence in recent weeks, Amnesty International said on Thursday.
Attacks on Somali-owned shops in and around Mamelodi township over the last six days have cost lives and livelihoods and are part of a disturbing trend of violence against refugees and migrants which the police and government are failing to address, the organization claimed.
“Despite repeated calls, the police were slow to respond and failed to adequately deploy patrols to stop the escalation of violence which has so far left one refugee dead, ten others injured and at least 76 shops burnt or looted,â€� AI’s Regional Director for Southern Africa Deprose Muchena, declared.
According to the official the attacks are the latest in a wave of ongoing and widespread violence targeting refugees and migrants in South Africa.
“The fact that they were preventable highlights a pattern of inaction on the part of the police and a failure of political will in government to tackle this violence� he added.
Violence erupted on 7 June in Mamelodi, a township northeast of Pretoria with the police failing to respond despite being notified, sources said.
Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the South African government to adopt and implement a nationally led strategy of prevention, protection and access to justice for victims of these crimes, in recognitions of the vulnerability of South Africa’s refugee population.

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