Saturday, May 31, 2008

UN Rights Expert 'Dismayed' At Xenophobic Violence

Let’s see. Is this the same talking shop that keeps quiet while Mugabe and other despots like him wreak havoc around the world only to re-appear as the ‘benevolent benefactor to help the needy’?

If they took pre-emptive action against people like Mad Bob, Sudan, Burma, Somalia, Liberia, Congo and.. and… there wouldn’t be a fraction of the crises in the world today.


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A United Nations human rights expert today said he was distressed at the current spate of xenophobic attacks on foreigners and ethnic minorities in South Africa, which has claimed the lives of 56 people.

"I express my distress at the recent xenophobic violence targeting refugees, migrants and South African ethnic minorities in Johannesburg and surrounding townships," Doudou Diène, the UN's Special Rapporteur on racism, said today in a statement.

Mr. Diène called on the Government of South Africa to carry out a thorough investigation of the acts of violence to bring the perpetrators to justice and to prevent the spread of atrocities.

He also urged the authorities to launch a comprehensive discussion about how to better integrate migrants in the country.

"Only a cultural and ethical approach can address the deep-rooted problems of racism and discrimination and promote long-term tolerance and living together among all communities," he said.

He said that the recent violence in South Africa underlined the relevance and legitimacy of the Durban Review Conference on racism which will be held next year.

Meanwhile the UN refugee agency is releasing 2,000 tents to the South African government to help provide much-needed shelter to the estimated 100,000 people who have been uprooted by the violence.

A spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said today that the majority of the displaced people were undocumented migrants from Mozambique, Malawi and other African countries, some of whom have since returned to their countries of origin, or to a third country.

To date, some 42,000 migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers, are sheltered in 95 makeshift sites, mostly in Gauteng and Western Cape provinces.

Among those affected are thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers from Zimbabwe, Somalia, Ethiopia and other African countries, whose homes were destroyed and businesses looted, and burned.

There are presently more than 128,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa, coming from a wide variety of countries.

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