Monday, May 18, 2015

Blaming the victims

1,650 immigrants — have been arrested in South Africa during a controversial police crackdown after April’s deadly xenophobic violence, authorities said. The crackdown came after at least seven people were killed as mobs hunted down migrant workers from Zimbabwe, Mozambique and other African countries, forcing hundreds of terrified families to abandon their homes. The arrests of immigrants has prompted charges that the government was fanning xenophobic sentiment. 

The government statement added. South African authorities are also going to continue with expulsions of foreigners. More than 400 Mozambicans were expelled Friday and 427 others in South Africa are slated to be kicked out in the coming days. Oldemiro Baloi, Mozambique's foreign and cooperation minister, said his government was surprised by the deportations. "We expected to hold talks with the South Africans to discuss the problem, but we just saw people being arrested," Baloi said

Zimbabwean activist Elinor Sisulu described the operation as a kind of "ethnic cleansing".
"Any state operation which was the image of cleaning or cleansing I find very disturbing, and I think the timing of it is absolutely unfortunate. Even if there was any merit in the operation, the timing [of Operation Fiela] is completely wrong," Sisulu told IOL media. "There's been ethnic cleansing. In Rwanda, there was talk of cleaning out 'cockroaches' and I've actually heard people talking about cleaning out here."

Since the end of apartheid, South Africa has attracted millions of migrants fleeing political and economic turmoil in their own countries.

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