42 Dead– 13,000 Immigrants Flee South African Violence
42 immigrants were killed in immigrant attacks that have left over 6,000 immigrants homeless.
They’re hacking up the immigrants in South Africa.
Gangs weilding axes marched through the streets. (Telegraph)
Over 13,000 immigrants have fled their homes during the xenophobic attacks.
A crowd, armed with clubs, machetes and axes, goes on a rampage during violent xenophobic clashes on the outskirts of Johannesburg. President Thabo Mbeki has made an impassioned appeal for South Africans to respect the dignity of foreigners as calls grew for troops to be sent in to stamp out xenophobic violence. (AFP/Gianluigi Guercia)
The Zulu based Inkatha Party is accused of organizing the attacks against the immigrants.
All Africa reported:
The violence that is targeting foreign nationals in South Africa on Wednesday spread to the volatile Zulu heartland of KwaZulu Natal.
At least 24 people have already been killed in the wave of attacks that erupted last week. Locals accuse the foreigners of taking away their jobs and fuelling the high crime rate in the country. Six immigrants were wounded when mobs attacked a Nigerian owned tavern in Durban Wednesday. Hundreds of people armed with bottles and stones rampaged through the area attacking Nigerians. An ANC official in the area accused the Zulu based Inkatha Freedom Party of organising the attacks. The IFP meanwhile denied the allegations and issued a statement saying they were saddened by the xenophobic attacks.
Over 3 million Zimbabweans are thought to be in South Africa and are bearing the brunt of the violence. The majority have fled political violence and economic hardship in Zimbabwe. Migrants from other African countries have been caught up in the violence. Thousands have now fled their homes and sought sanctuary in police stations, churches and premises used by aid groups. Officials on Wednesday began serious discussion on whether the army should be deployed to quell the unrest. President Thabo Mbeki’s senior aide Essop Phahad confirmed that police, defence and justice departments were discussing possible troop deployment. The police have already asked the army for help with equipment to use in quelling the violence.
Rioters and residents from Reiger park flee as South African police fire rubbber bullets during clashes on the outskirts of Johannesburg on May 20, 2008. South African President Thabo Mbeki called in troops Wednesday to halt attacks on foreigners as the death toll from more than a week of violence nearly doubled and violence began to spread. (AFP/Gianluigi Guercia)