AU Welcomes S’African Steps to Quell Xenophobic Violence

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The African Union (AU) said it welcomes efforts by South Africa to stem the tide of xenophobic violence that has rocked the country in recent weeks.
But the AU said authorities must do more to protect African and other foreign migrants.
AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said the challenges faced by South Africa – poverty and unemployment – are challenges confronting most, if not all countries on the continent. But, she said no circumstances can justify the attacks on foreigners.
AU Deputy Chairperson Erastus Mwencha said the continental body also wants to remind South Africans not to forget the sacrifices many Africans made in the struggle to end apartheid.
“First of all, as (the) African Union, and through the chairperson, we have condemned what has happened in South Africa. We hope that the government can do more particularly to protect the rest of the citizens from Africa and the rest of the world, but also to bring to justice those that perpetrated this heinous crime,” Mwencha said.
He said the AU is hoping that those perpetrating the anti-immigrant violence are in the minority in South Africa. And, he urged South Africans not to forget their immediate history when many African nations sacrificed to end apartheid. “If you look at the liberation of South Africa from apartheid, the rest of the continent stood with the people of South Africa. And, unfortunately, maybe because we don’t stress our history a lot, this is forgotten and what we see is the memory that has elapsed,” Mwencha said.
He commended those African nations whose nationals are experiencing xenophobic attacks in South Africa, but did not retaliate. Mwencha said Africa is interdependent and must forge integration because that’s the only way the continent emerge stronger.

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