Africa: Deputy Majority Leader Urges South Africa to Commit to Ending Xenophobia

11 September 2019

THE Deputy Majority Leader of Ghana's Parliament, Sarah Adwoa Safo, has urged the Republic of South Africa to commit itself to doing more to end xenophobic attacks that is fast becoming an annual occurrence.

She explained that the situation in South Africa was disturbing anyone travelling to that country, especially black Africans, does so in fear of the unknown.

"Even our families are now living in fear when you are sent with a delegation to South Africa to perform a task on behalf of our respective countries," Ms Safo stressed when she addressed the 50th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Africa Region, in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Xenophon attacks on black African migrants were renewed in parts of South Africa on August 28 leading to the death of at least seven people. Three Ghanaians have so far been confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to have been injured as a result.

There has been worldwide condemnation of the violence with three African countries - Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi - pulling out of the just ended World Economic Forum citing the violence.

According to Ms Safo, "it is strange to see South Africa indulge in such dastardly acts against their fellow African nationals when the rest of the African continent solidly stood behind them during the apartheid era, the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, must "end now,". I call on authorities of the country to move away from rhetoric and punish perpetrators to serve as deterrent to those who will harbour such intentions in future".

Ms Safo, who is also the Minister of State in charge of Public Procurement at the Office of the President, also called on other African countries whose citizens are affected by the xenophobic attacks in South Africa to exercise restraint and circumspection in order to preserve the unity and integrity of the continent.

That, she noted, was captured in Article 5(e) of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Constitution which sought to "promote peace, unity, stability democracy, good governance and rule of law in all member states".

Meanwhile, Ms Safo chaired the Resolutions Committee and drafted the Special Resolution of the 50th Commonwealth CPA, Africa Region.

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