South Africa: Refugees' Protest Outside UNCHR Offices in Cape Town Turns Violent

Hundreds of foreign nationals have been evicted from a Cape Town arcade where they were holding a sit-in outside UN offices. The protesters, whose sit-in began on October 8, wanted to be evacuated from South Africa following incidents of xenophobia and because they felt targeted as foreigners. In a series of pictures by GroundUp's Ashraf Hendricks, a woman, in tears, said that she was separated from her seven-month-old baby during the eviction.

30 October 2019

Cape Town — Refugees who staged a three-week-long sit-in outside the UN High Commission for Refugees' (UNHCR) offices in Cape Town over fears of xenophobia have been forcefully removed by police, eNCA reports. Law enforcement officers carried several people away and loaded them into armoured vehicles.

The clashes between the officers and the protesters come after the Cape Town Magistrate's Court granted a court order on October 18 following an application by the Waldorf Arcade building's landlord to evict the group.

Over 5000 asylum seekers and refugees camped outside the UNHCR offices requesting the agency to assist them in leaving the country as they felt unsafe. During August and September, a wave of xenophobic violence left 12 people dead when foreign-owned shops and properties in and around Johannesburg were looted and destroyed.

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