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15 Feb 2018 description

Southern Africa is currently hosting over 60,000 registered Somali refugees and asylum-seekers - half of whom live in South Africa.

By Markku Aikomus

PRETORIA, South Africa – The generosity of the South African government has ensured that over 300,000 refugees and asylum-seekers live in the country in a free and safe environment, noted UNHCR Special Envoy to the Somalia Refugee Situation.

23 Mar 2017 description

Summary of key findings Despite specific conditions and characteristics particular to the southern route, this paper’s findings are generally consistent with the dynamics of migrant smuggling along all routes out of the Horn of Africa.
Using a combination of primary and secondary sources, as well as new data from the RMMS Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism Initiative (4Mi), the paper finds that migrant smuggling along the southern route continues to thrive and exposes migrants in mixed flows to high levels of abuse and risk.2

24 Sep 2016 description

Despite the international attention that is currently focussed on migratory flows directed towards Europe and other Western countries, the continued flow of Ethiopian migrants and asylum seekers along the southern corridor to South Africa via Kenya, Tanzania and other southern African countries is significant.

01 Oct 2014 description

“A courageous decision”, said Father David Holdcroft, director of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) South Africa based in Johannesburg, to MISNA in commenting an appeal filed in Pretoria’s supreme court by Ethiopian and Somali refugees and asylum seekers, whose right to work as traders in the country.

Why is the decision to turn to the high court and ruling so important?

12 Jun 2014 description

Attacks on Somali-owned shops in and around Mamelodi township over the last six days have cost lives and livelihoods and are part of a disturbing trend of violence against refugees and migrants which the police and government are failing to address, Amnesty International said.

10 Jun 2014 description

Attacks on foreign-owned shops in Mamelodi, Pretoria, have left two refugees dead and dozens reported injured. At least 75 shops have been looted. The situation in the township northeast of South Africa’s capital city, Pretoria, remains tense. Refugees and migrants are being evacuated from the area by civic groups but there is concern for the safety of those assisting evacuation.

19 Jul 2013 description

Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants in Southern Africa: IOM Study

The IOM Partnership on Health and Mobility in East and Southern Africa (PHAMESA) programme has released a summary of initial findings of a study on health vulnerabilities of mixed migration flows from East, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes to Southern Africa.

The findings were presented at the 2nd Ministerial Conference on the Migration Dialogue for Southern Africa (MIDSA) in Maputo, Mozambique.

14 May 2013 description
report IRIN

PHILIPPI, 14 May 2013 (IRIN) - This week marks five years since tensions between foreigners and South Africans living in impoverished communities across the country erupted in xenophobic violence, leaving more than 60 people dead and tens of thousands displaced, their homes and businesses robbed and abandoned [ http://www.irinnews.org/Report/78386/SOUTH-AFRICA-Xenophobic-attacks-spreading ].

14 Dec 2012 description
report Voice of America

"What we’ve seen in the past few years is the securitization of immigration in South Africa,” said Roni Amit, a senior researcher at the Center for African Migration and Society at Johannesburg’s Wits University.

“There’s just this increased sense that we need to protect our borders and stop people from coming in. There’s this perception that there’s a flood of African migrants coming into the country and that we need to restrict that and keep them out and that they are a drain on the economy.”

28 Nov 2012 description
report Voice of America

OHANNESBURG — South Africa attracts more asylum seekers than any other country in the world. There are 58,000 refugees in the country and more than 200,000 pending cases for asylum seekers. Somalis are among the most visible of the refugee communities as they usually are traders who operate in the most destitute places. But this leaves them vulnerable to very high levels of crime.

19 Oct 2012 description
report IRIN

JOHANNESBURG, 19 October 2012 (IRIN) - After a wave of violent attacks on foreigners swept South Africa in May 2008, leaving 63 dead and tens of thousands displaced, both government and civil society pledged ‘never again’. Yet measures implemented in the past four years have failed to defuse continuing resentment of foreigners or to ensure justice for victims of xenophobic violence.

04 Sep 2012 description

IOM South Africa is to conduct a study to analyse the health vulnerability of men, women and children migrating from East Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region to Southern Africa.

The study which begins in September will be led by Lawry Research Associates International and is expected to be completed by July 2013. It will provide basis for evidence-based policy making among countries affected by mixed migration flows along this route in order to comprehensively respond to challenges brought by these mixed and irregular migration flows.

11 Jul 2012 description
report IRIN

JOHANNESBURG, 11 July 2012 (IRIN) - When Abdo Giro*, a 55-year-old evangelist minister and political dissident from southern Ethiopia, paid smugglers 55,000 birr (US$3,095) to take him from the Kenyan border town of Moyale to Johannesburg in South Africa, he was completely unprepared for the ordeal that lay ahead.

“It was totally different from what they promised me,” he told IRIN, speaking through a translator.

14 Feb 2012 description
report IRIN

MUSINA, 14 February 2012 (IRIN) - Four months ago, Clemence Uzizo, 21, a welder living in Soweto, Johannesburg's most populous suburb, made the mistake of venturing out to a local shop without his asylum-seeker permit. Neither the police who arrested him, nor the immigration officials who detained him, verified Uzizo's legal status before deporting him to Zimbabwe, the country of his birth.

20 Jan 2012 description
report IRIN

JOHANNESBURG, 20 January 2012 (IRIN) - Asylum-seekers entering South Africa are no longer being issued with the necessary documents to apply for refugee status. Without a so-called section 23 permit, they are being turned away from Refugee Reception Offices (RROs) and denied the opportunity to legalize their stay in the country.

10 Nov 2011 description

By Pumza Fihlani

BBC News, Port Elizabeth

Many thousands of Somalis have fled famine and warfare at home, braving a treacherous journey across the continent to reach South Africa but some feel their new lives in Africa's richest country are little better than the misery they left behind.

"If we wanted to fight we would have stayed in our land. We didn't come here to die we came here to take care of our families," says Qorane Haji, 29, whose shop was looted and burnt down in recent months.