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'Awareness is key to combating xenophobia'

UN High Commissioner for refugees says awareness is key to fighting xenophobia.

UN High Commissioner for refugees says awareness is key to fighting xenophobia. Picture: @CCR_Africa via Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Getting communities to understand the plight of refugees is one way to combat xenophobia.

This is according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Patrick Kawuma Male.

He says increasing awareness about refugees and asylum seekers and dispelling myths about foreign nationals are key to fighting xenophobia.

Male says government has a leading role to play, "The onus mainly should be on the national authorities. Civil society comes in to support the government, because combating xenophobia surely is a national issue."

South Africa has also been hit by a waves of xenophobic violence in recent years.

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