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Refugees vow to continue sit-in at UNHCR office until they're helped to leave SA

The refugees, mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, said their sit-in was drawing more support daily.

FILE: Protesters pictured on 16 October 2019 outside the offices of the UNHCR in Pretoria against xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Picture: Jean-Jacques Cornish/EWN

PRETORIA - Hundreds of refugees outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) offices in Pretoria on Wednesday said their sit-in protests would continue until they were moved to other countries to escape xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Their leaders spoke to the UNHCR’s head Fellipe Grande who was on an official visit to South Africa this week.

The refugees, mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, said their sit-in was drawing more support daily.

Spokesperson for the organisation Women and Children in Crisis Alex Nkoy said police were protecting them.

“Police are here for security and they never arrested anyone,” he said.

Nkoy said they feared the xenophobia in South Africa could develop into a genocide like in Rwanda.