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Officials greeted with ‘no more South Africa’ chants at UNHCR in CT

Refugees from Somalia, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Pakistan said that they were fed up with xenophobia and wanted the agency to help them leave South Africa.

Refugee brought household items including pots and makeshifts braai equipment as they waited for assistance outside the  UN Refugee Agency in Cape Town on 27 October 2019. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN – There’s still no solution in sight for the refugees camping out at the UN Refugee Agency, also known as the UNHCR, in Pretoria and Cape Town.

Refugees from Somalia, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Pakistan said that they were fed up with the xenophobic attacks and wanted the agency to help them leave South Africa.

The UNHCR said it was working closely with authorities to continue providing protection and assistance with identity documentation.

WATCH: SA isn’t a place of safety for us – refugee spokesperson

Frustrated refugees in Cape Town chanted “no more South Africa” as officers approached them in the city centre over on Sunday.

The Waldorf Arcade has been transformed into a little settlement, with people lying almost on top of each other on mattresses with bags of clothing and buckets of food.

Mothers are seen putting their babies to sleep in the noisy and cramped areas, while older children try to entertain themselves by drawing or playing.

Clothes hang on makeshift washing lines outside and braai equipment is being used to make pots of food.

Burundi community representative Sylvia Nahimana said they wanted the UN Refugee Agency to take them seriously.

“Our decision is the same and we won’t change it. We want our safety and it’s out of this country.”

Eyewitness News was granted permission to speak to a nine-year-old girl from the DRC who has been at the centre since day one with her older sister and mother.

A few days ago, her mother fell ill because of the conditions. The young girl said she wanted to leave the country.

“It has been bad, but we just want to leave this country.”

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