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SAHRC looking for solutions after CT clashes between refugees, cops

A police crackdown against foreigners occupying the offices of the United Nations Refugee Agency resulted in chaos on Wednesday.


CAPE TOWN - The South Africa Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Wednesday said it would engage with various role-players following a violent protest relating to refugee safety.

A police crackdown against foreign nationals and refugees occupying the offices of the United Nations Refugee Agency resulted in chaos on Wednesday.

As the drama unfolded, about 100 people were arrested and later released.

The refugees were participating in a nationwide protest against xenophobic violence calling on the UN to intervene to get them out of South Africa.

The SAHRC's Chris Nissen said: “They want the UN to arrange for them to go to other countries, that’s not possible because there are protocols in place.”


Police fired rubber bullets, threw stun grenades and opened water cannons at refugees who staged a sit-in for more than three weeks.

During operations on Wednesday, some women were dragged on the ground as they tried to hold on to their children. Several people were wounded.

During the chaos, foreigners ran into a nearby church where the reverend warned police not to set foot inside.

A Congolese man alleged he was assaulted by police.

He said they were particularly concerned about women and children.

“The police came to beat us, threaten us and treated us like animals.”

A woman, who had armed herself with a pot for self-defence, said all they want to do was leave the country.

“Take us out of South Africa! We want to go!”


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