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Police call for reinforcements as refugees move into parking lot at UNHCR

They are responding to a court order from Wednesday, giving them three days to end their sit-in outside the UN premises.

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 - Refugees moved off the street of Pretoria and onto the parking lot of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Thursday.

They are responding to a court order from Wednesday, giving them three days to end their sit-in outside the UN premises.

United Nations officials moved their cars out of the parking lot and refugees rushed in to fill the spaces.

Meanwhile, a security officer locked the main gate while police called for reinforcement.

The group said they would continue to demand action from the UNHCR.

Refugees have been sleeping at the centre for weeks now, demanding to be moved to safety, away from the xenophobic attacks that they have suffered in South Africa.

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

They are being given food and blankets by Pretoria residents.

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