Anti-immigrant violence in South Africa sparks concern across borders

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By Euronews  with Reuters, APTN
Anti-immigrant violence in South Africa sparks concern across borders

South African police fired rubber bullets to disperse clashes between nationals and foreigners in Johannesburg on Friday, as xenophobic violence spreads throughout the country.

The violence has killed four people in the past two weeks, and some foreigners have formed vigilante groups wielding machetes to protect themselves.

Amid high unemployment and rising xenophobia in the country that shed its racist Apartheid regime two decades ago, foreigners in South Africa have recently seen their shops looted, their cars burnt and their lives threatened.

Kenya, Malawi and other African governments have offered to evacuate any of their citizens in danger, while various African diplomats met in the capital Pretoria to address the issue.

“The recent attacks on foreign nationals, particularly fellow Africans from various African countries, are a threat to our historical achievements as a nation,” said the South African Minister of International Relations, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

On Thursday, thousands of protesters rallied in the eastern city of Durban, where the violence began, calling for peace and a united Africa.

Similar outbreaks of anti-immigrant violence in the country had killed 60 people in 2008.