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UNHCR concerned over attacks on foreigners in South Africa

IANS 12 Jun 2014, 8:00:49 AM IST
Cape Town: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has expressed concern over recent attacks targeting foreigners including refugees in South Africa.

"UNHCR is extremely concerned over the recent spate of violence in Mamelodi (north of Pretoria), affecting foreigners, including refugees and asylum-seekers," reported Xinhua citing a UNHCR statement on Wednesday.

Since June 7, foreign-owned shops in this area have been attacked and looted.

It is believed that the unrest began with complaints from South African nationals about service delivery, then fuelled by rumours that refugees had lashed out at nationals. This led to groups of youths launching attacks on foreign-owned shops, the UNHCR said.

A refugee has been killed, another is reported missing while dozens were reportedly wounded. An estimated 75 shops have been affected due to violence.