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Immigrants Are Victims As 'Apartheid' Returns To South Africa

ISSUE 247
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Extremists Linked To The Terrorist Courts Of Mogadishu Burn Haatuf Newspaper In Buroa

IGAD Forces Must Stay Out Of The Territories Of Somaliland

Somalia's Islamic Group Imposes Harsh Rules On Media, Says Press Watchdog

UN Pulls Staff Out Of Somalia

Djibouti To Hold Summit To End Somali Violence

Range Resources Signs US$50 Million Deal With Canadian Canmex

Regional Affairs

Garbage Collection Puts Money In The Pockets Of The Poo

U.S.-Ethiopian Security Ties Deepen

CANMEX Signs MOU To Acquire Interest In
Two Oil And Gas Prospects In Puntland, Somali

Editorial
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International News

Somalia: Washington's New Approach To The SICC

If Killing Civilians Is Terror, Then Who's The Terrorist?

Muslim Cabbies Refuse Alcohol-Toting Fares

Two Teens Charged As Adults In Killing

Monitors Needed On Ethiopia-Somalia Border - Envoy

Scholar Calls On International Community To Interfere In Somalia

Case Of Ends And Means In Conflict

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

As Threat Of Regional Conflict Grows, A Critical Moment For Somalia

Ibis Triumph Raises Hopes For Rarest Bird

The Emerging Russian Giant Plays its Cards Strategically

Ex-Model Iman Hopes To Help Working Women

Islamic Courts Union Stirs Kenya

Somalia : Radical Militant Youth Group Becoming Dominant - Analyst

Food for thought

Opinions

Somaliland Native Doctors In The Diaspora Should Contribute To Their Community
Like Dr. Idan

Three Things That The World Can Do In Somalia To Avoid A Taliban-like Regime

Great Things That Happen In Somaliland

Here Again The Warlords Became-Islamo-Warlords!

Driven To Death By Political
Instability And Poverty

Reply To The Article Titled: ''Security Threat To Somaliland From Islamic Courts'' By Rashid Nur

Exposing The Lexicon Of The Anti-Somaliland Camp

BOOK REVIEW: LADH


By Sharmeen Obaid Chinnoy

Diepsloot , South Africa, October 13 , 2006 – As dawn breaks over Zimbabwe, Douglas Foster and five other men crouch behind a fence, waiting for a South African border police patrol to pass. Shivering in the cold September rain they wriggle their way through three sets of fences to enter South Africa illegally. Desperate to escape the spiraling poverty in Zimbabwe, they risk everything to join millions of other African immigrants in one of the continent's most economically prosperous nations.

No one knows how many illegal immigrants there are in South Africa. A recent census suggested 1.1 million, but the real figure is almost certainly far higher. They come from all over the continent - Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo - but their growing numbers are causing a major backlash, leading to what some describe as a second apartheid. Xenophobia is on the rise and in the past three months more than 32 Somalis have been killed.

Poor South Africans say that they are competing for resources with illegal immigrants. In Diepsloot, a sprawling, densely populated township of 120,000 people north of Johannesburg, Somali-owned businesses have been torched and looted several times this year. Two months ago, Johannes Seloane of the South African Business Forum of Diepsloot wrote a letter to the Somali shopkeepers asking them to leave immediately or face consequences. For now, most of them have chosen to stay.

"I cannot stop my people from resorting to violence," he said. "It's been two months now and they haven't left. My people are getting tired of them."

Hajir Omar, a Somali who came to Johannesburg in 1994 and now owns a grocery store in Diepsloot is scared of what may happen. He said: "I left the fighting in Somalia but now I'm facing the same thing here in South Africa. What do I do? I have nowhere to go."

Not far from his shop a crowd gathered to sing protest songs. Neda Jiyane, a 30-year-old mother of two children, said: " South Africa is for South Africans only. We fought for this South Africa, now it is for us, the freedom is for us and not for illegals." Another woman used a loudspeaker to urge the crowd to go from shack to shack. "Demand to see their passports and identification documents, if they don't have them, destroy their shacks," she said.

As Channel 4's Unreported World reveals in " South Africa: The New Apartheid", illegal immigrants are being increasingly blamed for everything, from the high crime rates to soaring unemployment. In Hillbrow in Johannesburg, one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in South Africa, Senior Superintendent Koos Van Rhyn said: "Zimbabweans deal in stolen goods and they are very much involved in street robberies." Twice a week, his team rounds up suspected drug dealers and robbers, almost all of them illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe or Nigeria. "It's easy for them to hide," says Mr. Van Rhyn. "We don't have their names, finger prints or photographs."

Five hours north of Johannesburg near the border with Zimbabwe, white farmers have taken things into their own hands. They believe the local police are corrupt and incapable of arresting the hundreds of Zimbabweans who cross into the country illegally every day, so they do it themselves. Annette Kennealy, an artist and farmer's wife, said Zimbabweans are responsible for a rise in crime. "Farm murders are probably the biggest thing and I think because they have nothing to lose they've become easy to co-opt into doing these things."

Unreported World - South Africa: The New Apartheid, Channel 4, 7.35pm tonight

As dawn breaks over Zimbabwe, Douglas Foster and five other men crouch behind a fence, waiting for a South African border police patrol to pass. Shivering in the cold September rain they wriggle their way through three sets of fences to enter South Africa illegally. Desperate to escape the spiraling poverty in Zimbabwe, they risk everything to join millions of other African immigrants in one of the continent's most economically prosperous nations.

No one knows how many illegal immigrants there are in South Africa. A recent census suggested 1.1 million, but the real figure is almost certainly far higher. They come from all over the continent - Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo - but their growing numbers are causing a major backlash, leading to what some describe as a second apartheid. Xenophobia is on the rise and in the past three months more than 32 Somalis have been killed.

Poor South Africans say that they are competing for resources with illegal immigrants. In Diepsloot, a sprawling, densely populated township of 120,000 people north of Johannesburg, Somali-owned businesses have been torched and looted several times this year. Two months ago, Johannes Seloane of the South African Business Forum of Diepsloot wrote a letter to the Somali shopkeepers asking them to leave immediately or face consequences. For now, most of them have chosen to stay.

"I cannot stop my people from resorting to violence," he said. "It's been two months now and they haven't left. My people are getting tired of them."

Hajir Omar, a Somali who came to Johannesburg in 1994 and now owns a grocery store in Diepsloot is scared of what may happen. He said: "I left the fighting in Somalia but now I'm facing the same thing here in South Africa. What do I do? I have nowhere to go."

Not far from his shop a crowd gathered to sing protest songs. Neda Jiyane, a 30-year-old mother of two children, said: " South Africa is for South Africans only. We fought for this South Africa, now it is for us, the freedom is for us and not for illegals." Another woman used a loudspeaker to urge the crowd to go from shack to shack. "Demand to see their passports and identification documents, if they don't have them, destroy their shacks," she said.

As Channel 4's Unreported World reveals in " South Africa: The New Apartheid", illegal immigrants are being increasingly blamed for everything, from the high crime rates to soaring unemployment. In Hillbrow in Johannesburg, one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in South Africa, Senior Superintendent Koos Van Rhyn said: "Zimbabweans deal in stolen goods and they are very much involved in street robberies." Twice a week, his team rounds up suspected drug dealers and robbers, almost all of them illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe or Nigeria. "It's easy for them to hide," says Mr. Van Rhyn. "We don't have their names, finger prints or photographs."

Five hours north of Johannesburg near the border with Zimbabwe, white farmers have taken things into their own hands. They believe the local police are corrupt and incapable of arresting the hundreds of Zimbabweans who cross into the country illegally every day, so they do it themselves. Annette Kennealy, an artist and farmer's wife, said Zimbabweans are responsible for a rise in crime. "Farm murders are probably the biggest thing and I think because they have nothing to lose they've become easy to co-opt into doing these things."

Unreported World - South Africa: The New Apartheid, Channel 4, 7.35pm tonight

Source: The Independent UK


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