Move to prevent new attacks on refugees (06.06.10)

Move to prevent new attacks on refugees (06.06.10)

By Brendan Boyle

The South African government has taken steps to pre-empt a flare-up of xenophobic violence after the World Cup.

Themba Maseko, the government spokesperson, said the cabinet had revived the inter-ministerial committee set up to manage the 2008 outbreak of violence against foreigners, which claimed the lives of 62 people two years ago.

The committee is headed by South African minister of police Nathi Mthethwa. Maseko said research by non-governmental organisations and reports from areas in which service-delivery protests had been staged suggested that there was a high risk of renewed attacks on political and economic refugees. There was no confirmed intelligence to support the concern, but Siyabonga Cwele, the minister of state security, would brief the cabinet on the threat, Maseko said.

A number of organisations, including the South African Red Cross and the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, warned last month that anger was building up and that foreigners had been warned that they would be attacked when the soccer fest was over.

Analysts said the likely slump in employment after the soccer tourists left would increase the pressure on poor people and might fuel xenophobic violence.

In Times Live.

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CSVR is a multi-disciplinary institute that seeks to understand and prevent violence, heal its effects and build sustainable peace at the community, national and regional levels.

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