2014-09-02
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Ebrahim meets Somali counterpart

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Wednesday, July 03, 2013

South Africa wants the world to recognise that Somalis have a safe home in the country, International Relations and Co-operation Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said on Tuesday.
iol news pic Ebrahim Ebrahim

Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Ebrahim Ebrahim

Somalis had equal opportunities in South Africa, he said after talks with his Somalian counterpart Jamal Barrow in Pretoria.

“We were therefore extremely disheartened when we learnt of brutal attacks on Somali 1/8and other 3/8 nationals in some of our townships,” he said in a statement.

“We were appalled by the criminal acts of violence, looting and displacement of people who came here with a hope for a better life, away from the conflicts in their own countries, especially since we owe a debt to the continent, including our brothers and sisters in Somalia, who supported us in our darkest hour of apartheid.”

He said South Africa welcomed a request by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud to deploy a fact-finding mission, led by Barrow, to assess the situation.

There was a spate of violent attacks against foreigners in Diepsloot, Orange Farm, the Vaal, and Port Elizabeth in May.

Ebrahim said Barrow and his team had communicated with the Somali community in South Africa, and visited some townships to see how their countrymen were living.

Barrow also met with Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor.

“Some of the discussions focused on the legal repatriation of Somalis who wish to relinquish their asylum status and return to their home country now that there is greater hope for peace and stability,” said Ebrahim.

He said the Somali deputy foreign affairs minister met Police Deputy Minister Makhotso Sotyo to discuss the safety of Somalis in South Africa.



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