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