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South Africa’s President Ramaphosa wants companies to employ only documented foreigners

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With an eye on recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has asked South African companies not to employ undocumented foreign nationals to avoid tensions with citizens in the country.

The president made the call on Monday as he addressed residents in Koster in the North West during the official commemoration of Human Rights Day.

“We should not allow ourselves that those who come from other countries, see ourselves being at war with them because it is uncouth African. The challenges of unemployment that we are facing should never mean that we should go and wage war against those people from other countries because once we do that, we just immediately promote this spirit of xenophobia that now we hate them, that they must go. What we are saying is that yes, we want people to be properly documented in our country, we want employers to be very careful to hire people who are properly documented.”- Cyril Ramaphosa

Earlier this month, residents in Alexandra in the north of Johannesburg embarked on the so-called Dudula campaign. The protest action led by the Dudula Movement targeted undocumented foreign nationals in the township.

Two controversial groups – the Alexandra Dudula Movement and Operation Dudula recently started campaigns against undocumented foreign nationals and support seems to be growing among South African communities who feel marginalized.

The South African leader condemned the campaign, describing it as against South Africa’s values, and warned that such actions could lead to vigilantism and also highlighted that foreign nationals have always been instrumental in the growth of South African industries, especially the mining industry.

Between 2010 and 2017 the immigrant community in South Africa increased from 2 million people to 4 million people. The proportion of South Africa’s total population that is foreign-born increased from 2.8% in 2005 to 7% in 2019, according to the United Nations International Organization for Migration, in spite of widespread xenophobia in the country.

 A reliefweb report says the increased number of immigrants in South Africa is largely due to its middle-income status, stable democratic institutions, and comparatively industrialized economy.

Incidences of xenophobia increased between 2000 and March 2008 in South Africa with at least 67 people killed. In May 2008, a series of attacks left 62 people dead; although 21 of those killed were South African citizens. In 2015, another nationwide spike in xenophobic attacks against immigrants, in general, prompted a number of foreign governments to begin repatriating their citizens.

Pew Research poll conducted in 2018 showed that 62% of South Africans viewed immigrants as a burden on society by taking jobs and social benefits and that 61% of South Africans thought that immigrants were more responsible for crime than other groups.

Metro

Killing of Pakistani journalist in Kenya targeted assassination, investigators say

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A team of Pakistani investigators who investigated the killing of veteran journalist and news anchor, Arshad Sharif, in Kenya, have released a report saying his murder was a planned and targeted assassination’.

Sharif, who was very critical of Pakistan’s government andpowerful army, was killed on October 23 when police shot at his car on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

The Kenyan Police was to later release a statement saying it regretted the incident, claiming it was a case of “mistaken identity” during a search for a similar car involved in a child abduction case.

“This was a planned, targeted assassination … rather than a case of mistaken identity as the Kenyan police claimed,” the report said.

The report further suggested the bullet that fatally wounded Sharif was fired from either inside the car or from close range.

Sharif’s killing had led to condemnations and calls for an independent probe with Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, announcing an investigation and promising that his government’s findings would be made public.

The investigators’ 592-page report released on Wednesday, seen by said the Kenyan Police issued contradictory statements following the killing of the 49-year-old journalist who was living in exile after he fled Pakistan in August to avoid arrest in the wake of multiple cases, including sedition charges, slapped on him for making comments on his show which the military and government deemed inciting and offensive.

As part of the investigation, two Pakistani officials had travelled to Kenya where they met with police and Sharif’s brothers Khurram and Waqar Ahmed, are residents in the eastern African country.

According to the report, Khurram told the investigators he had been in the car with Sharif at the time of the shooting, travelling home after dinner.

“They saw the roadblock, which Khurram believed to have been set up by robbers. As they sped through, he heard the fatal gunshots,” part of the report said.

“Khurram said he then called his brother who advised that he keep driving until they reached the family’s farmhouse, several kilometres away. Once at the house, the brothers found Sharif was already dead,” it added.

Meanwhile, Islamabad police have charged two Pakistani businessmen living in Kenya, who had hosted Sharif in the African country, with involvement in his killing.

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Metro

Nigerian Army denies Reuters reports of forced ‘abortion programme’ for Boko Haram victims

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The Nigerian Army has debunked a report by international media outfit, Reuters, which indicted the military authorities of forcefully terminating at least 10,000 pregnancies for female victims of Boko Haram jihadists who were abducted and impregnated by the terrorists in northeast Nigeria.

The news agency had, in a report on Wednesday, accused the Nigerian military of “conducting years-long illicit programme to carry out abortions among women and girls who have been victims of armed groups.”

“Since at least 2013, the Nigerian military has conducted a secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme in the country’s northeast, ending at least 10,000 pregnancies among women and girls,” the agency said.

It also said many of the women and girls had been kidnapped and raped by the armed fighters, and those who resisted an abortion ran the risk of being “beaten, held at gunpoint or drugged into compliance.”

Reuters said its report was based on witness statements from 33 women and girls, five health workers, and nine security personnel involved in the alleged programme, and on military documents and hospital records describing or tallying thousands of abortion procedures.

“Most of the abortions were carried out without the women’s consent and some were conducted without their prior knowledge, through abortion-inducing pills or injections passed off as medications to boost health or combat disease,” the agency said.

But in a response on Thursday, the Nigerian Army denied the report, describing it as “a body of insults on the Nigerian peoples and culture.”

In a statement signed by Army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Bernard Nwachukwu, said “Nigerian military personnel have been raised, bred and further trained to protect lives.”

“The Nigerian military will not, therefore, contemplate such evil of running a systematic and illegal abortion programme anywhere and anytime, and surely not on our own soil,” the statement said.

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