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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.

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Nigeria: Zamfara state government wants gun licenses for residents over insecurity

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The Commissioner for information in one of Nigeria’s Northern states, Zamfara state says residents in the state can start approaching the police command in the state for gun licences.

The troubled state wants individuals to carry guns to defend themselves against armed gangs of kidnappers causing havoc in the country’s northwest.

The commissioner, Ibrahim Magaji Dosara in statement said the state governor had directed the state police commissioner to issue 500 gun licences in each of the 19 emirates in the state to those wishing to defend themselves.

“Government is ready to facilitate people, especially our farmers to secure basic weapons for defending themselves,” Dosara said.

The state also banned the use of motorcyles and selling of petrol in three districts and one emirate, in areas which are the most affected by banditry, Dosara said. The state is divided into emirates and the emirates into districts.

“Anybody found riding motorbike within the areas is considered as bandits and security agencies are thereby directed to shoot such persons at sight,” said Dosara.

Gunmen, locally called bandits, have been attacking and killing thousands of people in the country’s North-west since 2017. These assailants have attacked rural dwellers, destroyed their farmlands and in many cases only allow them to the farm after they have paid protection fees. They have also targeted travellers across the region in what some analysts say is one of the most lucrative kidnap-for-ransom syndicates in the continent.

Owning a gun in Zamfara needs permission from the state governor and state police commissioner.

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Ex-Liberian rebel warlord charged in US over attempt to obtain citizenship fraudulently

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A former commanding general of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), a notorious rebel group during the West African country’s civil war, Moses Wright, who had sought asylum in the US has been charged with fraudulently attempting to obtain US citizenship, among other crimes.

According to the United States Justice Department, the 69-year-old Wright lied about his involvement in the persecuting and killing of non-combatants during the war when he applied for US citizenship.

If convicted, Wright faces a maximum possible sentence of 165 years in prison and a $7m (£5.7m) fine, according to the JD.

“The United States will not be a safe haven for human rights violators and war criminals,” the United States Attorney, Jacqueline C. Romero, said on the indictment of Wright.

The indictment of Wright comes after two other former combatants in Liberia’s civil war, Mohammed Jabbateh and Thomas Woewiyu, were convicted in the US for similar offences while a third rebel leader, Sekou Kamara, was arrested earlier this year in New York.

The AFL was responsible for death of an estimated 250,000 Liberians which amounted to around 8% of the population at the time, in the war which started from 1989 to 1997 and in 1999 to 2003, according to a report by the Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in late 2021, which described the AFL as a “significant violator group found to be behind some of the civil war’s largest scale massacres.”

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