The Global Heroes


21st April 2023 By The Global Heroes Migration

A camp of approximately 100 asylum seekers that had been established outside the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) headquarters in Pretoria for more than three years was removed by South African police on Friday, according to AFP reporters.

Following a spike in xenophobic violence in 2019, the migrants had erected temporary tents in front of the UNHCR to request relocation to other nations.

A court had last week approved the relocation on the Pretoria City Council's behalf.

The Lindela Repatriation Centre, a temporary holding facility for illegal migrants who will be returned to their home countries, is where the refugees should be transported in accordance with the court's judgment.

The camp was destroyed by dozens of police officers with the assistance of immigration inspectors.

Kobus Meijer, the prosecutor, warned the migrants through a megaphone that they would be "arrested" and "detained" if they opposed the operation.

While some families agreed, others objected.

One refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo yelled, "I'm not going to Lindela, so it's better for me if I die here."

"They are asking to be taken to a refugee camp in another country, but that is outside our mandate," UNHCR spokesperson Laura Padoan told AFP.

The UNHCR has requested that the dismantling process be carried out "peacefully and in a way that the families are treated humanely, with dignity, and respect," Padoan continued.

Foreigners are permitted to seek for refugee status and work under South Africa's progressive asylum laws.

However, according to human rights organizations, the application process is broken and is causing a backlog of delays that is keeping many refugees waiting for years.

Economic migrants are drawn to South Africa, the most industrialized nation on the continent, which has led to occasional outbreaks of xenophobic violence as well as discontent among the country's jobless residents.

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