Friday, October 20, 2006

Somalis are under siege in South Africa

Mohammed Allie:

A spate of murders over the past two months has left Cape Town's Somali community, especially those who run businesses in townships, fearing for their lives.

The Somalis claim 40 traders have been the victims of targeted killings since the attacks started in August.

Cape Town police however, say they are only aware of 20 such killings in the past 10 months.

While police initially insisted the killings were part of South Africa's high crime rates, beleaguered Somalis are convinced they are being targeted, pointing out that the perpetrators often did not touch money or other valuables belonging to the victims.

Police have in recent weeks admitted that xenophobia rather than criminality could be behind the attacks.

Often the perpetrators walk into the township shops run by Somalis and simply fire at the owner before fleeing the scene.

The xenophobic nature of the attacks against the Somalis was clearly illustrated in August when a group of about 200 locals attacked Somali-owned shops forcing them to flee the seaside township of Masiphumelele.

The action forced the provincial government to intervene to restore calm to the area.

Township businessmen, who are alleged to be directing the attacks, claim the Somalis are attracting their customers by offering cheaper prices and forcing them to shut up shop.

Joburg doccie maker hits cinema

SOUTH AFRICA: Fleeing war, Somalis are targets of violence in adopted home


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

View My Stats