African refugees in their numbers have camped outside the United Nations refugees agency in South Africa to demand resettlement.
The refugees are claiming they’ve been victims of xenophobia in South Africa.
Some of the refugees from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo are pushing for a return to their countries.
According to Africa News, some of the asylum seekers have stated their concerns with treatment meted out on them by South African locals.
“We are here at UNHCR to ask for protection because we are so tired of xenophobia, the lives of our kids are in danger, the future of our kids is in danger, that’s why we come to UNHCR to give us protection,” an asylum seeker was reported as saying.
“We have the right as refugees, here’s the agreement between the government of South Africa and UNHCR, here’s the agreement and we know about it, we have the right to ask for a third country. It is still our right, to come and ask for the third country, it’s written here, they know it as much as I can pretend to know it, the South African government and UNHCR,” said Johnny Moose, another asylum seeker.
The UN Refugee agency said it was investigating the situation and wants to know what is happening in Lindela where the refugees are camped.
The UNHCR spokesperson Buchizya Mseteka ruled out possibilities of resettlement to other countries.
“But I will tell you what is this, UNHCR has no control over which country can pick up these individuals for settlement, that’s up to the host country to decide, but to tell you how difficult it is, the last year 2021 only one percent of those who applied for settlement globally were accepted, only one percent, so it tells you things are tight even in host countries,” he said.
Others seeking to go to other countries are being assisted to move.
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