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Kenyans among Foreigners Targeted in South Africa Attacks

South African police have arrested 189 people following several days of fresh xenophobic violence in Pretoria and Johannesburg in Gauteng

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Kenyans, Foreigners, South Africa
Looters at Marabastad, South Africa on September 2, 2019, during widespread attacks on foreign nationals and looting of their shops.

BY GEOFFREY ISAYA

Kenyans are among victims of arson, looting and physical attacks in the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Kenyans

Kenyan High Commissioner to South Africa Jean Kamau on Wednesday confirmed that several Kenyans had been attacked in Gauteng Province.

South African police have arrested 189 people following several days of fresh xenophobic violence in Pretoria and Johannesburg in Gauteng as well as in other cities.

At least five people have been killed during the sporadic violence against foreign-owned businesses.

Kenyans, Foreigners, South Africa
Kenyans are among victims of arson, looting and physical attacks in the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Pixabay

INCIDENTS

Ms Kamau has asked Kenyans living and running enterprises in the troubled regions to cooperate with the police and report all incidents.

“The Kenya High Commission has since reached out to the affected individuals and encouraged them to respond to the instructions and calls by the South African police to report and open files regarding all [incidents],” a statement from the ambassador based in Pretoria reads.

“Kenyan community members in South Africa are asked to ensure that they work with their local diaspora leaders to monitor the situation and take measures to safeguard their security. All must remain vigilant and aware of their environment,” Ms Kamau added.

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‘STOP IMMEDIATELY’

Sporadic violence against foreign-owned stores and enterprises has a long history in South Africa, where many locals blame immigrants for high unemployment.

The authorities have been struggling to contain a nationwide surge of anti-foreigner sentiment that flared up in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Mobs descended on business hubs and townships in various parts of the country, looting dozens of shops and torching trucks driven by foreigners.

Kenyans, Foreigners, South Africa
Kenyan High Commissioner to South Africa Jean Kamau on Wednesday confirmed that several Kenyans had been attacked in Gauteng Province. Pixabay

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in a video address broadcast on Twitter, said the attacks are “something totally unacceptable, something that we cannot allow to happen in South Africa.”

“I want it to stop immediately,” he said, adding that the violence had “no justification.”

REACTIONS

Nigeria has summoned its South African ambassador to express “displeasure over the treatment of her citizens” and said it would dispatch a special envoy.

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Zambia has cancelled an international friendly football match which was slated for Lusaka next weekend against South Africa.

African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki condemned the violence “in the strongest terms” but said he was encouraged “by arrests already made by the South African authorities”.

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Rhino Poaching in Namibia Drops in 2019: Ministy of Environment and Tourism

Namibia Rhino poaching drops in 2019, after sharp rise last year

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Rhino
Rhino poaching in Namibia has dropped since the last year. Pixabay

Rhino poaching in Namibia dropped to 41 individuals killed in all of 2019 so far, compared with nearly 72 during the same period last year, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism said Saturday.

Namibia has the second-largest population of white rhinos in the world after South Africa and, according to NGO Save the Rhino, it holds one-third of the world’s remaining black rhinos.

Poaching in Namibia to feed mostly East Asian markets has yo-yoed since peaking in 2015 at 95 rhinos, falling to 60 in 2016, 36 in 2017 and then going up to 72 again last year — all figures counted from January through mid-December.

“The public continues to assist us in arresting perpetrators of this crime,” ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said by telephone. “We have also beefed up our intelligence so that we can anticipate poaching activities before they happen.”

Rhino
A newborn female southern white rhinoceros calf, born August 14 and weighing 50 kilograms, stands next to its mother, Tanda, at the Safari Zoo in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, Israel. VOA

Despite being composed of the same substance as hair and fingernails, rhino horn is prized in East Asia as a supposed medicine for multiple ailments, and is also prized by business elites for trinkets and other products because of its rarity.

While cracking down on poachers, Namibia is also lobbying against the rules that govern the global trade in endangered species, after other countries rejected proposals to relax restrictions on legal hunting and exporting its white rhinos.

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It wants to allow more trophy hunting of rhinos and export of live animals, arguing that the funds it would raise would help it to protect the species, an argument rejected in August by countries that are party to the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species.

The ministry’s data showed 329 people were charged with poaching offenses between 2014 and 2018, of whom all were African apart from 17 Chinese. (VOA)