Tuesday September 17, 2019
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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”.

Next Story

Kenya Bans Child Adoption By Foreign Nationals

A special Cabinet meeting at State House on Thursday also directed the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection to formulate a new policy document to regulate the adoption of children by foreign nationals in Kenya

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Kenya, Bans, Adoption, Foreigners, Court
The Cabinet has announced a ban on adoption of Kenyan children by foreigner.

BY GEOFFREY ISAYA

The Cabinet has banned with immediate effect adoption of Kenyan children by foreign nationals as the government moves to tame rogue adopters.

A special Cabinet meeting at State House on Thursday also directed the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection to formulate a new policy document to regulate the adoption of children by foreign nationals in Kenya, State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena said in a statement.

COURT BATTLES

There have been concerns over the existing loopholes in adoption laws of local children by foreigners with court battles rife on the same.

Most recently, an American couple, Daisy and her husband Matt, won a vicious adoption battle with the State over their procedure of adopting a Kenyan baby.

The baby was handed over to the couple on Wednesday after they were granted legal guardianship by the Nairobi’s Children Court in April 2017.

Kenya, Bans, Adoption, Foreigners, Court
an American couple, Daisy and her husband Matt, won a vicious adoption battle with the State over their procedure of adopting a Kenyan baby. VOA

The matter came to the limelight after detectives from Directorate of Criminal Investigations stormed the residence of the couple and forcefully took the baby away.

The police said the baby was found abandoned as a newborn along with another baby, believed to be his twin.

In August 2015, the High Court stopped two Swedish couples and a Danish couple from taking three Kenyan children out of the country, after it was discovered that the minors were not abandoned orphans but had families.

The couples had been living with the children in Nairobi for months as families of the children searched for their missing minors, only to discover they had been declared abandoned orphans and offered for adoption to the foreigners by local adoption agencies.

Following a review of the adoption process by the Technical Assessment of the Legal Provisions and Practices of Guardianship, Foster Care and Adoption of children by the Government of Kenya and UN children agency Unicef, an adoption moratorium on foreigners was placed by the government in December 2014.

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The review showed there were weaknesses in the legal process, which was subject to manipulation leading to commercialisation of adoptions.

Besides the moratorium, the government also revoked the licenses of adoption agencies. In 2015, the government appointed an expert committee to implement the objectives of the moratorium.

In 2017, the committee, in a report presented to President Kenyatta, recommended the freeze to be maintained and that all the Charitable Children’s Institutions (Homes) be closed down.

As a result, the government is not renewing the licenses for the children’s homes, nor licensing new ones.