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South African Parliament Suspends Sitting Over Xenophobic Attacks
The South African Government on Friday announced the suspension of parliamentary activities so that members could go back to their constituencies to address the wave of xenophobic attacks ravaging parts of the country.
Over seven African migrants have been killed in targeted raids on foreigners by South Africans protesting the rising unemployment in the nation which they attribute to the presence of African immigrants.
Thousands have also fled the violence which has crippled many non-South African business interests.
A statement by parliament, however, noted that members were being allowed to go back to their various constituencies so they could spread the anti-xenophobia message that the government was preaching
National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete said the parliament cannot close its eyes to the crisis rocking the country.
“Parliament adds its voice to the all-round condemnation of violence against foreign nationals, racism and forms of intolerance in our country. The dignity and respect we should give to all people was shown to us many times over by particularly the people of Africa during our own struggle for non-racialism, non-sexism, freedom and human rights,” the statement by the parliament noted.
South African president, Jacob Zuma, met with members of the international community early this week to appeal to them and also assure them of their safety.
Soldiers were also deployed to flash points in the country where African immigrants have been violently murdered by rampaging teams of youths.
The violence has brought global condemnation with many saying the government was not doing enough to curb the rising violence.
Many African governments have brought their nationals back home to avoid the carnage
The unrest has also been widely condemned in South Africa itself, with large turnouts at anti-xenophobia rallies in cities across the country.