2008-06-01 : 'We'll only stay in SA if we're given guns'

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2008-06-01 : 'We'll only stay in SA if we're given guns'

Postby GOSA » Wed, 2008-07-16 13:39

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?art_id=v ... 556C523127

'We'll only stay in SA if we're given guns'
Helen Bamford
June 01 2008 at 11:28AM

One of the Somali leaders at the Soetwater refugee camp said they would
only stay in South Africa if the government provided them with guns to
protect themselves because the police couldn't keep them safe.

Muhamed Nuur said other demands would be the return of their looted
property and to be given South African identity documents.

But he said that they would prefer to leave South Africa and to be given
refuge in a more peaceful country with the help of the UN.

However, Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool said there was no chance of
the UN stepping in to relocate people to countries like the US and
Australia. Rasool said that after negotiations on Saturday about 200
displaced Malawians had agreed to return home to Malawi as early as Monday.

'in Africa there is no peace'

A number of displaced people being sheltered at the community centres had
showed a willingness to return to their homes.

Those in the beach camps were developing "anti-South African feelings".
"Conspiracy theories are becoming folklore," he said.

But Nuur, one of a group of leaders from Soetwater representing various
nationalities, is desperate for UN intervention.

The group has put together a declaration to the people of Cape Town which
says: "Your government does not have the resources to look after us 20 000
refugees. Our wives and children are sleeping in tents exposed to the Cape
storms and winter is approaching."

They call on the UN to step in but say the UN cannot come in without an
invitation from the government. "And your government is more concerned
about saving face than saving our children from more trauma."

The leaders thanked Capetonians who had helped, but appealed to residents
to demand UN intervention "before disease and death come to the camp".

Serge Bami, a refugee representative from the DRC, said they were all
speaking with one voice. He said South African leaders had come briefly to
the camp and left. "We want someone who can give us a solution."

Bami said that even if refugees were given their own area in the city they
wouldn't stay. "We still wouldn't be safe."

Mwamba Kazadi, from the DRC, said: "They should stop lying to people and
saying go back to the townships."

He said South Africans didn't want them back and next time the attacks
could be worse.

Most refugees hope to be relocated to countries such as Canada, Australia
and New Zealand. Tinashe Runanca, a Zimbabwean representative, said they
didn't want to go anywhere in Africa. "Because in Africa there is no peace."

This article was originally published on page 1 of Sunday Argus on June 01, 2008
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