The continental human rights movement, Africans Rising, has expressed outrage over the xenophobic attacks against Black African migrants in South Africa.
The South African government confirmed on Wednesday that at least 10 people, including two foreign nationals, have been killed in the latest xenophobic attacks.
Africans Rising for Justice, Peace, and Dignity said it is “saddened and outraged” by ongoing systematic atrocities committed on African people in South Africa, over the past few years.
“Violent attacks on Black migrants have so far led to the loss of lives, countless injuries, and destruction of Black migrant-owned businesses. We strongly and unreservedly condemn these ‘afro-phobic attacks’ and call on the South African government to ensure safety for all,” the solidarity statement stated.
As a youth-led human rights group, Africans Rising urged South African citizens, particularly young people, to refrain from attacking what they call their ‘brothers and sisters’.
“Africans Rising calls on the South African government to take responsibility and be accountable based on the social contract that exists between it and the people by addressing the root causes of this violence.”
The incident has brought about retaliations against South African businesses in other African countries, particularly Nigeria where its telecommunications giant, MTN, was forced to shut down temporarily as a precaution. The South African government also closed its embassy in Nigeria temporarily due to angry protesters.
“We call on the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa and the entire government to play their role in making sure that there is a stop to these inhumane attacks. And to address the institutionalized Afrophobia that restricts the ability of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, stateless people to integrate.”
“Even if all the migrants pack up their bags and leave, poor Black South African lives won’t change because their misery is rooted in centuries of injustices,” said Coumba Toure, Africans Rising Co-Movement Coordinator.
The movement calls on the African Union (AU), African governments and the regional bloc SADC to condemn and take action against the ongoing brutality and violence in South Africa.
“We also call on all Africans, including religious leaders, artists, lawmakers, citizens, and descendants of Africa to raise their voices in condemning these unacceptable acts.”
Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan, Africans Rising Co-Movement Coordinator, also urged African governments to use intelligence in policing the situation. “We urge (African) leaders to address the issues arising in order to stop this plague,” says the Gambian-born movement leader.
Africans Rising calls on the citizens and descendants of Africa not respond to hate with hatred, but to join hands in building the #AfricaWeWant.