ITUC-Africa Condemns Xenophobia in SA

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Bennett  Oghifo

The Africa Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa) has condemned recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and on other Africans, and blamed economic woes for forced migration.

According to a statement signed by its General Secretary, Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, “ITUC-Africa strongly condemns these attacks against brothers and sisters of the same continent that feeds division among Africans and undermines progress towards African integration.”

The statement said diversity, fraternity and hospitality had always been part of what defines Africans and that migration had also always been part of Africa’s history that had positively shaped its societies and impacted on its people’s shared aspirations.

“We must strive to strengthen and deepen the bonds that unite us as Africans, as well as continue to work together to show the relevance of our communal co-existence and culture of hospitality.”

The group said they welcome the South African Government’s condemnation of the xenophobic attacks, urging the government of other African nations to improve their societies for the benefit of the people.

The group said, “We welcome the condemnation of the attacks by the South African Government and commend the measured reactions of African governments whose nationals have been affected by these xenophobic attacks. We call on progressive sections of South African society to weigh in and condemn these attacks, full in the knowledge that the persistence of xenophobia undermines the agenda of African unity and the solidarity of workers.”

They said, “At the same time we draw attention to the issues of economic and social malaise in Africa such as endemic poverty, huge unemployment, corruption, inadequate public services and widening inequality that lead to large scale forced migration of large numbers in Africa on the one hand, and on the other hand, how such factors become major sources of the anger and frustration that fuel xenophobic attacks in South Africa such as we have seen in the past week. These conditions demand that African governments take decisive actions to promote development and create decent employment for the sustainability and cohesion of each of our countries in Africa. “We must push our governments harder to live up to their responsibilities for managing our affairs better to ensure the wellbeing of the people. Say no to xenophobia and yes to solidarity among workers in Africa,” the statement said.