Issued by the Acting Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in South Africa, 20 May 2008
The United Nations organizations in South Africa are deeply concerned about the continuing xenophobic related violent attacks against foreign nationals and some South Africans living in the province of Gauteng over the past several days. Several people have been killed and many, including children, injured and left homeless.Equally of concern are the violence and xenophobia that have been on going in other parts of SA in past months.
The United Nations organizations lament that most of the victims are law-abiding migrants, refugees and asylum seekers seeking a safe and better life for their families among South Africans. We remain gravely concerned at the prospect of further escalation in violence especially against the most vulnerable including women, children and poor families.
In this regard the United Nations organisations in South Africa recognize and appreciate the condemnation of such violence by the highest political and governmental authorities, including the President of the Republic and other senior and influential individuals of the country. Furthermore the deployment of more police to affected areas to restore order and bring an end to violence is most welcome.