Somalis returning home to escape S. Africa violence

Somalis have fled the civil war in their country for a better life in South Africa are now contemplating returning to their native land, as they find themselves the target of violent discrimination in South Africa.

Somalis returning home to escape S. Africa violence

World Bulletin / News Desk

Somalis have fled the civil war in their country for a better life in South Africa are now contemplating returning to their native land, as they find themselves the target of violent discrimination in South Africa. 

“It’s better to die in your country where your mother and father can see you and not worry so much,” said Ali Omar Mohamed, who fled Somalia two years ago. Having been robbed at gunpoint, he told Bloomberg that he is now ready to leave. “As soon as possible, I’ll go back,” he said.

As many as 60 foreigners have been killed in xenophobic attacks in South Africa, and already around 2,000 Somalis living in South Africa have returned home this year. Also, according to statistics quoted by Bloomberg, 50,000 people being forced to flee their homes and shops in 2008

The 21-year-old shopkeeper said “every time someone comes through the door I’m worried.” Many blame the attacks on Somali and Pakistani shopkeepers on jealousy, as a quarter of native South Africans suffer from unemployment.

The Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Elizabeth Thabethe told the South African Press Association, “you still find many spaza shops with African names, but when you go in to buy you find your Mohammeds and most of them are not even registered.”

Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon wrote to South African President Jacob in Junei calling on him to contain violence against his Somali residents.

Amir Sheikh, the chairman of the Somali Community Board, which represents Somalis in South Africa, said “Somalis are tired of the on-going xenophobic attacks, and the constant hurting and maiming of Somalis. It’s better to go home and die in dignity than to die far away from home.”

Last Mod: 23 Ekim 2013, 13:56
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