South African authorities prepare to deport hundreds of immigrant workers
The deportations follow a string of xenophobic attacks. The crackdown began on as South Africa moved to convene negotiations between Zimbabwe's warring political parties.
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Since attacks against immigrant workers escalated in May, the South African government has been struggling to accommodate foreigners who have been displaced in ad hoc shelters, reports The New York Times. The challenge is exacerbated because of rampant infighting among migrants from different African countries within the emergency camps.Skip to next paragraph
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The Christian Science Monitor also reported that some sympathetic South African nationals aided displaced migrants by organizing task forces of churches, mosques, and nonprofit organizations to set up relief distribution systems.
Since such ad hoc measures to protect immigrants are not sustainable, the South African government is in favor of repatriation. But the deportation efforts come at a time when many migrants will return to increasingly dire conditions in their home countries. For example, according to a report in The Guardian, millions of Zimbabweans are threatened by mass starvation and are thus inclined to flee their country rather than repatriate.
Interestingly, the South African authorities' crackdown on immigrants occurred on the same day that the government was hoping to convene negotiations between Zimbabwe's feuding political parties – one day after President Robert Mugabe met with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in Harare, according to the International Herald Tribune.
After months of negative coverage of his kid gloves approach towards his counterpart Robert Mugabe, Mbeki was able to bask on Tuesday in headlines that proclaimed him as a minor miracle worker.
The talks are now slated to start Thursday in South Africa, reports the Voice of America. Representatives of Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF Party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change are to arrive Wednesday to prepare for talks on power-sharing.
The agreements established a two-week deadline for an agreement that would include setting objectives and priorities for a new government, a new constitution, and an implementation mechanism.