|June 27, 2008||Permalink|
Last month, during two weeks in May, 2008, a series of attacks took place all over South Africa. In a clash between the poorest of the poor, gangs of local black South Africans descended on informal settlements and shanty towns, armed with clubs, machetes and torches, and attacked immigrants from Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabawe. Locals accused these immigrants of taking jobs away from them, among other grievances. Over the course of those two weeks, over 60 foreigners were killed, several hundred injured, and many thousands of immigrants are now displaced, or are returning to their home countries. Dealing with the aftermath of the attacks has become a large problem for South Africa - prosecuting attackers, accommodating refugees, dealing with a labor shortage, political damage control, seeking to address root causes, and some soul-searching are all taking place. (15 photos total)
A human smuggler cuts a border fence while illegally bringing Zimbabwaen refugees across the border into South Africa May 27, 2008 near Musina, South Africa. Facing economic strife and political oppression at home, Zimbabwaens continue to flood accross the border, despite recent violent attacks against foreign immigrants in South Africa. A human rights group recently reported that up to 49,000 Zimbabwaens are illegally crossing into South Africa each month, adding to the 3-5 million Zimbabwaen refugees already residing in South Africa. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
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