Uganda crisis team monitoring S.Africa


Amb Mugume


The Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said it is keenly following the ongoing situation in South Africa where foreign nationals especially those of African origin are being attacked.

Fred Opolot, the Spokesperson and Head of Public Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said although the incidents are reported to have already led to a number of fatalities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its High Commission in Pretoria has confirmed that, none of these has so far involved any Ugandan.

The Uganda High Commission in Pretoria, has advised Ugandans to exercise maximum caution, especially those living in Durban and Johannesburg as the most affected areas, and to keep in touch with the Mission as necessary.

The Government of South Africa, whilst condemning the attacks, has given assurances that it is taking appropriate measures to restore the situation to normalcy.

The latest outbreak of violence against immigrants in South Africa flared up two weeks ago after the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini reportedly asked foreign nationals to leave.

Members of the Zulu ethnic group took this as an invitation to attack foreign nationals from Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Somalia and Ethiopia amongst others.

South African media reports indicate that over 75 perpetrators of the attacks have been arrested.

Ambassador John Mugume, Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, told press in Kampala that they had set up an Inter-Ministerial Crisis Team to monitor the situation in South Africa and advise government accordingly as it continues to liaise with the Ugandan High Commission in Pretoria.

He said in case the attacks continue, government is ready to evacuate all Ugandans caught up in the attacks.

Ambassador Mugume says there are at least 200 legally registered Ugandan nationals in South Africa and the committee would find out where the unregistered Ugandans stay in South Africa and will help them register.

Wendy Swartz, the South African High Commissioner to Uganda, says her government has set up a panel of experts to advise on how to integrate foreign nationals in South Africa.


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