Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) and Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas has condemned the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa, calling it “shameful” and “an embarrassment”.
“Most of us who want to see this continent advance, this is not the kind of thing we expect from South Africa.”
The recent wave of xenophobic violence in South Africa has attracted condemnation from across the continent though President Jacob Zuma has promised to end it.
Military officers were deployed for the first time on Tuesday, April 21 to curb the violence.
Speaking on TV3’s Hot Issues – to be aired on Saturday, April 25 – Dr Chambas said the rainbow nation is regarded one of the leaders of the continent.
Therefore, such example is not worth emulating. South Africa has totally failed, he said.
“We are in an era when we are talking about integration and this is a country led by no other party than the ANC, which should be the vanguard of the African integration project.”
The xenophobic attacks were sparked by accusations that foreign nationals from other African countries are taking up jobs for locals.
“The threat to South Africa cannot come from the puny, little African community there. It is about time that there is a very serious reflection by our comrades of South Africa to really think deeply about what is plaguing their country and to address them in a very determined way that we don’t see a repeat of this.”
He advised the Zuma-led administration to carve out an end to the attacks.
“We just hope that the South Africa authorities will rise up to their responsibilities and bring a quick end to this and ensure that in future we don’t see a recurrence of this.”