Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) - "I appeal to the government of the Republic of South Africa as a matter of urgency to intervene and contain this unnecessary and unfortunate violence against Somali business communities to preserve peace and stability." This is the appeal launched by the Prime Minister of Somalia, Abdi Farah Shirdon to South African President Jacob Zuma.
The Somali Prime Minister took the drastic step of writing an open letter to President Jacob Zuma after a recent spate of attacks reminiscent of the 2008 attacks in South Africa on foreign African nationals (see Fides 26 and 29/5/2008).
His move was welcomed by refugees and migrants’ organizations, after tensions flared in an apparent outbreak of xenophobic violence directed at Somalis in Diepsloot, west of Johannesburg, and Port Elizabeth.
Diepsloot residents had rioted against the Somali community after a Somali businessman allegedly shot dead two Zimbabwean. Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon’s appeal follows the Mozambican high commissioner’s plea to local authorities over the death of taxi driver Mido Macia in Daveyton, after he was dragged by a police vehicle in an accident shown on television around the world. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 05/06/2013)