More than 100 refugees gathered at the offices of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Cape Town on Tuesday and Wednesday to plead for urgent assistance. Women with children were among those to camp out at the office with their documents, saying South Africa is no longer safe for them with an increase in violence and xenophobic attacks.
UNHCR spokesperson Hélène Caux told IOL news that the agency acknowledges the issues refugees raised and explained that the UNHCR was working closely with the South African authorities to continue providing protection through the issuance of appropriate identity documentation, facilitating access to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities.
She added SA was hosting almost 268 000 refugees and asylum seekers, mainly from Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia, IOL News reported.
The refugees said they would not leave until they are assisted by members of the UNHCR, who they claim are not doing much to bring to solutions to their problems. They vowed not to leave until the UNHCR changes its treatment towards them.