Foreign nationals outside of the UNHCR in Capetown clashed with law enforcement on Wednesday. They have now entered their third week of sit-in protest in demand that the United Nations hear their plight to repatriate them.
Only today has the situation escalated to confrontation with police that led to few arrests and paramedics attending to some who got injured.
The foreign nationals mostly from Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Somalia and Pakistan desperately wants to leave South Africa citing concerns of safety like the recent xenophobic attacks. They are calling on the UN agency to come in and help them go back to their respective countries.
The police have been trying to disperse these crowds and were met with resilience by some. Law enforcement had warned them beforehand to leave after which failure to do so would lead to more force applied against them. A woman holding her baby among the protesters said,”we are here fighting for our rights. Leave us.”