The African Union (AU) has condemned attacks on foreigners in South Africa and has since called for an immediate end to the xenophobic attacks, a statement emailed to Xinhua on Thursday said.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the chairperson of the AU, described the attacks as unacceptable and called for an immediate halt.
Whatever the challenges we may be facing, no circumstances justify attacks on people whether foreigners or locals. It is unacceptable, the AU chief, who is also former wife to current South African President Jacob Zuma, said in the statement.
Attacks on foreigners living in South Africa have escalated with foreign-owned shops looted and torched while some foreigners have been burnt alive and others brutally assaulted.
While welcoming current efforts by the South African government to engage those affected as well as the deployment of more police officers to provide protection and keep law and order, the AU chief decried the incident as particularly unfortunate as the continent approaches the celebration of the African Freedom Day on May 25.
“On 25 May we remember the founding of the Organization of African Unity, which played such a critical role in mobilizing international solidarity for the end of apartheid,” she said.
The challenges faced by South Africa, poverty and unemployment, are challenges faced by all countries on the continent and we must work together to address these, and build a better future for all Africans, she added.
At least five foreigners, including a 14-year-old boy, have been killed in attacks in South Africa’s coastal city of Durban. The attacks have since spread to other cities. Enditem