South African refugees take guards hostage

Here is an update on the South African troubles from earlier in the week from Johannesburg, the largest city in  the “rainbow nation.”   If you are a regular reader of this blog you may recall the recent riots in South Africa where South African blacks attacked and killed black multi-national African immigrants.  Those refugees are now in camps and being urged to register with the government.  But they refuse.

Police stormed a refugee camp today [July 17] in southern Johannesburg to release four security guards held hostage by foreign nationals displaced by the recent xenophobic violence in South Africa.

The tented “safety camp” in Johannesburg’s Glenanda suburb houses about 2,000 people from 16 African countries and was established in the wake of widespread xenophobic attacks that killed more than 60 people, injured hundreds more and displaced tens of thousands in May this year.

The residents have voluntarily divided the camp into sections according to nationality; people from the Democratic Republic of Congo, numbering about 700 people, are the dominant group.

I had to laugh!  Notice how the Reuters reporter can’t resist using the word “xenophobic”— twice within two paragraphs—they love that word.  Xenophobia is fear of foreigners, but if you look back at the cause of the original riots the black South Africans actually fear losing their jobs to these illegals who have flowed into South Africa drawn, no doubt, by the international reputation of South Africa as the “rainbow nation.”

Reread the last line of the quote above.  Residents of the camp have voluntarily divided themselves by nationality.  Multiculturalists take note!  This desire to live among your own kind is natural.

So why are the refugees refusing to register with the government.  Apparently the plan is for them to either be reintegrated into South African society or repatriated to their home countries and they want neither.   Instead they are aiming for the brass ring:

….. most people in the camp were hoping to be resettled in either Canada or Australia, so they were rejecting both reintegration in South Africa and repatriation to their country of origin.

[Sigh of relief!]  I guess that means the US is off the hook (at least for now)!

A kook and a bully introduce a bill to bring more Iraqis to the US

Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and John Dingell (D-MI) re-introduced a bill this past week to increase by a minimum of 20,000 the number of Iraqi refugees we will bring to the US each year.  Now it’s not clear to me if this is 20,000 over the State Department’s 12,000 and over the additional 5000 Congress (Sen. Ted Kennedy) shoved down the Administration’s throat attached to the Defense Authorization bill earlier in the year.

Here is a portion of Hastings press release in which he thanks the groups who are supporting this effort.  NGO’s would get increased funding to do this work if the bill passes.

(Washington, D.C.) Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI), Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, lauded prominent non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and religious groups for their support of the Iraqi Refugee and Internally Displaced Persons Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement, and Security Act (H.R. 6496). The following organizations have endorsed this legislation: The Campaign for Innocent Victims of Conflict (CIVIC), Church World Service, Congregation of Divine Providence of San Antonio, Education for Peace in Iraq (EPIC), International Rescue Committee, the Leadership Conference on Women Religious, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Mercy Center, Mercy Corps, NETWORK, Open Society Policy Center, Pax Christi USA: National Catholic Peace Movement, the Presbyterian Church (USA), Refugees International, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Sisters of St. Joseph NW PA, and Save the Children.

Last night, Hastings and Dingell reintroduced H.R.6496, which addresses the impending humanitarian crisis and potential security break-down as a result of the mass influx of Iraqi refugees into neighboring countries, and the growing internally displaced population in Iraq, by increasing directed accountable assistance to these populations and their host countries as well as facilitating the resettlement of Iraqis at risk.

Read the bill (HR 6496) here (you will need to re-enter the bill number).   I couldn’t find any mention of how we could help refugees already returning to an increasingly stable Iraq.   I am such a cynic, but there is nothing in it for these groups if Iraqis go home.

And, as for the comment above that the internally displaced population is growing, where are they getting that information?