South Africa: Now that Mandela is dead the foreign migrants must leave?

As I read this one more story about “xenophobic” attacks in South Africa entitled ‘Six shot amid xenophobic mayhem,‘ I said to myself, ho-hum, nothing new here—the rainbow nation is crumbling (if it ever existed!).   Then near the end this line jumped out at me:

“People have been talking a lot lately, saying Mandela is dead so all the Zimbabweans and Mozambicans must leave now. But I think people are people. Everybody belongs,” she said.

So, is she admitting it was all a Leftist myth that black South Africans would “welcome” the stranger and as long as Mandela lived they had to keep up the front? And, although she appears “welcoming” her fellow black South Africans (it is not the white boys robbing the Somali shops) obviously want to keep South Africa for their kind of people.  In this case, the Somalis, Zimbabweans and Mozambicans, although the same race, are not their people and they want them to go back to where they came from!

In June Somalis protested xenophobic attacks against them in Cape Town.

Here is the news from Independent Online:

Johannesburg – At least six people, including a 6-year-old child, were shot in Munsieville, Krugersdorp, in a New Year’s Eve attack.

A woman who lived near a Somali shop said trouble started at about 4pm when a teenager entered the small shop, known in the area as the “family store”, with a knife and tried to steal some bread.

The shop was rebuilt recently, after being burnt down two months ago in an attack on Somali shopkeepers.

The woman, who did not want to be named because she feared reprisals from neighbours, said she heard shouting and saw a boy running down the road.

The eyewitness said the youth was shot by one of the shopowners and collapsed near a tree on the edge of a road.

“I heard it. I thought it was a cricket (firecracker), but I saw the teenager running and then he fell down. I think he was dead,” she said.

Police arrived after the shooting and made some arrests, leaving the shop open, she said.

Residents, many of them teenage boys, decided it would be a good opportunity to raid the shop. But there was resistance from the Somalis, who defended themselves by shooting at their attackers, witnesses said.

Read on as the mayhem continued.  And, the comments go on for pages!

Photo is from this story we reported over the summer.

Polio coming out of Syria with refugees; UN to blame?

Syrian refugee kids get polio vaccine in Lebanon
Mohammad Zaatari / AP

Refugees from rebel-held areas most vulnerable.

The New York Times published this opinion piece from medical professionals about the likelihood that unvaccinated Syrians will bring polio with them to neighboring countries.   They place the blame on the UN.

From the NYT (Syria’s raging health crisis):

 Across Syria, coverage went down to 60 percent in 2012, and was as low as 50 percent in the embattled eastern city of Deir al-Zour, a front line between government and rebel forces. The latest W.H.O. figures from 2013 show that the level is now down to 36 percent in largely rebel-held Deir al-Zour Province, although it has remained at 100 percent in government-controlled areas such as the western stronghold of Tartus.

Given these conditions, it was no surprise to medical practitioners that a polio outbreak occurred. The question is why the international community did not prepare better for this eventuality. A disturbing part of the answer is that the United Nations itself has aggravated the situation.

Like other United Nations agencies, the World Health Organization works directly with the Syrian government. The W.H.O.’s Syria office is in the Ministry of Health building in Damascus; many of its staff members are former ministry employees. A recent Reuters report on how the Assad government uses red tape and threats to prevent the provision of aid in opposition areas has raised doubts about the ability of the W.H.O. to act with impartiality.

The W.H.O., working with the Syrian government, excluded Deir al-Zour from a polio vaccination drive that began in December 2012. According to the W.H.O., the province “was not included in the campaign as the majority of its residents have relocated to other areas in the country.” Ten months later, this was the province where polio re-emerged.   [I think the greater likelihood here is that no aid workers wanted to risk their lives with the Islamic militants who don’t want children vaccinated.—ed]

There is no evidence that most of the province’s one million residents had, in fact, migrated. The United Nations World Food Program continued to distribute food there throughout 2012 and 2013 (with occasional interruptions because of worsening security conditions). In December 2012, the agency reached 69,000 people in Deir al-Zour.

Last month, an investigation by the German weekly newsmagazine Der Spiegel charged the W.H.O. with obstructing the testing of polio samples from the Deir al-Zour region. These samples had been presented by an agency working under the aegis of the Syrian National Coalition. It took nearly a month to get the test results — positive for poliomyelitis — and then only from an independent provider in Turkey. By that time, thousands of displaced people had moved within Syria or fled as refugees to neighboring countries, most likely spreading the disease.

There is more, read it all.

The photo is from this story at NBC News from November.  It is worth reading.

Just a reminder, we have a ‘health issues’ category here at RRW with 187 previous posts about refugee health problems.  A couple of recent posts in the category address the growing concern about Syrians with polio.