South Africa has continued to be
the highest recipient of the annual number of asylum applications
Asylum seekers in the country are mostly
from Bangladesh, the Democratic
Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia and Zimbabwe.
United Nations Refugee Agency’s mandate is
to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve
refugee problems worldwide.
Its primary purpose is to safeguard the
rights and well-being of refugees.
For eight days about 2,000 refugees have lined
up outside Community House in Woodstock, in the hope of
being assisted by the United Nations Refugee Agency.
The UNHCR meet with community leaders and presented
them with tokens which they would distribute to families who have been affected
by xenophobic attacks in the country and are asylum seekers.
UNHCR Alphonse Munyaneza said they were
targeting about 1,000 to 2,000 families to be interviewed, but they did not
expect the kind of influx of people they saw.
Munyaneza said they have been embarking on
a countrywide project to sample information about refugees in the country. He added
that the information would then be distributed to government and stakeholders.
There were allegations made that some
community leaders were selling the tokens to families and promising them a
green card if they went to the community house.
UNHCR Alphonse Munyaneza said they were aware of this and he wanted to
make it clear that the UNHCR will never give people green cards to live
Munyaneza said it was up
to the community to demote corrupt community leaders.
Woodstock Police’s Gert Khan they have been
minor incidents with no arrests.
Labels: UNHCR engaging with asylum seekers in Woodstock