Migrants in South Africa on hunger strike to demand UN aid
A group of victims of two weeks of xenophobic violence in South Africa have begun a hunger strike to press their demands for United Nations aid, radio reports said Thursday.
The group of displaced Somalis and Ethiopians sheltering at a municipal-run camp on the outskirts of the administrative capital Pretoria are refusing the help of the South African state, 702 radio reported.
State SAfm radio reported that police had fired rubber bullets Thursday following clashes with the migrants, which left one police officer injured, reported dpa .
On Wednesday, a government official said the state was setting up state-run shelters to accommodate some of the tens of thousands of people displaced by two weeks of attacks on mainly African migrants.
At least 56 people were killed and hundreds injured in the attacks, mainly in the slums around Johannesburg.
In Johannesburg, most of the fleeing migrants took shelter in nearby police stations and civic centres, while in Cape Town six municipal camps were set up to accommodate them.
Many of the displaced have expressed concern at the prospect of being moved to government-run shelters, saying they no longer trust South Africa to protect them and insisting the United Nations take over.
A group of 700 migrants had camped outside the offices of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees on Sunday and Monday, demanding the agency intervene.
They were later moved to a very rudimentary camp on the edge of the city.