●Cape Town : Soetwater – 5 drown together in sea – suicide to get gov attention?

09Jun08


[8.6.08 @14.20 via email]

Unconfirmed reports claim that 5 people are missing after desperate refugees walked into the the sea to drown themselves in a dramatic attempt to force the SA government to ask the UNHCR to intervene at the Soetwater refugee camp.

The Soetwater Refugee Leadership Committee (RLC) maintain that that the government’s plan for speedy reintegration back into the communities that violently expelled them in the first place is completely impracticable, as their families’ safety cannot be guaranteed. As repatriation is also not an option for citizens of strife-torn countries such as DRC, Zimbabwe and Somalia, tensions escalated after refugee leaders were told, in meetings yesterday with UN representatives, that resettlement in another country was not possible.

The RLC declared a hunger strike yesterday afternoon and all volunteers were asked to leave the camp for their own safety. Last night no one was allowed to enter or leave the camp and armed police patrolled the perimeter. This morning, left with no options and no one else to appeal to, a group of refugees decided they had no choice but to resort to desperate measures to get the world’s attention.

For comment contact Refugee Leadership Committee (RLC) leader Pastor Alain (Mwamba Kazadi) 083 520 7741.

Sent to: Cape Talk/Kfm, News 24, eNews, Argus, Die Burger, C Times, am and pm live, bush radio

[Y – Thanx for sending this – hoh]
[Where is Soetwater? where is the refugee camp? what’s it like there? shall see if i can find some pics – hoh]
This is what i found with a google search for soetwater – a holiday accommodation site which says that there are “white sand beaches you could walk on all day” pretty unfortunate given what an infamous place it is now till all the refugees,7000? are sorted out.
if you go to this site you will get a 360 view of the soetwater, the beach and sea with cape point? in the distance
.
http://www.search-capetown.com/virtual-tour/soetwater.php

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