A group of African refugees who have camped outside the UNHCR offices in South Africa’s administrative capital of Pretoria, for the past three weeks, are pleading with the agency to “take them out” of the country.
They say they have been targets of xenophobia attacks.
One of them identified by a local news site as Alex Nkoy said the group is composed of citizens of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Rwanda and Ivory Coast.
Mr Nkoy said they were not receiving any protection from the police or the government.
“We are seeking and ask protection from UNHCR… South Africa is no longer a safe place for us as refugees, it is no longer home… South Africa has become hell for us as refugees…that is why we are asking UNHCR to take us out of South Africa to throw us anywhere in the world so we can feel safe.”
He said that some of them had stopped taking their children to school because they were being bullied because they don’t speak local languages.