04 September 2019
Southern Africa Youth Forum (SAYoF) Statement over Xenophobia Attacks in South Africa The Southern Africa Youth Forum (SAYoF) a Regional platform for Youth and Youth Organizations with membership across the 16 SADC Countries has noted with great concern the recent violent activities targeting Foreign African Nationals in Xenophobic attacks in the Republic of South Africa.
These developments are not in the spirit of the recently adopted 39th SADC Heads of States Summit theme of, “A Conducive Environment of Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-Regional Trade and Job Creation” and also the recently launched Africa Free Trade Area which are anchored on the free movement of people, goods and services. This has led to the death of fellow Africans and the destruction of property. SAYoF is anchored on the beliefs of Ubuntu, Youth Solidarity, and Sustainable Peace and also that, youth in the SADC Region should be stakeholders and leaders at the center of building, promoting and maintaining Sustainable Peace hence making immense contributions to the development trajectory of the Region.
At a Continental level, the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, urges the Member States to receive people and secure their settlement while the 1991 Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community (AEC-Abuja Treaty) also emphasizes the free movement of persons and capital to enhance regional integration and development in Africa. The Migration Policy framework for Africa (MPFA 2006) also underlines that benefits of well-managed migration are for both origin and designation countries hence denouncing all forms of xenophobia and abuse of the Rights of foreign nationals. In SADC, the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Protocol on the Facilitation of Movement of Persons also strengthens the need to uphold freedom of movement within the Region.
Southern Africa Youth Forum (SAYoF) thus condemns in the strongest terms the xenophobic attacks on migrants living in the Republic of South Africa and calls for:
• The South African Government to take immediate action and all relevant stakeholders to guarantee and ensure the security of African nationals resident in South Africa.
• The South African Government to hold perpetrators of this heinous acts to account for their actions and for justice to take its course.
• SADC Heads of States and Government or the SADC Organ for Politics, Defence and Security to urgently convene a meeting to find lasting solutions on xenophobia in South Africa
• SAYoF further urges all the Youth in South Africa to be Ambassadors of Peace by shunning xenophobia and promoting sustainable Peace, a needed pillar for regional integration.
For Further inquiries Contact Regional Secretariat: regionalcoordinator@sayof.org or sadcyouth@sayof.org
The statement issued by the SAYoF Regional Executive represented by: (Eswatini, South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia)