Zuma cancels Indonesia trip due to S. Africa violence

18th April 2015, Comments 0 comments

South African President Jacob Zuma said Saturday he has cancelled a state visit to Indonesia in order to deal with a wave of xenophobic violence against immigrants and other foreigners.

Zuma "has cancelled his visit to Indonesia in order to attend to matters at home relating to the attacks on foreign nationals," his office said.

The decision came amid growing alarm within South Africa -- and rising outcry abroad -- over a surge of attacks against foreigners that have left several people dead.

More than 30 arrests were made overnight Saturday around Johannesburg alone.

"We reiterate our message that there can be no justification for the attacks on foreign nationals. These attacks go against everything we believe in," Zuma said in the statement on his cancelled visit.

"The majority of South Africans love peace and good relations with their brothers and sisters in the continent. We will engage stakeholders next week as we need all leaders to work together to bring the situation to normality. Working together we will be able to overcome this challenge."

Anti-foreigner violence has spread after erupting in the country's eastern port city of Durban several weeks ago, displacing thousands and sparking alarm at the United Nations and in neighbouring countries.

Most of the victims targeted "are refugees and asylum seekers who were forced to leave their countries due to war and persecution," the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees noted.

© 2015 AFP

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