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Violence in South Africa: Bangladeshi expats in dire straits

Discussion in 'Bangladesh Defence Forum' started by Black_cats, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. Black_cats

    Black_cats SENIOR MEMBER

    Dec 31, 2010
    +0 / 6,819 / -5
    Violence in South Africa: Bangladeshi expats in dire straits

    Arafat Ara | Published: September 10, 2019 10:24:10 | Updated: September 10, 2019 13:13:34

    [​IMG]Photo collected from internet has been used for representational purpose only

    Bangladeshi expatriates are now in dire straits while many others remain stranded in South Africa following an anti-immigrant movement there, said officials and migrants.

    Talking to the FE over phone, Bangladeshis staying in South Africa said more than 1,000 Bangladeshi migrants were affected badly as their business entities and shops were damaged by the agitators.

    South Africa had been going through an anti-immigrant movement for last 10 days. So far, 10 people died in conflicts, according to media reports.

    More than 200,000 Bangladeshis are staying in South Africa. Most of them are involved with business or related activities who work as salesmen and managers.

    Md Mominul Haque, general secretary of Bangladesh Parishad Organisation, said the most-affected area was Jullies, 2-3 kilometres off Johannesburg.

    Over 200 Bangladeshis were left penniless as their shops were damaged and looted by the agitators in this area, he added.

    He said migrants also came under the attack all over South Africa. Many Bangladeshis lost everything and took shelter in safe homes. The association also gave shelter to more than 30 Bangladeshis, Mr Haque added.

    Besides, he said, many victims took refuge in the houses of their relatives and friends.

    The association having 5,000 members in South Africa sought help from the Bangladesh High Commission for taking necessary steps to ensure their security.

    Md Taharatuzzaman Jim, a Bangladeshi expatriate who works at a shop, said he cannot keep his shop open because of violence.

    "We are worried as we might be also attacked by the protesters anytime," he said, adding that his owner was facing losses due to trading disruption.

    When asked, he said, "If the situation does not get back to normal soon, it will not be possible for me to survive in this country."

    Like Mr Jim, another Bangladeshi Abdullah Al Mamun Sagar also feels insecure as he runs a supermarket at Johannesburg.

    "Although all my shops still remain safe, but I feel uncertainty," he said.

    Locals don't want the migrants to stay in their country as they think they are victims of discrimination, he added.

    Anti-immigrant movement or xenophobic attacks also happened many times in this country. But this time, it is something different as the movement against migration has started across South Africa, said Mr Sagor who has been staying there for 16 years.

    The people especially those from the Zulu community are very much strong with their demand for expelling the migrants from their country, he added.

    He also sought support from the Bangladesh High Commission in Pretoria, demanding taking steps to protect Bangladeshis from violence.

    Shabbir Ahmad Chowdhury, Bangladesh High Commissioner in South Africa, in a video message urged the Bangladeshis to remain alert and update the mission about any kinds of violence they face.

    He also requested the people to cooperate with the police who are actively working to stop conflicts.

    The Bangladesh High commission was also keeping close communication with the South African authorities in this regard, he added.

    Anti-immigrant sentiment is a longstanding issue in South Africa. Immigrants from the countries like Nigeria, Mozambique, Somalia and Zimbabwe are often regarded by South Africans as competitors for jobs and social services.

    About 2.0 million foreigners are now staying in South Africa. They are engaged with different works. But most of Asian immigrants like Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis are doing business there.


  2. T|/|T


    Jun 2, 2019
    +0 / 1,754 / -0
    Rising anti immigrant sentiments across the world should be a clear fact to all the poor country's governments and people, that u have to fix your own home and that there is no other place for u.
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  3. Retired Troll

    Retired Troll ELITE MEMBER

    Apr 5, 2017
    +21 / 38,629 / -11
    South Africa has a history of kommunal violence. The divide between rich and poor is way too big and lawlessness is rampant once one leaves the safety of the diplomatic enclaves.

    Wondeful nature reserves though. sadly exploited by a mafia