In the wake of South Africa’s xenophobic violence in 2008, prominent civil society organisations demanded an inquiry into the United Nations refugee body’s response. They said the UNHCR failed to fulfill its mandate, sided with government at the expense of displaced persons, and even treated those affected by the violence with contempt. This time around, have things been different? The agency insists that it can’t resettle refugees in a hurry – so it may be a case of reintegrate or bust.
“We believe that the UNHCR has neglected to adequately and appropriately manage the humanitarian crisis that resulted from the mass displacement of foreigners in South Africa they have failed to meet their mandate as prescribed by Statute of the UNHCR of 1950 they have ignored the litany of suggestions and input given by civil society but most importantly, they have failed to support the very people they are mandated to help.”
The complaint laid against UNHCR by 14 local organisations in 2008 pulled no punches. With signatories including the South African Council of Churches, the Social Justice Coalition, the Black Sash and COSATU, it even claimed that UNHCR representatives treated the foreign nationals fleeing violence on…
Source : Daily Maverick