Is there a plot to keep Horn of Africa refugees from entering South Africa? South African and Zimbabwean government officials say 'no'. This time around. Government officials said this week that there is no bi-lateral agreement to keep HoA refugees from reaching SA. According to this report, however, the opposite was true in February.
South Africa has a complicated and not always humanitarian refugee policy regime and while the country is home to thousands of migrants from countries such as Zimbabwe, refugees from further north, particularly those from Somalia, have often been targets of Xenophobia and government actions - including regulations requiring refugees to reach registration points within 5 days - are sometimes no more friendly. There has already begun to be comment suggesting that the African response to the Horn of Africa emergency has been somewhat feeble. A country with the economic and political power of South Africa maintaining a stance like this is unlikely to make this better.