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South Africa Seeks Diplomatic Support to Defeat Anti-Immigrant Unrest

A crowd of anti-immigrant protesters demonstrate outside the Jeppe hostel in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, April 17, 2015, where some foreigners have sought refuge. Several shops and cars owned by foreigners were torched in downtown Johannesburg overnight in continued anti-immigrant attacks. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
A crowd of anti-immigrant protesters demonstrate outside the Jeppe hostel in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, April 17, 2015, where some foreigners have sought refuge. Several shops and cars owned by foreigners were torched in downtown Johannesburg overnight in continued anti-immigrant attacks. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Ed Cropley, REUTERS

 

PRETORIA, South Africa (Reuters) — South Africa sought diplomatic support from countries across the continent on Friday to defeat the “demon” of anti-immigrant violence in which at least four people have been killed over the past fortnight.

Foreign nationals have complained that the South African police are failing to protect them, raising the prospect of a row between Pretoria and its neighbors, as well as stirring hostility to South Africans working abroad.

The unrest, which began in the port town of Durban, has spread to Johannesburg where police fired rubber bullets and a stun grenade on Friday to end a stand-off between South Africans and an immigrant vigilante group armed with machetes.

“We believe that working together we can defeat this demon,” South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told reporters after meeting African diplomats in Pretoria. “We all have to nip this in the bud.”

 

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