Welcome to Africa! (Fellow Africans Need not Apply)

Prior to the demise of the ignoble apartheid regime in South Africa, African countries led the fight by any means possible to free their fellow Africans from the white-minority rule. Now, African migrants in South Africa are being lynched by some South Africans for allegedly taking over their jobs.

Xenophobia, the practice of hating anything foreign in one’s country or land, has existed in societies since the dawn of human civilization.

One would have wished that this ugly act of inordinate self-preservation was a thing of the past and confined to the doldrums of history books.

Alas, petty prejudicial perception of those who look different from us is still alive and kicking. We have seen far too many of such intolerances in Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Angola, Libya, and in other Africa countries.

In the 1980s, the economic crises in Nigeria fueled xenophobia, mostly against other ECOWAS citizens and especially Ghanaians.

In 1969, there was an attack of foreigners in Ghana under the Aliens Compliance Order.

The list continues. We can no longer lay the blame on Europeans expressly because we are cognizant of the seeds of “divide and rule,” which they sowed to divide and rule Africa for centuries.

Since we have identified the root causes of xenophobia in Africa, African leaders should find remedies to the overgrown weed of wickedness against fellow Africans.

We may not be lucky enough to find more Paul Kagames of Rwanda to rebuild after more genocidal ethnic conflicts!

Xenophobia has reared its ugly head again in South Africa. Courtesy of efficient information delivery via the social media, we have followed the increasing deadly attacks on immigrants in South Africa between 2008 and 2019.

The attackers, among other reasons, claim that immigrants have taken their jobs and housing.

The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CORMSA) has accused the South African government of doing little to curb the attacks. It is indeed very unfortunate that some ignorant South African nationals have taken the law into their own hands and committed atrocities on fellow Africans for no justifiable reasons.

It boggles the mind that this is happening in South Africa, the erstwhile home of the evil Apartheid regime, an evil that all Africans without exception condemned and fought against.

Apparently, contemporary black South Africa youths have not been schooled about the unqualified role played by other Africans to end Apartheid. The ignorance, if this is the case, is no excuse.

Current leaders, many of whom were in exile in Nigeria, Ghana, and other African countries, must not have soon forgotten the role played by various African governments and peoples in the struggles against the ignoble regime of Apartheid.

Obviously, the South African government has failed to highlight the contributions of African governments in the struggles and teach the history.

Black South Africans benefitted immensely from the taxpayers and citizens of other Africa countries. Their fellow African brethren fought to support their struggles against the white minority rule.

No one is asking for a payback, but the killings as paybacks cannot be coming from a sane society.

Africa opened its doors to accommodate (sustain, educate, and support) fellow South African blacks who were able to find their ways out of Apartheid South Africa.

The current treatment of poor Africans in South Africa is despicable. No other African country treated South Africans with anything less than noble. In fact, some countries went out of their way and accorded them preferential treatments.

Xenophobia in South Africa is reminiscent to the old USA, where atrocities were visited on African Americans for the mere fact that the color of their skins is black. Africans are mad about the ongoing killings in South Africa and rightly so.

Some are already calling for Africa-wide and international boycott of anything South African, until the madness stops.

Already, neighboring countries are retaliating by visiting violence on South African interests on their side of the border.

Sadly, beyond South Africa, xenophobia exits elsewhere in Africa, albeit different in forms, scopes, and sizes. In Ambazonia, the Anglophone part of the Cameroons, people have and are still experiencing all sorts of xenophobic violence from the greater Francophone Cameroon.

In Nigeria’s Pogrom or Rwanda’s Genocide, whether through ethnic enmity, religious bigotry, and or political intolerance, Africans have been at each other’s throat for the past several decades.

To sustain the spirit of African Union (AU), laws against xenophobia, ethnic cleansing, religious and political intolerance must be promulgated and effectively enforced in all Africa countries.

There is no room or reason for law enforcement agencies to visit brutalities on, say, Nigerians living in Ghana because a law enforcement officer has been assaulted by a Nigerian or vice versa.

In the interest of civility, suspects must be prosecuted to the full rigors of the applicable law when found guilty.

Amandla suggests that laws against these shameful acts should be enacted by legal minds at the AU levels and that they be fairly and fully implemented.

For example, all non-citizens should register with their host countries, including but not limited to the gainfully employed and business executives.

Homeowners must demand and check with the appropriate authorities whether non-citizen renters are duly registered before leasing or renting out apartments or homes.

Civil and religious societies in Africa must rise and spearhead efforts to stem xenophobia where governments lack the backbone to do the right thing.

In the U.S., deportations of immigrants – legal or illegal – without due process have seen oppositions from civil societies and politicians, even from the President’s own political party.

What moral right then, does any African government have to criticize U.S. President Trump on immigration, when xenophobia, ethnic cleansing, and political intolerance fester in his own backyard?

It could be argued rightly that all Trump has been saying is to safe-guard the interest of Americans first, without lynching or dragging illegal immigrants along streets, as evidenced in South Africa recently.

A stitch in time saves nine. AU should step on the brakes and stop all xenophobic tendencies wherever they rear their ugly heads in Africa.

Enough is enough already!

Posted by on May 13 2019. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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