South African Embassy evicts Zimbabwean refugees

27 June 2008
About 300 Epworth residents who took refuge at the South African embassy on Sunday 22 June were evicted by police on Friday - this as concern mounted that there would be an upsurge of violence on Friday night and over the weekend.


The group, who were camping out in the embassy parking lot had fled their homes after an upsurge of violence in Epworth. According to press reports, many had also been caught up in the police raid on the MDC offices on Monday. Most of the victims interviewed said they felt safer at the South African embassy than in any other part of the country. Several of the victims had been roaming the streets for three days and told journalists it was better to sleep out in the open at a safe location, rather than risk staying anywhere else.


But as Friday’s poll went ahead, reports emerged that Embassy officials ordered the removal of the refugees from their grounds.


The Director of Social Welfare in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Sydney Mhishi, United Nations Country Representative, Augustino Zacharias and a high-ranking official from South African embassy were reportedly responsible for overseeing the eviction.


Reports received by the Crisis Coalition Information Team were that the 300 displaced persons were destined for a refugee camp in Ruwa.


We have been unable to get further details.

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