S. Africa to Build Refugee Camps for Foreigners

Affluent nation shocked by settlement plan
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2008 9:57 AM CDT
Foreigners from African countries gather at an informal gathering point in the city center of Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday, May 28, 2008.    (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
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(Newser) – South Africa is planning to establish refugee camps for the foreigners driven from their homes by anti-immigrant violence, the New York Times reports. The shelters, dubbed “temporary places of safety,” would initially house the 11,000 people sheltered near police stations across the country, but could eventually be expanded to as many as 70,000.

International agencies complained that tens of thousands of homeless people from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and elsewhere need help now, and can’t wait for camps to be built. South Africans, meanwhile, are shocked by the idea of refugee camps in their relatively affluent country. Resentment of immigrants led to a flurry of attacks earlier this month, killing 50 and leaving thousands homeless.