Xenophobic attacks caused by deteriorating economies – Vladimir Antwi Danso
Dean of Academic Affairs at the Ghana Armed Forces Command Staff College Dr. Vladimir Antwi Danso has outlined a basic problem which culminates into xenophobic attacks in any country.
There is currently raging xenophobic attacks in several cities in South Africa which began on August 29 resulting in a rising death toll of especially other nationals in the country.
Dr. Antwi Danso who also couples as an International Relations analyst disclosed in an interview that in every country, the citizens resolve to be nationalistic only when there is an economic downsizing or deterioration.
He was commenting on the denigration of the relationship between Ghanaians and Nigerians in recent times which had led to tensions, disruptions and shutdowns of nationals from the latter.
“… the point is this. It is only when an economy is downsizing that these things crop up; xenophobic attacks and whatnots come only when the economy is going bad.”
“…in 1983, Ghanaians went in flocks to Nigeria. They were selling and buying and doing everything and nobody said anything; until ’83 when things were bad in Nigeria and they said go home”. He recalled
“In South Africa the same thing, all countries were there; Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, they were all mixed. You can’t tell a Nigerian from South African except their accent. And all of a sudden, we saw them being bent left and right, their shops… it’s everywhere.”
According to reports, in April 2015, there was an upsurge in xenophobic attacks throughout the country. The attacks started in Durban and spread to Johannesburg. Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini was accused of fuelling the attacks by saying that foreigners should "go back to their countries”.
Fast forward to 2019, similar incidents are occurring with locals destroying properties of foreign nationals in Johannesburg and other cities. Bloomberg has reported that more than 50 mainly foreign-owned shops and businesses have been destroyed in the recent attacks in Johannesburg. Cars and properties have also reportedly been torched.
Several arrests have been made with national authorities calling for a seize fire while affected governments have begun putting in contingency plans to repatriate their citizens from South Africa
Addressing the issue on Facebook live on Monday however, Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa, George Ayisi Boateng admonished Ghanaian immigrants in South Africa to be cautious and “stay alert” in order to avoid attacks.
“I appeal to fellow Ghanaians to monitor situations carefully. Those who live around prone violent areas must take caution and those also living around hotspots must also take caution and monitor movement of most probably assailants,” he advised.
He also indicated that there is currently no need for Ghana to put in place a contingency plan to safeguard its immigrants in South Africa, stating “If there is any need for us to put in place contingency measures, be assured that we will do it”.
Information from Wikipedia was used