Mozambicans demand compensation for xenophobia victims

June 8th, 2008 - 3:12 am ICT by IANS  

Maputo, June 8 (DPA) Thousand of people marched through Mozambique’s capital Maputo Saturday to urge that their government demand neighbouring South Africa pay compensation to Mozambican victims of a recent spate of xenophobic attacks. At least 62 people were killed and hundreds injured in the anti- immigrant violence that swept through poor communities across South Africa last month.

At least 23 Mozambicans were among the victims, most of whom were Africans.

Human rights activist Alice Mabota, who was among the around 1,000 demonstrators, said: “Mozambique’s government must activate mechanisms with the South African authorities in order to have our compatriots rapidly compensated and the authors of the heinous acts brought to justice.”

Carrying banners with slogans such as “xenophobia is selfishness” and “down with intolerance and hatred,” the demonstrators assembled in Maputo’s Independence Square.

Some of the protestors recalled that Mozambicans, who fled the violence in their tens of thousands - many returning home with the help of their government - had been staunch allies of South Africans during apartheid.

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