South Africa is calling for an investigation into the “distressing number of deaths” of African migrants attempting to cross the Morocco-Spain border
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) on Thursday expressed “deep regret and concern” at the death of at least 23 and the injury of several migrants who attempted to cross the border from Morocco into the Spanish city of Melilla.
“We align with the statements of the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) that calls for an immediate independent, effective and transparent investigation into the matter,” said DIRCO in a statement issued by Spokesperson Clayson Monyela.
DIRCO said UN member states must abide by internationally agreed norms and standards to protect human rights, human dignity, and the protection of those fleeing war, persecution and discrimination.
“Such violent incidents meted out to migrants are increasing globally,” DIRCO said.
“We see similar anti-migrant sentiment in South Africa, which at times, aside from challenging the very foundations of our constitutional democracy, could lead to mass violence against migrants irrespective of their status.
“Cognisant of these national, regional and global trends, DIRCO calls for commitments by all states, to treat migrants and their families with the human rights accorded to them under international law.”