"Refugees are not the threat, they are threatened" Markku Aikomus

Markku Aikomus, Senior Regional External Relations Officer at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees talks to Redi Tlhabi about this crucial issue.

Despite some statistics that African wars have been on the decrease, Aikomus says South Sudan is still a very real concern at the moment.

Both the internal and external displacement from South Sudan has been in very high numbers. A high percentage of those fleeing are children under 18. And neighbouring countries are not well equipped to receive refugees.

Markku Aikomus, Senior Regional External Relations Officer at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Refugees are those who are forced to leave their homes and country because of persecution and conflict.

They have no option. They need to get out in order to save their lives.

Markku Aikomus, Senior Regional External Relations Officer at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

It is important to realise the refugees are not a threat to host nations, he says.

Refugees are not the threat, they are threatened...They are victims of the violence.

Markku Aikomus, Senior Regional External Relations Officer at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

They need counselling and support in order to become positive members of the host country.

He says they need to continue providing protection for refugees but also support to the host communities who are taking them in.

Official figures report there are 91 000 refugees and 218 000 asylum seekers in South Africa.

Take a listen below:


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