'UN needs to set up camp where refugees removed from CBD can be looked after'

Gift of the Givers in the Western Cape is appealing to the United Nations (UN) and the South African government to come together and assist those foreign nationals who want to return to their countries or find refuge in a third country.

On Wednesday, police and law enforcement forcibly removed hundreds of people who'd been camping outside the UN Refugee Agency offices in Cape Town for more than three weeks.

RELATED: Police clash with refugees outside UN offices in Cape Town

They want help leaving South Africa following the recent spate of xenophobic attacks.

Refilwe Moloto speaks to Gift of the Givers Western Cape project manager Ali Sablay, about what they witnessed when they arrived at the Central Methodist Church where the refugees and asylum seekers spent the night.

When I walked into the church I just saw seas of people. It took us about 15 minutes from the door to the front of the church.

Ali Sablay, Project manager for Western Cape - Gift of the Givers

We found moms lying under the benches cuddling their babies and other people on top of the benches.

Ali Sablay, Project manager for Western Cape - Gift of the Givers

RELATED: 'They gave them a countdown, then they moved in and fired rubber bullets'

Sablay says they were welcomed as representatives of Gift of the Givers.

The hall erupted when I informed the people there that we have a thousand blankets in the truck outside.

Ali Sablay, Project manager for Western Cape - Gift of the Givers

Some of the moms gave their babies to our volunteers, asking them to keep them for the night because they were tired and the babies were weak and tired.

Ali Sablay, Project manager for Western Cape - Gift of the Givers

We gave the blankets, nappies and today we are going back with nutritional meals for lunch and supper as well as hygiene stuff and sanitary products.

Ali Sablay, Project manager for Western Cape - Gift of the Givers

He further says the United Nations has a critical role to play in helping the foreign nationals.

The United Nations needs to take responsibility and they need to set up a camp somewhere where these people will be taken care of.

Ali Sablay, Project manager for the Western Cape - Gift of the Givers

Listen to the full interview below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'UN needs to set up camp where refugees removed from CBD can be looked after'


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