The United Nations (UN) says it's willing to assist foreign nationals in South Africa to integrate better into local communities.
However, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) South African spokesperson Helene Caux says relocating aggrieved refugees and asylum-seekers to other countries is not possible.
Resettlement is not a possibility. It's a very complex process.— Helene Caux, UNHCR South Africa spokesperson
Resettlement is limited to a very small number of people. It's not a realistic option for refugees and asylum-seekers in South Africa.— Helene Caux, UNHCR South Africa spokesperson
Hundreds of foreigners from countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Somalia, Burundi and Nigeria were forcefully removed in the Cape Town CBD on Wednesday.
Police officials used stun grenades and water cannons to disperse the foreigners who have been staging a sit-in at the UN High Commission building for three weeks.
Video footage showed police forcefully removing children from their parents.
Police said they were acting on the instruction of a court order.
Caux says the court order was requested by the landlords of the building and not by the international agency.
According to Caux, foreigners who were arrested on Wednesday have since been released and children have been reunited with their guardians.
The women and children were temporarily separated. They were reunited very quickly.— Helene Caux, UNHCR South Africa spokesperson
There were some arrests but people were released by the evening or this morning.— Helene Caux, UNHCR South Africa spokesperson
The UNHCR didn't pursue that court order, it was a request from the owner of the building.— Helene Caux, UNHCR South Africa spokesperson
Caux says UNHCR officials have been in discussions with foreign nationals seeking asylum in Cape Town and in Pretoria.
Listen to the discussion with Clement Manyathela:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Resettlement of refugees in SA to other countries not possible - United Nations