The Botswana government has issued a travel warning to its citizens destined for South Africa as violence targeting foreigners increases in that country.
Human Rights Watch Director for Southern Africa region, Dewa Mavinga claims that the unrest erupted when a “Zimbabwean national allegedly killed a police officer in Diepsloot, Johannesburg on 17 January. The killing sparked Xenophobic violence which is raging still.”
The attacks, targeting foreign nationals in South Africa, are likely to affect trade in the region. Botswana, for instance, is dependent on South Africa for food imports and petroleum products.
Gaborone-based political analyst Lawrence Ookeditse says all affected countries should voice their concerns to the South African government and bring back their emissaries if necessary.
Meanwhile, Botswana’s president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, flew to Cape Town on Tuesday for the World Economic Forum on Africa when leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Rwanda have pulled out of the meeting, amid concerns over the deteriorating situation.
Violence targeted at foreign nationals and their businesses also erupted in South Africa last year and HRW in its World Report 2020 attributed the violence to economic insecurity, poverty, high unemployment and rhetoric by government officials, among other factors, led to the xenophobic violence, said the report.
More: VOA News