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South African situations of immigrants from Ethiopia

borkena, Ethiopia News
February 25,2017
Video (Credit : VOA Amharic)

Ethiopia is certainly one of the African countries affected by anti-immigrant sentiment in South Africa. Voice of America Amharic service report on anti-immigrant protest in Pretoria, South Africa, yesterday seem to suggest so. Ethiopian community leader in Pretoria,Tamiru Abebe,told VOA Amharic that stores belonging to Ethiopians and Somalians were looted in the ensuing circumstances after the protest.

According to Tamiru Abebe, South Africans complain about drug,human trafficking and prostitution and apparently, based on his testimonial, they tend to relate these social malaise with immigrants from other parts of Africa,specially Nigeria. Tamiru says it is not the case that all immigrants are involved in these kinds of practices. As a community, Ethiopians and Somalia do not engage in drug and prostitution and they work hard to make a living, he added.

The number of protesters in Pretoria yesterday was not to the level that was feared which indicates, seem to think Tamiru, that not many South Africans support the anti-immigrant protests.

From what we can tell based on social media reports, there is noticeable apprehension and anger among Ethiopians in the diaspora on the situation of Ethiopian immigrants in South Africa because of the anti-immigrant sentiment.

South Africa has been one of the destinations for Ethiopian migrants fleeing political and economic crisis at home.
And immigrants from Ethiopia constitute one of the largest groups of immigrants in South Africa. For example, according to StatsSA, cited by Africa Check, 65,000 refugees and 230,000 asylum seekers were registered in South Africa in 2014 and main countries of origin are indicated as Somalia, the DRC, Angola and Ethiopia. Of course thousands of Ethiopians were living in South Africa before 2014.

A fact sheet published by Africa Check ( on its website) indicates that about 75.3 percent of immigrants are from Africa. Also, a 2016 community survey suggests that there are at least 30,314 Nigerians in South Africa. Same Community survey also indicates that the number for UK is 56,412 in 2016 down from 318,536 in 2015.

South Africa experienced a violent anti-immigrant protests nearly two years ago and many African immigrants were brutally killed.

Even immigrants from same region, Zimbabwe,Malawi and Angola, have become targets of what many says is a Xenophobic attack.

On the other hand, from what South African president, Jacob Zuma, told South African Press this week, it seems the case that his government tends to think that that attack is not Xenophobic. His assertion is based on the assumption that majority of South Africans did not take part in the anti-immigrant protest.

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