At least 600 Ethiopians arrested in Johannesburg, South Africa

Ethiopians _ South Africa
Photo source : DW Amharic Credit: Melaku Ayele

August 8, 2019

About 600 Ethiopians are arrested in Johannesburg, in South Africa, after a clash between law enforcement bodies and foreigners engaged in small business activities.

DW Amharic service reported on Thursday that eyewitnesses in the city said that properties of Ethiopian businesses have been looted and women of Ethiopian descent have been beaten after South African police launched what it called campaign on “illegal business” and counterfeit products.

“Yesterday, policemen from five or six divisions came to GP saying that they have an operation. Then they started to arrest any habesha they see. Whether you show them residence permit or migrant paper, they say no and take you to prison,”  Firku Sakata told DW Amharic. He also confirmed that at least 600 Ethiopians are arrested.

Another Ethiopian who identified himself as Kidane Woldeyesus told DW Amharic that South African police is discriminately arresting Ethiopians.

Kidane confirmed that Ethiopians with legal immigration status in South Africa and with legitimate business have been arrested. He also said that three South African TV stations have reported about the arrest of about 600 Ethiopians.

It has been more than 24 hours since Ethiopians have been arrested and they are arrested at John Fosta police station, Fikiru Sakata told DW Amharic and that they are not allowed to visit those who are arrested.

The country’s police ministry confirmed that as many as 1500 policemen are deployed for the campaign.

Seven policemen who tried to sell looted clothing from are reportedly arrested, according to a report by IOL website.

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