XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS:SOUTH AFRICA APPEALS CALM

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 South African Interior Minister Malusi Gigaba on Thursday called for calm after a series of violent incident against immigrants that revived the specter of the deadly xenophobic riots of 2008 and 2015.

 For two weeks,several building occupied by foreigners and suspected of housing brothels or drug trafficking have been burned by angry residents in Johannesburg and the capital,Pretoria.

 The incidents did not cause any casualties,but led police to reinforce it presence and make multiple arrests.

 Gigaba told a press conference on Thursday ''I want to call South Africans to distance themselves from rhetoric or xenophobic actions''.

 The outbreaks of anti-immigrant violence are recurring in South Africa.The country welcomes several million foreigners who are often accused,in a context of high unemployment,of stealing the work of the Local population and feeding crime.

 A group of residents of a neighborhood in Johannesburg has scheduled a march on Friday at the Interior Ministry to denounce ''the government that gives work to Zimbaweans and other foreigners.

 ''We are working with them to ensure that there will be no violence,no threats,''said Gigaba.

 Many NGOs helping foreigners have asked Gigaba to ban the Friday demonstration,which they say''can only reinforce xenophobic attitudes and attacks.''

 The International Organization for Migration (IOM) condemned the recent attacks and said there was ''no evidence that foreigners are responsible for rising crime and unemployment.''

 Nigeria,whose citizens have been questioned in recent days,expressed its ''deep concern'' on Wednesday and demanded measures to protect its nationals.

 In 2015,7 people died in riots and looting of business run by foreigners in Johannesburg and in Durban.

 South Africa suffered the most deadly wave of xenophobic violence in 2008 that left 62 people dead.

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