Africa

Xenophobia to be extensively discussed at AU summit

As African leaders meet in South Africa to discuss a wide range of issues and challenges confronting the continent, report say Xenophobia is expected to be a major feature at the ongoing African Union (AU)summit in Johannesburg.

The summit was initially billed to hold in Chad but the country withdrew from hosting African leaders on its soil owning to Boko Haram threats, South Africa however stepped up at the eleventh minute to host the event.

The latest wave of xenophobic violence which broke out after the announcement however severely embarrassed the host nation.

One of the sources said there were concerns that some heads of state would boycott the event in protest of the recent attacks but were ready to give it priority during deliberations.

He said the summit was also expected to address the flood of African migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean from Africa to reach Europe, which have also raised xenophobic tensions.

Another source said illegal migration to Europe by African would also feature prominently during discussions.

The International Organisation for Migration in a report said nearly 2, 000 migrants died by early May, including about 800 killed in a single shipwreck in April.

President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia has also called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the deaths of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

The Gambia, with a population of only 1,900,000, is one of the leading countries of origin of the migrants.

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