The United High Commission for Refugeees (UNHCR) days it is deeply saddened by the attacks on foreigners, including refugees and former refugees, that took place on the 18th and 19th of April in Lusaka. According to the information received, violence broke out in certain parts of Lusaka following reports of ritual killings that were affecting the city.
UNHCR commends the response made by the Zambian authorities and police to try to contain the violence and encourages them to continue with their efforts to restore calm in the affected areas and to ensure police presence to protect all persons, including foreigners and refugees.
UNHCR welcomes the official statement given by the Honourable Davis Mwila, Minister of Home Affairs, on Monday 18 April in the evening, calling for calm and all perpetrators of the violence against the foreigners not to take the law in their own hands, but let law enforcement agencies handle the investigations.
Many refugees have called UNHCR sharing their fears and information about loss of property. We would like to urge Zambians to continue maintaining the unblemished high reputation, respected by the international community, of being hospitable to foreigners, including refugees. UNHCR also urges all foreigners and refugees to abide by the laws of the country, and live in continued harmony with the host community. All persons residing in Zambia, refugees, foreigners and nationals should act responsibly and avoid violence at all cost.
“It is very concerning and sad to hear these news of violence against brothers and sisters of nearby countries. While we appreciate the efforts made so far, UNHCR is calling on the government to continue to do all it can to prevent any future incidents. Zambia should remain a harbour of peace and respect for the principle of Ubuntu” said UNHCR’s Representative in Zambia, Laura Lo Castro.