UNHCR High Commissioner starts two-day visit to South Africa

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The UN Refugee Agency High Commissioner Filippo Grandi arrived in South Africa on Monday 14 October for a two-day visit.

Grandi will be in the country until Wednesday morning, and will have a series of meetings with state authorities, business leaders, UN and NGO partners and others. At his request, he met some representatives of refugees and asylum seekers in Pretoria on his arrival this morning. They were joined by video link by two refugee community leaders in Cape Town.  Grandi listened to their concerns, mainly linked to better access to documentation and information, the process to obtain refugee papers, as well as issues of personal security.  “I had a useful and constructive meeting with some refugee representatives today in Pretoria” said Grandi.

“I told them that UNHCR will continue to develop its dialogue with them, and that I will also discuss their concerns with the authorities during my visit in the country”. 

The High Commissioner encouraged the refugees to continue to express their concerns in a peaceful manner.  According to government statistics, South Africa is home to 268,000 refugees and asylum seekers, mainly from Somalia, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN Information Centre in Pretoria (UNIC).

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