South African Consulate, Shops Attacked In DR Congo

SAN FRANCISCO, September 05, (THEWILL) – Protestors on Thursday smashed the windows of the South African consulate in DR Congo’s second largest city and attacked South African-owned stores, in reprisal for attacks on foreigners in Johannesburg, an AFP reporter saw.

A demonstration called by a campaign group outside the consulate in Lubumbashi, southeastern DR Congo, spiralled out of control and protestors smashed the building’s windows.

They then attacked and looted a store owned by the South African retail group MRP before police intervened, injuring one or two protestors.

The campaign group Lucha tweeted its disapproval.

“You do not condemn violence by violence! We call on the police to stop the looters, without using excessive/legal force,” it said.

Attacks broke out in and around Johannesburg this week, leaving seven dead and dozens of shops destroyed, mostly foreign-owned. More than 350 people have been arrested.

Foreign workers are often victims of anti-immigrant sentiment in South Africa, where they compete against locals for jobs, particularly in low-skilled industries.

The violence has led to angry demonstrations in Nigeria and expressions of concern in countries around southern Africa, many of whom have citizens working in South Africa, the continent’s biggest economy.