Declaration of the Leaders of Subnational local governments of Southern Africa Region Against Xenophobia


We, the leaders of subnational local governments in Southern Africa gathered in Pretoria, Republic of South Africa, under the auspices of the United Cities and Local Governments, Africa (UCLG Africa), a Pan African Organisation of local and regional governments, observe with grave concern the unprecedented and unacceptable growing action against migrants carried out in the country with more planned in the coming weeks.

Noting the challenge pertaining to migrants legal or illegal are as diverse and contestable as are issues pertaining to nationhood, nationalism and citizenship.

Cognisant of the African Union goal of uniting and promoting solidarity among Africans as conceived in the Organisation of African Unity Charter and indeed espoused by the African Union Agenda 2063;

Recognizing the UCLG Africa Charter on Migration adopted at the Africities Summit of Marrakech, Morocco on 21 November 2018

Recognizing that migration and the displacement of populations are historical and global phenomena that affect the entire planet, including Africa, where nearly 50 million people are considered as migrant or displaced;

We note with concern and disappointment, the simmering tensions driven by divisive rhetoric that seeks to exploit deep seated levels of inequality, poverty, and unemployment affecting many South Africans as a basis to justify an organized and unlawful hostile campaign against foreigners.

As united members of Southern Africa region, united in our diversity, we firmly and unequivocally condemn this mobilisation as it devours the values upon which the continent is founded .

All forms of xenophobic violence and discrimination against migrants both on the Africa continent and in other regions. In this regard, any public official or citizen who makes racist or xenophobic statements against migrants or who is involved in smuggling and in human trafficking must immediately be brought before the competent authorities;

We Advocate for

Solidarity among African countries in promoting tolerance for displaced persons and humane treatment of fellow Africans;

The cessation of divisive Afrophobic practices that tend to position fellow Africans from other African countries as unwanted migrants;

Cooperation and dignified treatment of fellow migrant Africans;

The free movement of people on the continent;

Working together to sensitize the general population on the challenges faced by migrants with a view of extending humanitarian assistance to such persons and eliminating xenophobia attacks, promoting respect and acceptance.