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Migrant leaders applaud South African authorities for quelling xenophobic violence

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In a bit of positive reinforcement, migrant leaders in South Africa are now hailing the government for its swift reaction to attacks against foreign nationals living in Africa's largest economy.

The attacks, which the Monitor covered last week, came after months of warnings that angry South Africans would relaunch the type of xenophobic violence that killed more than 60 and displaced more than 200,000 in 2008.

Back in 2008, many leaders representing foreign communities targeted by the violence were critical of the government for failing to do more to prevent the brutal killings. But now, they're feeling quite complimentary.

“For the first time, we would like to applaud the government for the swift response in crushing the renewed xenophobic attacks on foreigners," says Gabriel Shumba, the executive director for Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF). “At this point in time, I can safely say my people – Zimbabweans – have taken a sigh of relief following the government's quick intervention. But credit must also go to police, army, civil society, churches, and all political parties for speaking strongly against xenophobia.”

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