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Recovery from Xenophobic Attacks in South Africa. A Perspective of Congolese Refugees Living in Durban, South Africa

Joseph Rudigi Rukema


Published: 2023/06/01


This study examines victims’ post-xenophobic recovery strategies, with specific attention to the xenophobic attacks of 2015 against Congolese refugees living in Durban, South Africa. It is a qualitative study using an interpretative approach. Data was collected using the snowball sampling technique and face-to-face interviews were conducted with 10 participants. The results showed that xenophobic attacks of 2015 against Congolese refugees were devastating, in part because their socio-economic conditions had been precarious even before the xenophobic attacks. The findings showed that while Congolese refugees that were affected by xenophobic attacks are recovering and have tried different strategies to recover, these strategies remain ineffective in the face of myriads of challenges they have to confront as a vulnerable group. Most refugees had to rely for support on relatives and friends who are also refugees with limited resources. Non-governmental organizations played an important role, but their support was limited to some extent and did not allow Congolese refugees to recover effectively. Keywords: Recovery, Xenophobic attacks, Congolese refugees, Durban, South Africa

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