Zambia on high alert after anti-foreigner riots

CCTV News

Zambia

Authorities in Zambia are assuring the public that the country is under control, after the worst xenophobic violence Zambia has seen in decades.

CCTV Africa’s Kathryn Ogunde reports.

Zambia on high alert after anti-foreigner riots

Zambia on high alert after anti-foreigner riots

Authorities in Zambia are assuring the public that the country is under control, after the worst xenophobic violence Zambia has seen in decades. CCTV Africa’s Kathryn Ogunde reports.

Dozens of Rwandan-owned stores were attacked and looted. Hundreds of foreigners from Rwanda and countries such as Zimbabwe sought refuge at police stations in Lusaka. The majority of Rwandans living in Zambia are refugees.

The riots were sparked by reports of ritual killings, which some blamed on foreigners.

“The rumor went round that police have released a foreigner who is suspected to have been involved in these ritual murders that we experienced. So that is how word began spreading,” Moses Siwali, the spokesman for Zambian Home Affairs Ministry said. ”

It started with George Compound, Chunga, Zingalume then we found ourselves in a situation where almost all highly density areas part of Lusaka all went into the looting.”

Authorities said the situation was clam on Wednesday, with a heavy police presence in the affected areas.

“And we are alert, high alert so to say, not only in Lusaka but other parts of the country,” Siwali said.

Rwanda has praised the Zambian police force for its swift action.