"Refugees are not the threat, they are threatened" Markku Aikomus

Markku Aikomus, Senior Regional External Relations Officer at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees talks to Redi Tlhabi about this crucial issue.

Despite some statistics that African wars have been on the decrease, Aikomus says South Sudan is still a very real concern at the moment.

Both the internal and external displacement from South Sudan has been in very high numbers. A high percentage of those fleeing are children under 18. And neighbouring countries are not well equipped to receive refugees.

Markku Aikomus, Senior Regional External Relations Officer at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Refugees are those who are forced to leave their homes and country because of persecution and conflict.

They have no option. They need to get out in order to save their lives.

Markku Aikomus, Senior Regional External Relations Officer at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

It is important to realise the refugees are not a threat to host nations, he says.

Refugees are not the threat, they are threatened...They are victims of the violence.

Markku Aikomus, Senior Regional External Relations Officer at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

They need counselling and support in order to become positive members of the host country.

He says they need to continue providing protection for refugees but also support to the host communities who are taking them in.

Official figures report there are 91 000 refugees and 218 000 asylum seekers in South Africa.

Take a listen below:


This article first appeared on 702 : "Refugees are not the threat, they are threatened" Markku Aikomus


CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Zuma lashes out at 101 ANC stalwarts in policy conference opening salvo

Zuma lashes out at 101 ANC stalwarts in policy conference opening salvo

President Zuma went 'off script' on Friday when he castigated his detractors saying many denied being on the 101 stalwarts list.

"Whackhead" Simpson's song about Carl Niehaus was one of Redi's faves

"Whackhead" Simpson's song about Carl Niehaus was one of Redi's faves

In 2009 Carl Niehaus was forced to step down as ANC national spokesperson after fraud allegations surfaced.

"Our interpretation of sleeping around is sleeping around"

"Our interpretation of sleeping around is sleeping around"

A throwback to Floyd Shivambu talking about Helen Zille during his ANCYL days, interrogated by Redi Tlhabi in 2009. #FarewellRedi

[LISTEN] In January 'SABC 8' Suna Venter spoke on 702 about how she was shot

[LISTEN] In January 'SABC 8' Suna Venter spoke on 702 about how she was shot

The 32-year old has died in what her family says is a heart condition brought on by prolonged trauma and stress.

New app for rape survivors will aid victims with support and care packages

New app for rape survivors will aid victims with support and care packages

Are you a survivor of sexual violence? SMS “endrape” to 38006

Mr. Tlhabi bids Mrs Tlhabi farewell on her last radio show #FarewellRedi

Mr. Tlhabi bids Mrs Tlhabi farewell on her last radio show #FarewellRedi

Brian Tlhabi says his wife, Redi Tlhabi makes him super happy and continues to wish her the best with her future endeavours.

Popular articles
Financially prepare yourself before the wedding bells

Financially prepare yourself before the wedding bells

Liberty Legal Marketing Specialist, Faeeza Khan talk us through a few financial pointers before getting hitched.

Oscar's family unhappy with producers as movie makes SA debut this weekend

Oscar's family unhappy with producers as movie makes SA debut this weekend

The movie stars Joburg-born actor Andreas Damm as Pistorius and Victoria Secret model Toni Garrn as Reeva Steenkamp.

Statement to remove LLB programme from SA universities is misleading: Max Price

Statement to remove LLB programme from SA universities is misleading: Max Price

Max Price says Council on Higher Education's announcement that UKZN, UCT and UL could lose their LLB accreditation is not right.

Is taking items from the hotel room stealing?

Is taking items from the hotel room stealing?

Tsogo Sun Cape regional manager explains which items are free to be taken home by guests and why.

WATCH: Innovative spray limits toilet flushes and saves water

WATCH: Innovative spray limits toilet flushes and saves water

Loo Me is a simple yet effective scented foam that takes the yuck out of "mellowing" toilets preventing multiple flushes.