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South Africa xenophobia attack under spotlight at AU summi

#xenophobia attacks: The protesters passed through neighbourhoods that are home to many immigrants (Al Jazeera)

#xenophobia attacks: The protesters passed through neighbourhoods that are home to many immigrants (Al Jazeera)

Xenophobia is expected to feature prominently as African at the ongoing African Union (AU) Summit in Johannesburg, sources close to the summit have said.

South Africa stepped in to host the summit at the eleventh hour, after Chad was obliged to withdraw because of the Boko Haram threat.

However, the latest wave of xenophobic violence which broke out after the announcement has severely embarrassed the host nation.

One of the sources said there were concerns that some heads of state would boycott the event in protest of the recent attacks but were ready to give it priority during deliberations.

He said the summit was also expected to address the flood of African migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean from Africa to reach Europe, which have also raised xenophobic tensions.

Another source said illegal migration to Europe by African would also feature prominently during discussions.

The International Organisation for Migration in a report said nearly 2, 000 migrants died by early May, including about 800 killed in a single shipwreck in April.

President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia has also called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the deaths of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

The Gambia, with a population of only 1,900,000, is one of the leading countries of origin of the migrants.

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