A wave of violence and looting is sweeping southern Africa as women in southern Africa petition for travel restrictions to be lifted.
On Monday night, gunfire erupted as refugees from violence erupted on the border between Zimbabwe and Malawi. According to the BBC, there are scores of injuries and 200 homes have been burnt down in Malawi alone. However, the protests do not appear to be linked to any specific events that took place in Zimbabwe.
In Malawi, foreign NGO workers have been arrested and are being interrogated by security forces. According to the Malawi government, over 10,000 refugees had flooded across the border, with many refugees fearing that they might soon be deported from Zimbabwe.
Speaking to Sky News, witness, Simutha Chirwa, said “what happened last night was inhuman, unconstitutional and shameful and they should call off the clampdown. This is not a priority.”
Several human rights groups have also urged the government to back down. Amnesty International reports that there have been reports of “restrictions on freedom of movement, arrest and detention” of human rights defenders.
Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First and the International Service for Human Rights have all condemned the government’s decision to bar South African holidaymakers.
Joining calls for a suspension of travel in the region, Deputy South African foreign minister, Louis Jose, said the country would be supporting the move for travel bans to be lifted.