Tanzania takes stand against SA, suspends flights to Johannesburg

Tanzania national carrier, Air Tanzania has suspended flights from its capital Dar es Salam to South Africa’s biggest city Johannesburg.

The move comes in the wake of unrest in South Africa where African nationals have experienced xenophobic attacks leaving their property vandalized, and some killed, 10 people have been confirmed dead so far.

“You are aware that there is ongoing violence in South Africa whereby the youth have taken laws in their hands,” Tanzania’s Transport Minister Isack Kamwelwe told reporters in Dar es Salaam.

“Due to that, we have decided not to transport passengers to the destination where their lives will be in jeopardy.”

No Tanzanians are known to have been killed. The official death toll records that of the 10 people killed in the violence that began on Sunday, only two were foreigners – both Zimbabwean.

Some skepticism has been leveled at the company’s decision to suspend the flights, with critics suggesting what Air Tanzania really fears is losing yet more planes following South Africa’s decision last month to impound of one of its aircraft.

Demonstrators in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s second city, Lubumbashi, earlier today broke the windows of South Africa’s consulate, according to AFP news agency reports. There was also a small demonstration outside the South African embassy in the capital.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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