World Tour: Violence against foreigners in South Africa, and Asia Bibi gives first interview

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: World Tour with Mindy Belz.

FARC rejects peace in Colombia— MINDY BELZ, SENIOR EDITOR: We start today in Colombia.

AUDIO: [Columbians crying]

Relatives of a woman running for mayor of a small rural town mourned her death over the weekend. Karina García had hoped to be the first female mayor of Suarez.

But gunmen attacked her car on Sunday while she campaigned in a rural area. Officials blamed the attack on a guerrilla commander who refused to take part in the 2016 peace deal that ended decades of war in the country.

And the violence seems likely to spread. The rebel commander who helped negotiate the peace deal announced last week that he planned to return to fighting. He claimed that decision followed the murder of hundreds of former rebels and leftist activists in the last few years.

AUDIO: [Duque]

Colombian President Ivan Duque said his country would not bow to threats from narco-terrorists. He also blamed Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro for harboring militants who continue to mount attacks in Colombia.

Citizenship row roils eastern India—Next we go to India.

AUDIO: [People in Assam]

People living in the eastern state of Assam gathered at local government offices on Saturday to check their citizenship status. Officials updated the National Register of Citizens this year, the first time that had been done since 1968. The final list excluded nearly 2 million people. Many are Muslims who migrated to the area from neighboring Bangladesh.

People who didn’t make the list can appeal. But if they don’t get citizenship after that, they could face deportation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu Nationalist government plans to roll out a similar plan nationwide.

The United Nations has condemned the effort and urged India to ensure no one is left stateless.

Violence against foreigners in South Africa—Next to Africa.

AUDIO: [Mob in South Africa]

Violent mobs in South Africa looted stores owned by foreigners over the weekend in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Five people have died since the violence started Sunday night.

Police have arrested more than 100 people thought to be involved in the attacks.

The violence sparked sharp rebukes from the leaders of other African nations. The Ethiopian Embassy in South Africa advised citizens to close their shops “until peace is restored.” Zambia warned its truck drivers not to enter South Africa. And Nigeria sent a special envoy to the country to voice concern over the treatment of its citizens.

Social media posts that spread before the attacks accused foreigners of selling drugs and stealing jobs from locals. They urged South Africans to chase foreigners out of the country.

Asia Bibi gives first interview—And finally, we end today in Canada.

Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi has given her first interview since fleeing to North America earlier this year. Bibi spent eight years on death row after a court convicted her of blasphemy against Islam. Pakistan’s Supreme Court overturned her conviction in 2018.

In her interview with London’s Sunday Telegraph, Bibi pleaded for others jailed because of blasphemy accusations. At least 77 Pakistanis currently face blasphemy charges, according to the U.S. State Department.

Such claims are often used in Pakistan as retaliation in personal disputes. But they can have deadly consequences. Bibi’s acquittal sparked several days of violent protests from hardliners calling for her execution.

It took Pakistani officials seven months to arrange Bibi’s escape from the country. She now lives in an undisclosed location in Canada. But she told the newspaper she hopes to move to Europe in the next few months.

That’s this week’s World Tour. Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Mindy Belz.

(AP Photo) Stones and bricks are seen on a street on the outskirts of Johannesburg, Monday Sept. 2, 2019. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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