Refugee leader arrested at Cape Town church

Self-appointed Cape Town refugee faction leader Jean Pierre Balous has been arrested on assault charges. 

CAPE TOWN - Chaotic scenes continue playing out between two groups of refugees housed at the Central Methodist Church on Greenmarket Square in Cape Town.

Police have confirmed that one of the refugee leaders has been arrested and charged with assault.

READ: SAHRC intervenes in Cape Town refugee conflict

Jean Pierre Balous is currently being held at the Cape Town Central Police Station.

The hundreds of refugees staying inside and outside have split into factions, with one group forced out of the church.

READ: Cape Town refugees divided

On Monday, police confiscated firearms and a can of petrol from the church.

A standoff ensued on Tuesday, with both factions accusing each other of being former soldiers, rebels and warlords.

READ: Police fire stun grenades at refugees in Cape Town

The SA Human Rights Commission said a stakeholder meeting with Home Affairs and the City of Cape Town will be held next week to lay down plans.

Police are outside the church to monitor the situation.


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