UPDATE: Police fire stun grenades at refugees in Cape Town

CAPE TOWN - Factions among the leadership of foreign nationals clashed over the weekend culminating in police firing stun grenades in an attempt to calm the situation on Monday.

Police confiscated firearms and a can of petrol from the Central Methodist Church where the group currently resides.

READ: Refugees demand to be addressed by the UNHCR

Two groups of refugees have clashed over the distribution of aid and control.

According to the self-proclaimed leader of the refugees, Jean-Pierre Balous he recruited a man called Papi Sukami to communicate with Lingala speaking people within the group as his first language is Swahili.

Balous claimed Sukami and a small group of men, calling themselves "the former soldiers of Zaire" tried to wrest control from him and attacked his supporters with pangas and other weapons.

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Balous said his supporters are not responsible for the weapons or petrol confiscated at the church but have been injured by the Sukami-led group.

Sukami and his supporters were left to sleep outside the church on Sunday.

The group led by Papi Sukami have said Balous has been fundraising on behalf of the group of refugees but selectively distributing that aid.

They also claim he has refused help from charity groups such as the Gift of the Givers and the Red Cross Society.

Food was brought to the group outside the church. A scuffle over the food reportedly prompted police to fire stun grenades, to disperse the crowds.


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