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    Firemen attempt to extinguish s fire at a white residence in Coligny, South Africa, in the town where two South Africa white farmers were released on bail by the magistrates court, Monday May 8, 2017. The two, who are accused of murdering a black teenager, were granted bail in the racially sensitive case that sparked racial violence.

    "A Matter of Survival": South African Farmers Consider Moving to Russia (PHOTOS)

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    Several members of South Africa’s white Boer and Afrikaner minorities are entertaining the possibility of moving to southern Russia. But it’s not only the local fertile land, which they say was “created by God for farming,” that attracts them – they are certain that it may be a matter of survival.

    It was a long trip for the Schlebusch family. They’ve been preparing for this journey for over a year – making presentations, writing emails and a memorandum to their friends in Russia – a distant country on another continent, where they’ve never been before, but which they like for its traditions and support of traditional Christian values.

    The Schlebusch family are Boers – representatives of South Africa’s white minority group, descendants of Dutch and Belgian immigrants. The Boers and Afrikaners have been residing on the Rainbow Continent for many generations, but now many of them say that it is becoming a dangerous place to live:

    “During the past three decades our people have been tortured, murdered and marginalized in South African society,” Schlebusch family members wrote in a memorandum sent to their Russian friends. “Our authorities are negative towards us, because we are maligned as former oppressors, and some radicals are even encouraging genocide towards us.”

    READ MORE: In South Africa White Farmers Reportedly Arm Themselves Amid New Murders,Attacks

    When the delegation arrived in southern Russia, they were met by Vladimir Poluboyarenko, an aide to the Stavropol region’s ombudsman. The guests had a chance to meet with the leaders of local ethnic groups, including the influential Stavropol Cossacks and received assurances that they would receive any help they need should they eventually decide to settle in the region.

    “Boers are very important for Russia,” Poluboyarenko told Sputnik. “They are hard workers, Christians. They possess knowledge of agricultural technology, which we currently don’t have here. Stavropol region is prepared to accommodate from 30 to 50 families immediately. I think they are a blessing for us.”

    Recently there have been numerous reports from Afrikaners and Boers in South Africa about the rising number of crimes against farmers. According to reports published by Africa’s independent fact-checking organization Africa Check, 1,544 people were killed in farm attacks in South Africa between 1990 and 2012 and only 208 of those murdered were black.

    However, Russians are not the only ones who have noticed pleas for help coming from the Boer and Afrikaner minorities. There are also Flemish activist groups, which raise funds and bring humanitarian aid to poor minority communities, organizing rallies in Europe. According to a Flemish activist and official representative of South Africa’s Kleinfontein community in the EU, Ruben Rosiers, there is currently a lack of understanding and almost no support for the cause from the international NGOs, businesses and politicians in Belgium:

    “A Belgian politician will not win or lose any votes by caring for South Africa” – Rosiers told Sputnik – “But we are connected to them. There are still many people having businesses there. And I hope that those people will stand up and ask our Parliament to get in action, because there is a minority under threat – an Afrikaner minority.”

    News about Afrikaners planning to move to Russia quickly spread through Belgium’s social media. Ruben Rosiers says that if such “exodus” happens, he’s hoping that the farmers will be able to preserve their culture and identity in their new home country:

    “I can’t blame people that they don’t want to sleep with the gun under their bed anymore, afraid to be killed, or raped, or burned alive. Russia has a tradition of being multi-religious and multi-ethnical federation. Russia shows that it’s ready to receive Afrikaner people, and I think it’s clever because they are disciplined, very strong and loyal people.”

    Rosiers and other Flemish activists are preparing for a rally in The Hague this September to support Afrikaners. Meanwhile, Stavropol officials will be looking into possibilities of helping the Schlebusch family and other Boers, who would like to relocate to the region. But whether these and other measures will be sufficient in solving the problems of South Africa’s ethnic minorities remains to be seen.

    farmers, Russia, South Africa
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