India on Thursday announced high-level visits to the African continent over the next two months, even as reports came in of Indians being targeted in retaliatory attacks in Congo, following the killing of the Congolese national Masunda Kitada Oliver in South Delhi.
Envoy raises retaliatory attacks with Congo
The Ministry of External Affairs, in its first official comments after the threat of boycott of Africa Day by the African envoys, acknowledged that ties were “impacted” and that retaliatory attacks on Indians in the Democratic Republic of Congo had taken place, following the murder of Congolese national Masunda Kitada Oliver in South Delhi.
“It has come to the notice of our mission in Kinshasa, that some Indian establishments and shops were attacked on May 23 and 25 as a reaction perhaps to the killing of the Congolese national last Friday. It was also reported that some gunshots were fired injuring a couple of Indians. Our Ambassador took up the matter immediately and a note verbale was issued to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a copy to the Ministry of Interior to ensure the safety of life and property of all Indians residing there. It has been reported that by yesterday [Wednesday], things have calmed down,” said MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
Meanwhile, there were signs of tempers cooling, with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations celebrating Africa Day with African envoys in attendance, two days after they had threatened a boycott.
At the event, the High Commissioner of Ghana Samuel Panyin Yalley, recited a poem titled “Cry for me O Africa”, in memory of Mr. Oliver. Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic Relations) of the MEA, said Vice-President Hamid Ansari will undertake a trip to Morocco and Tunisia on May 30.