Envoys to boycott Africa Day fete today

In solidarity with Masunda Kitada Oliver, a Congolese student who was killed last week in Delhi.

May 25, 2016 04:48 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:02 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Frequent attacks on African youths in India triggered a diplomatic downturn on Tuesday with African diplomats announcing that they are likely to recommend to their governments “not to send new students to India” because of “stereotypes and racial prejudice against Africans in India”.

The African Group of Heads of Mission declared that it would not join the May 25 Africa Day celebrations, in solidarity with Masunda Kitada Oliver, a Congolese student who was killed last week in Delhi.

“Given the pervading climate of fear and insecurity in Delhi, the African Heads of Mission are left with little option than to consider recommending to their governments not to send new students to India, unless and until their safety can be guaranteed,” a statement from Alem Tsehage Woldemariam, Ambassador of Eritrea and Dean of the group said.

Following a meeting of the group in the High Commission of Ghana on Tuesday, senior African diplomats met officials at the External Affairs Ministry, and called upon India “to take concrete steps to guarantee the safety and security of Africans”.

“Accordingly, the Indian government is strongly enjoined to take urgent steps to guarantee the safety of Africans in India, including appropriate programmes of public awareness that will address the problems of racism and Afro-phobia in India,” a press statement from the group stated.

“As regards this year’s celebration of Africa Day being organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations for Thursday, the African Group has requested a postponement of the event. This is because the African Community in India are in a state of mourning,” said Ambassador Alem Tsehage Woldemariam in a press release.

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