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African envoys threaten to take attack issue to Human Rights Council

India has failed to take “sufficient and visible deterring measures” to protect Africans from attacks, a group of ambassadors from 44 African countries said, asking for an international inquiry. A week after the attack on African students in Greater Noida, a group of African envoys on Monday condemned the incident and termed it ‘xenophobic and racial’ saying, no known and visible deterring measures were taken by India.

“India took no action to prevent violence against Africans. It didn’t properly condemn the Greater Noida attack,” the African envoys said in a statement. “No known, sufficient and visible deterring measures were taken,” it added.

Calling the attacks “xenophobic and racial”, the envoys said they expect strong condemnation and action from India.

“These reprehensible events, both outstanding and unresolved cases against Africans, were not sufficiently condemned by the Indian authorities,” they said.

“The Heads of the African Missions accredited to India reviewed the previous incidents that have taken place in the past and concluded that no known, sufficient and visible deterring measures were taken by the Government of India,” said the press release.

“They agreed to take further actions, including the call for an independent investigation by the Human Rights Council as well as other human rights bodies, and also to comprehensively report the matter to the African Union Commission”.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that she had spoken to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and sought a report on the horrific assault, part of which was filmed and circulated on social media. Last week, the Foreign Ministry said it would not call the attacks racial till the investigation progressed and offered more information.

Last week, India refused to categorise the attacks of African nationals in Greater Noida as racial and said pending the probe it is not correct to draw a conclusion on “the nature and the reason” of these acts.

On the alleged attack on a Kenyan woman, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said Kenyan diplomats had a meeting with officials of the ministry concerned and it has been conveyed to the Indian side that the reported incident “does not correspond with reality”.

India is home to many African nationals including from Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria and Congo, and some of these attacks took place in Delhi and Bengaluru, sparking outrage among the African community in India.

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