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African envoys seek U.N. probe into Noida attacks


by Kallol Bhattacherjee | Published: Tuesday, April 04, 2017

 All diplomatic options are on the table to serve justice to the victims of the Greater Noida attack, says a statement issued by them.

The attacks on African nationals in Greater Noida should be investigated by the Human Rights Council (HRC) of the United Nations, the African envoys said in an unprecedented collective statement on Monday.

A press release from the Office of the Dean of the African Group Head of Missions said the incidents were “reprehensible” and “racial in nature”.

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

“As regards the recent unfortunate incident in Greater Noida, the African Heads of Mission strongly condemn it and express their deep concern and also take note that these reprehensible events were not sufficiently condemned by the Indian Authorities. The meeting unanimously agreed that those accumulated attacks against Africans are xenophobic and racial in nature,” the press release said.


Action taken: MEA


In response, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) emphasised that action had been taken against the perpetrators of the Greater Noida attack.

“It is unfortunate that a criminal act following the untimely death of a young Indian student under suspicious circumstances has been termed as xenophobic and racial,” said an MEA statement, describing the attacks as “aberrations that represent the acts of a few criminals.”

The statement from the African envoys, drafted following a special meeting on March 31, was the strongest step since they threatened to boycott the Africa Day celebrations of May 25, 2016, after the murder of a Congolese teacher in Delhi.

It was unprecedented as it called for an international inquiry “They [African envoys] equally expressed their expectations for strong condemnation from the highest political level [both nationally and locally] of the Government of India, as well as expediting legal actions against the perpetrators,” the statement said.

Though issued by the office of the Dean of the African Group Head of Missions, it was not signed by Dean Alem Tsehaye Woldemariam, the Eritrean ambassador. Speaking to The Hindu, a senior African envoy said that as it was an expression of collective sentiment, it was not signed by any particular diplomat.

Here is the full text of their statement:

The Heads of African Mission accredited to India convened a special meeting to look into the recent attacks against African students in Greater Noida. They 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.

As regards the recent unfortunate incident in Greater Noida, the African Heads of Mission strongly condemn the incident and express their deep concern and also take note that these reprehensible events, both outstanding and unresovled cases against Africans, were not sufficiently condemned by the Indian authorities. The meeting unanimously agreed that those accumulated attacks agaisnt Africans are xenophobic and racial in nature.

They equally expressed their expectations for strong condemnation from the highest political level (both nationally and locally) of the Government of India, as well as expediting legal actions against the perpetrators. 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.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com




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