Up to Indian govt to take action on assurances, say African envoys

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 30, 2016 22:37 IST
Foreign secretary S Jaishankar with a group of African students in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI)

Envoys of African countries are adopting a “wait and watch” policy regarding India’s assurance in ensuring safety of their citizens after they had demanded concrete steps against “racism and Afro-phobia” last week in the wake of killing of a Congolese national.

Dean of African Group Head of Missions and Ambassador of Eritrea Alem Tsehage Woldemariam, who had issued a strongly- worded statement seeking stringent action to guarantee safety of Africans in India, said it was up to the Indian government to take action on the concerns conveyed by the envoys.

“Whatever we had to convey, we have done that on Africa Day. Now, it is up to the Indian government to take action on the assurances given to us,” he said when asked if the Group would again raise with India the issue of fresh attacks against African nationals.

Echoing his views, another African envoy said the African countries were waiting for MEA’s follow up action on its assurance that security for African nationals would be enhanced.

Congolese national Masonda Ketada Oliver was killed on May 20 following a brawl in Vasant Kunj area. More cases of alleged assault on African nationals came to fore in South Delhi’s Mehrauli area last week in which six persons from the community sustained injuries.

In his statement, Woldemariam on May 25 had demanded concrete steps against “racism and Afro-phobia”.

Meanwhile Olivier’s brother Michael said “We are disappointed about security in India for our students. We have asked for a speedy trial (into Oliver’s killing). What happened to him can happen to any one of us.

“We are scared. I hope government of India will improve things for our safety.”

The African students are planning a protest here tomorrow seeking justice to Oliver and better security for the African nationals.

Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh is likely to meet African students here tomorrow.

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