'Stop Afro-Phobia' Say African Envoys, PM Reaches Out in Tweet: 10 Facts

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Congo national Masonda Ketada Olivier was beaten to death on Friday

New Delhi:  The government today moved swiftly to calm tempers after African countries announced their boycott of "Africa Day" celebrations in Delhi expressing anger over the lynching of a Congo national and "attacks that have gone unresolved".
Here are 10 developments in the story
  1. After tweets by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, African diplomats may attend the celebrations tomorrow. Heads of missions of African states had asked the government to put off the Africa Day event, saying that India must solve the problem of "racism and Afro-phobia" first.
  2. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that India was committed to the safety and security of African nationals in India. Minister of State VK Singh also spoke to the African heads of missions.
  3. There has been a backlash against Indians in the Congo after the killing of 29-year-old Masonda Ketada Olivier on Friday. NDTV has obtained a video from the capital Kinshasa of an Indian shopkeeper being led away yesterday by the police for protection while a large number of people are heard shouting. Indians have been asked to keep their shops closed; there are around 5,000 in the Congo.
  4. The foreign ministry had yesterday told the envoys that "all criminal attacks should not be seen as racially motivated." But in their letter today, the envoys were very specific and alleged the opposite.
  5. The African envoys said with the "pervading climate of fear and insecurity", they may recommend to their governments not to send new students to India unless their safety is guaranteed.
  6. On Friday, Masonda Ketada Olivier was beaten to death in south Delhi's Vasant Kunj, allegedly over an argument over hiring an auto-rickshaw. Two of the accused have been arrested and one is missing.
  7. Calling it an "unfortunate and painful incident", Sushma Swaraj said she had asked the Delhi Lieutenant Governor to fast-track the case.
  8. African diplomats said several attacks have gone unresolved "without diligent prosecution" and the government must take urgent steps to guarantee the safety of Africans.
  9. Earlier this year, a 21-year old Tanzanian student in Bengaluru complained to the police that she was dragged out of a car by a mob that beat her up, molested and stripped her. In 2014, Aam Aadmi Party lawmaker Somnath Bharti, then Delhi Law Minister, led a mob of residents who thrashed and abused four Nigerian women accusing them of running a drug and sex racket.
  10. The Africa Day event features panel discussions, an exhibition, a cultural program and a food festival. Only Lesotho has confirmed its participation.




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Highlights

1
African diplomats want 'Africa Day' celebrations to be deferred
2
They say India must solve the problem of 'racism' first
3
Last week, a man from Congo was beaten to death in south Delhi

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