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Africa Day event to be held today after India allays 'Afrophobia' fears: Report

African countries had earlier decided to boycott "Africa Day" celebrations in Delhi over the lynching of a Congo national in south Delhi last week.


Africa Day event to be held today after India allays 'Afrophobia' fears: Report
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New Delhi: The Africa Day celebrations, being organised by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), will be held on Thursday, as per the earlier schedule, said a report.

In the wake of a Congolese man's murder in the national capital last week, African heads of mission had threatened to stay away from the event.

On Wednesday, India moved to assuage the grievances of the envoys and assured them of the safety and security of African nationals in the country.

 

According to sources, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh who met with Eritrean Ambassador Alem Tsehage Woldemariam, also the dean of the Group of African Heads of Mission, and a few other diplomats, strongly condemned the criminal act and assured them that the strongest legal action would be taken.

Masonda Ketada Olivier, 29, was beaten to death by three youths at around 11.30 pm on Friday after a verbal altercation over the hiring of an auto-rickshaw near Kishangarh village in Vasant Kunj area of south Delhi.

 

Two of the accused have been arrested while the third is on the run.

On Tuesday, Woldemariam in a statement on behalf of all the African heads of mission, sought strong action by the Indian government against the perpetrators of the murderous attack on Oliver.

Woldemariam said the envoys requested that the event be postponed, and that the African nations also decided not to participate in the celebrations, except for a cultural troupe from Lesotho.

 

Stating that Singh assured the heads of African missions of the Indian government's full support, the sources said Singh would also do an outreach event with African students along with embassies concerned to reassure them of their safety.

Earlier on Wednesday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that she has asked Singh to meet the heads of mission of African countries and assure them of the Indian government's commitment to the security of African nationals.

The Day commemorates the establishment of the African Union in 2001 which replaced the Organisation of African Unity established on May 25, 1963.

 

From Zee News

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