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African countries want the UN to investigate US “systemic racism”

Some 50 African states are campaigning at the UN Human Rights Council to investigate “systemic racism” and police brutality in the United States and other countries, according to a motion for a resolution whose content AFP reveals.

The text circulates among diplomats to be consulted before a debate on it on Wednesday at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The discussion began in the context of the enormous protests that have rocked the United States since the death, on 25 May, in Minneapolis, of George Floyd, a 40-year-old African-American man suffocated by a white police officer.

In the motion for a resolution, the group of African countries strongly condemns “the discriminatory and violent racist practices of the police against Africans and people of African descent and the endemic structural racism of the criminal justice system in the United States and other parts of the world.”

They call for the creation of an independent international commission of inquiry, a high-level structure generally reserved for major crises such as the Syrian conflict. The aim would be “to bring the perpetrators of violence to justice”.

Investigators are also expected to “investigate the responses of governments at federal, state, and local levels to peaceful protests, including the alleged use of excessive force against demonstrators, bystanders, and journalists.” The findings are expected to be released within a year.

The motion for a resolution must be adopted by the 47 members of the Council at least 24 hours before a vote, who must intervene after an urgent debate convened from 3 pm on Wednesday.

This debate was requested last week by the Ambassador of Burkina Faso to the United Nations on behalf of 54 African countries and was accepted Monday on the occasion of the resumption of the 43rd Council session that was interrupted in March due to the corona pandemic.

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