African countries condemn racism, asks UN Human Rights Council to organize debate

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Following the death of George Floyd in the United States, the African Union on Friday 12th June 2020 in a letter to the United Nations in Geneva called on the U.N. Human Rights Council to organize an urgent debate on racism and police violence

This was disclosed by Dieudonné Désiré Sougouri, the Ambassador of Burkina Faso, and coordinator for human rights questions for the African Group.

He, on behalf of the group, requested through the letter that the U.N. should organize a debate on the ongoing systemic racism, police brutality and use of force against peaceful demonstrators in the United States.

The request came following calls from family of George Floyd, families of other victims of police violence and more than 600 NGOs to the Human Rights Council to take active roles in addressing the concerning issues of racism in the United States which was thrown in the open by the death of George Floyd.

Putting the request across to the body, the letter asked that the U.N. Human Rights Council should organize an “urgent debate on the current racially-inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality against people of African descent and violence against peaceful demonstrations.”

The letter, which was addressed to Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, the President of the Human Rights Council, requested that the debate should hold at the 43rd session of the Council coming up next week.

The 43rd session of the Council was suspended in March due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Writing further about the reason for the having the debate, the ambassador said, “The tragic events of May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, USA, which resulted in the death of George Floyd, sparked worldwide protests over the injustice and brutality faced by people of African descent daily in many regions of the world.”

While speaking on behalf of all the 54 countries, the ambassador stated that the rate at which racial inequality is replicated was alarming and deserved outright condemnation.

Establishing his point, he specifically said that “The death of George Floyd is unfortunately not an isolated incident.”

Speaking to the AFP, the Council spokesperson said that the request put forward by the 54 African countries to the council has every chance that the debate would be considered given that all the countries approve of it.

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