African nations drag US to UN human rights council over ‘systemic racism’
African nations have prepared a draft resolution at the U.N.’s top human rights body that singles out the United States and would launch intense international scrutiny of systemic racism against people of African descent in the wake of recent high-profile killings of blacks by American police.
The draft text, a copy of which has been obtained by The Associated Press, could become the centerpiece for an urgent debate hastily scheduled for Wednesday for the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.
It calls for a Commission of Inquiry — the rights body’s most powerful tool to inspect human rights violations — to look into “systemic racism” and alleged violations of international human rights law and abuses against “Africans and of people of African descent in the United States of America and other parts of the world recently affected by law enforcement agencies” especially encounters that resulted in deaths.
Such work would be carried out “with a view to bringing perpetrators to justice,” said the text, circulated by the Africa Group in the council. The breadth of support for the measure was not immediately clear. The U.S. mission in Geneva declined immediate comment on the draft resolution.
President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the 47-member body two years ago, accusing it of an anti-Israel bias and of accepting members from some autocratic governments that are serial rights violators.
On Monday, the council agreed unanimously to hold the urgent debate on “racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and the violence against peaceful protests” in the wake of the George Floyd killing in the United States.
May 2020: US must sit up, eliminate racial discrimination: AU on George Floyd ‘murder’
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat has waded into the death of a black American man, George Floyd at the hands of police in the United States.
The AUC chair issued a statement on the development on Friday voicing condemnation of the violence, rejection of discrimination and intensify call to action on the part of Washington.
According to him, the US must intensify efforts to eliminate forms of ethnic and racial discrimination. He said the AU rejected ongoing discriminatory practices against black citizens of the US.
1/3:I strongly condemns the murder of #GeorgeFloyd that occurred in the United States of America at the hands of law enforcement officers, and wishes to extend his deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.Moussa Faki Mahamat✔@AUC_MoussaFaki
2/3Recalling the historic OAU Resolution on Racial Discrimination in the USA made by African HeadsofState at the OAU’s 1st Assembly in Cairo,Egypt from 17-24 July 1964,I reaffirm+reiterate the AU’s rejection of continuing discriminatory practices against Black citizens of the USA
George Floyd, 46, died in police custody earlier this week. The incident whipped up the #BlackLivesMatter movement especially after the viral video of a white police officer filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he repeatedly said he could not breathe.
A series of violent demonstrations have taken place across the country. President Trump warned that looting will not be countenanced and that the National Guard could be deployed especially to Minneapolis. The police officer in question has since been arrested and charged.
Over in South Africa, the Economic Freedom Fighter, EFF, also lambasted the US in a statement calling on African countries to call the US government to exercise restraint and to “call on Trump to seize from his genocidal deployment of the military against protesters.”
Africanews – Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban