54 African countries call for racism debate at UN

Johnny Silvercloud via Creative Commons License

African countries called on Friday on the United Nations Human Rights Council to urgently debate black lives matter, racism and white police brutality amid the massive protests in the United States over George Floyd’s death.

Undersigned by leaders of 54 African countries, the letter to the United Nations asked the UN’s top rights body for an “urgent debate” on “racially inspired human rights violations, police brutality against people of African descent and the violence against the peaceful protests that call for these injustices to stop”.

African leaders requested that this debate be held next week, when the council’s 43rd session resumes, after it was interrupted in March due to the pandemic.

The letter mentioned George Floyd’s death and stated that “it is unfortunately not an isolated incident, with many previous cases of unarmed persons of African descent suffering the same fate due to unchecked police brutality.”

“The protests the world is witnessing are a rejection of the fundamental racial inequality and discrimination that characterise life in the United States for black people, and other people of colour,” letter reads.

Earlier, Floyd’s family, along with the families of other victims of police violence and more than 600 NGOs called on the council to urgently address systemic racism and police impunity in the United States.