Due to the recent brutal killing of a Congolese national, Africans in India have decided to put off the Africa Day celebration.
Masunda Kitada Oliver was beaten to death in Vasant Kunj area of Delhi. Report says that the crime was perpetrated by a group of Indian men last Friday after an argument.
The disagreement was over the hiring of an auto-rickshaw. The group of 3 men beat him up and hit him with a stone on the head. Masunda Kitada Oliver has lived in India for over 6 years and was a teacher at a private institute.
2 of the culprits have been arrested and one is on the run. The embassies reportedly put off the Africa day celebration on purpose. They say there has been recent incessant attacks on Africans in India. According to Alem Tsehage Woldemariam, Dean of African Group of Heads of Mission;
“This is because the African community in India, including students, are in a state of mourning in memory of the slain African students in the last few years, including Mr Oliver.”
From the above comment, it appears that the attack on Masunda Kitada Oliver is only one out of many. Saddened by the death of the African and other attacks, Woldemariam, in an official capacity urges African nations “not to send new students to India, unless and until their safety can be guaranteed.”
Showing concern to the plight of Africans in India at the moment, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICRC) still plans to hold the celebration on a later date. The death of Oliver made the timing for the Africa Day celebration rather awkward for Africans in India.
Indian authorities also assured Africans that the death of Congolese Masunda Kitada Oliver will be thoroughly investigated and the criminals brought to book.
“I have asked my colleague General VK Singh to meet the heads of missions of African countries in Delhi and assure them of Indian government’s commitment to the safety and security of African nationals in India.”
– Sushma Swaraj, Indian Foreign Minister.
As African envoys agitate this killing and other attacks which go unnoticed, India promises to tackle seeming “racism and Afro-phobia” in India.