AFRICANGLOBE – Egypt’s foreign ministry has said it will launch an investigation into claims that one of its diplomats publicly referred to Africans as “slaves and dogs” during a United Nations meeting held last week in Nairobi, Kenya.
The controversy comes as a setback for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi at a time when his administration is courting closer political and business ties with the African continent.
Uncivilised, undiplomatic, irresponsible, degrading and insulting behaviour
This year Egypt returned to the Pan-African Parliament, the African Union’s legislative body, after a three-year absence. Cairo is looking for solutions to a number of regional disputes, including with Ethiopia over the impact of a hydropower dam on the Nile River.
In a formal complaint submitted on 29 May to the Africa Diplomatic Corps, Kenyan diplomat Yvonne Khamati said the remarks constituted “uncivilised, undiplomatic, irresponsible, degrading and insulting behaviour”.
The comments were allegedly made in Arabic during the United Nations Environment Assembly by an unidentified Egyptian diplomat during a debate on the lack of a consensus needed to pass resolutions on Gaza, Khamati said.
Egypt responded to the complaint on Wednesday by saying its foreign minister Sameh Shoukry had ordered “an immediate investigation to uncover the truth of what happened”, but the ministry stressed that it had seen no evidence that the remarks were made.
“Our concern now is that this letter is not talking about a person but Egypt in general,” Egypt’s ambassador to Kenya, Mahmoud Ali Talaat Mahmoud, told The Nation, a Kenyan newspaper.
By: Mark Anderson
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