African countries are reportedly backing off calls for an inquiry into what they had called “systemic racism” and “police brutality” in the United States.
This week the African nations had intended to push for a U.N. probe into racism in the U.S following the death of a blackman George Floyd in the custody of the police in Minneapolis.
In an earlier draft resolution African countries hoped to defend the rights of people of African descent.
In the draft resolution, African countries expressed concerns over “recent incidents of police brutality against peaceful demonstrators defending the rights of Africans and of people of African descent”.
It called for “an independent international commission of inquiry … to establish facts and circumstances related to the systemic racism, 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”.
The resolution also said such an inquiry should include “the alleged use of excessive force against protesters, bystanders and journalists”.
The said resolution was circulating among diplomats in Geneva ahead of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting which was to consider it for an urgent debate.
Pressure to back off
But the Africa group is reworking the draft resolution, by cutting out language calling on the Human Rights Council to set up a commission of inquiry.
It is believed there is pressure on the African countries from the US over such a call for a probe.
One African diplomat was quoted by Africanews on condition of anonymity as saying that there was a “pushback” from the U.S.
When the said diplomat was asked whether U.S. officials had pressured any countries, the diplomat replied “What do you think? I think you know the answer.”
The 47-members of the council had convened at the request of Burkina Faso on behalf of African countries after George Floyd’s death this week.
The United States is no longer a member of the Human Rights council after quitting two years ago over claims of bias against its ally Israel.