, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 2 – The Arab Republic of Egypt has launched investigations into claims that its Minister of Environment referred to sub-saharan Africans as, “dogs and slaves,” during the United Nations Environment Assembly held in Nairobi last week.
It has however taken exception to the manner in which the complaint to the Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps was made.
Yvonne Khamati, Chair of the African Diplomatic Corps, in a memo to the ADC Dean, communicated the recommendation that Egypt, “not negotiate or take any leadership position on behalf of Africa,” on account of the racist remarks their Minister is alleged to have made.
But the Egyptian government has taken issue with the sweeping indictment even as a number in their citizenry took it upon themselves to apologise for the slight using the twitter hashtag #WeAreSorryAfrica.
“The Arab Republic of Egypt takes this opportunity to express its total rejection and disappointment with the language used by the Chair of the Technical Committee’s memorandum with regard to defaming generalisation levied at the country and people of Egypt,” the Embassy of Egypt in Nairobi stated in communication to the Dean of the ADC.
READ: Khamati leads Egypt censure for ‘dogs and slaves’ reference
The memo authored by Khamati states that the Egyptian Minister for Environment made the tasteless reference to sub-saharan Africans at the conclusion of the UNEA-2.
“Divisions evolved when the resolution on Gaza was not adopted due to a lack of quorum because most delegations had left. As a result, a few African delegations consulted with the delegation of Morocco, in their capacity as Chair of the Arab League and Egypt, with the view to the view to dissuade them from nullifying the resolutions that had already been adopted before the issue of quorum was raised.”
“During our consultations with Egypt, the head of the Egyptian delegation and current President of AMCEN dismissed our concerns by informing that they would speak in their sovereign capacity and to that extent, referred to sub-Saharan Africa as dogs and slaves, in Arabic.”