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African Embassies to hold an emergency meeting amid forced evictions of Africans from China

Thursday April 09 2020
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Mr Mbelwa Kairuki, Tanzanian Ambassador to China

Dar es Salaam. African countries’ Ambassadors to China today April 9, 2020, are expected to hold an emergency meeting with China’s Foreign Affairs Minister to discuss ways to end the ongoing human rights violations and forced evictions facing Africans living in China, The Citizen understands.

The forced evictions are allegedly committed by Chinese authorities over claims that Africans were importing the coronavirus into the country, according to video footages and photos posted on social media recently.

The social media videos and photos show the African nationals stranded at various public places with their luggage after being forcibly evicted out of their homes and hotels, leaving them homeless and living in destitution.

Africans in China, who confirmed the ejection, said the government was forcefully ejecting foreigners from their homes and hotels.

The reports further suggested that foreigners particularly black people are currently not allowed to access public places including malls, restaurants and hospitals, on the grounds that the foreigners were spreading COVID-19.

” Yes we have seen those photos and videos. We are following the matter with local Chinese authorities,” said Mr Mbelwa Kairuki, Tanzanian Ambassador to China when he spoke exclusively to The Citizen over the telephone on Thursday.

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He added: “This afternoon African Ambassadors will have a meeting with China's MFA to discuss about this issue.”

When asked if there was any Tanzanian citizen who was affected by the ejection, the Ambassador said, “The embassy is in close contact with Tanzanian community in Guangzhou. Until last night at 3 am, we had not received any report of a Tanzanian who has been evicted from his home or hotel. All of them at staying in their houses.”
However, the Ambassador further said he had yet to establish the reasons for such human rights violations against African nationals.

“Give us time to follow-up this issue with the local authorities. We will provide feedback afterwards,” he said.

The international community has repeatedly stated that forced evictions are a gross violation of human rights, in particular the right to adequate housing.

In addition, the victims of forced evictions are put in life- and health-threatening situations and often lose access to food, education, health care, employment and other livelihood opportunities.

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