ADDIS ABABA, April 7 — The African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council on Saturday urged African countries to exert more concerted efforts against an increasing trend of hate speech and xenophobic attacks in Africa. The council made the call in a statement issued on Saturday following decisions made during its recent meeting under the theme “Prevention of the ideology of hate, genocide and hate crimes in Africa.”
The council “expressed concern at the increasing trend in Africa of hate speech, identity and religious-based conflicts, hatred, the exacerbation of ethnic divisions, among others, that constitute strong drivers of ideology of hate which leads to hate crimes and genocide.”
The AU Peace and Security Council further expressed concern that “extremist ideology among religious and ethnic groups is fostering a new ground for hate speeches which constitutes a fertile ground for hate crimes and genocide.”
“Council noted the importance of promoting religious tolerance with a view to preventing recurrence of mass atrocities, hate crimes and ideology of genocide on the continent,” the statement read.
The AU Peace and Security Council expressed “deep concern of the rise of xenophobia in some parts of the continent.”
The council also “condemned all forms of xenophobic attacks, racism and intolerance in Africa and reaffirmed the AU’s strong commitment to good neighborliness and solidarity in Africa.”
It reaffirmed the centrality of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948, as an effective international instrument for the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide.
The council further urged AU member states to domesticate in their national legislation all instruments relating to the prevention and the punishment of hate speech, hate crimes and genocide, as they have the primary responsibility to protect their own citizens. – XINHUA