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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Are we heading into a diplomatic flap with Kenya?

Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy was accused yesterday by a Kenyan diplomat of having referred to Sub-Saharan Africans as “dogs and slaves” in Arabic during last weekend’s United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, according to Kenyan news outlet Capital News on Monday. Yvonne Khamati alleges in a letter (page 1, page 2) that Fahmy “dismissed our concerns … [and] referred to Sub-Saharan Africa[ns] as dogs and slaves, in Arabic” during a debate on Gaza. Khamati is demanding that “Egypt, at the highest level, unreservedly apologize to Africa” (among other things). The diplomat is tweeting about the alleged incident, and the news has come to the attention on Twitter of at least two international journalists covering Africa, making it possible the flap will have legs.

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