The head of the African Union Commission on Friday condemned the killing by police of an unarmed black man in the US state of Minnesota which has sparked protests across the country.
Moussa Faki Mahamat “strongly condemns the murder of George Floyd that occurred in the United States of America at the hands of law enforcement officers and wishes to extend his deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” read a statement issued by his spokeswoman.
The statement added that Faki “firmly reaffirms and reiterates the African Union’s rejection of the continuing discriminatory practices against Black citizens of the United States of America.”
George Floyd, 46, was killed Monday by police after being arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit banknote.
A video taken by a bystander shows an officer kneeling on his neck as he is pinned to the ground. At one point Floyd is heard saying he cannot breathe.
Protests in the US against Floyd’s killing and against other deaths of black people in police encounters entered their fourth day on Friday.
Other officials at the AU, headquartered in Ethiopia, have also made clear they were disturbed by Floyd’s death.
On Thursday, Kwesi Quartey, deputy chairperson of the African Union Commission, posted on his personal Facebook page that the AU was “distressed to witness yet another unwarranted execution of another African-American male… for no other reason than BEING BLACK”.
“This is one too many. We may be black, but we are people too,” Quartey wrote. “Africa demands a full investigation into this killing.”
The statement Friday from Faki’s office called on US officials to “intensify their efforts to ensure the total elimination of all forms of discrimination based on race or ethnic origin.”