From the blog

KENYA: Romania Recalls Ambassador Over Racist Remarks

Romania’s ambassador to Kenya who allegedly compared a monkey with Africans during a meeting in the capital has been recalled.

Dragos Viorel Tigau is reported to have said, “The African group has joined us,” when a monkey appeared outside a window during a meeting in April at a United Nations building in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.

The Romanian foreign ministry said on Saturday it had only been informed of the incident this week, after which it “began a procedure to recall its ambassador”.

“We deeply regret this situation and offer our apologies to all those who have been affected,” it added, saying racist behaviour or comments were “absolutely unacceptable”.

Tigau “presented his apology, including in writing”, the ministry said, adding that its statement was communicated to African ambassadors in Bucharest on June 9.

The Romanian foreign ministry “hopes that the incident will not affect the relationship with the countries of the African continent”, the statement added.

The ambassador of South Sudan to Kenya, Chol Ajongo, acting dean of the Africa group wrote to the director general of the United Nations Office on 31 May expressing his anger, shock and disgust at what he called the ambassador’s “disparaging and utterly unacceptable remarks”.

Ajongo pointed out UN regulations required staff to uphold acceptable standards including non-discrimination, including by exhibiting respect for all cultures.

The ambassador’s remarks were in clear disregard of the ethos and dignity of humanity, as well as beneath the status expected of a diplomat, he said.