UN worried by racial discrimination in Mauritania

Paris- France (PANA) -- The UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has expressed concern at what it called racial inequalities in Mauritania, citing the poor representation of Negro-Africans in the military, the police and the government.
In a report issued at the end of its 65th session held in Geneva, Switzerland, the UN Committee also regretted that Mauritanian courts had handled no case involving discrimination, adding that victims of racial discrimination did not bother to lodge complaints with the tribunals.
The Committee also expressed concern about the caste system, "the pro-slavery practices" and the lack of support for the application of the anti-slavery law of 9 November 1981.
It said government must ensure the systematic prosecution of those responsible for outlawed practices, including the seizure of properties of deceased ex-slaves.
The Committee also expressed concern about the fate of thousands of "Black Mauritanian refugees" in Mali and Senegal, who could return to their country because they were uncertain of regaining their properties and jobs.
It said a detailed study on the situation of Mauritanian refugees in exile and those who had returned home would feature in the next report.
The Committee noted that the Mauritanian nationality code did not seem to comply with Article 5 of the Convention on the elimination of racial discrimination.
It enjoined the Mauritanian government to do more on the fight against racial discrimination and slavery, promote national languages and ensure the training of magistrates and lawyers.

21 august 2004 11:58:00

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