Romania is recalling its ambassador to Kenya following allegations that the diplomat compared Africans to a Monkey, during a meeting in Nairobi, The Kenya Times has learnt.
The Romanian Foreign Ministry in Bucharest released a statement Saturday stating, “Any racist behavior or comments are absolutely unacceptable.” The ministry has “begun the process of recalling” Ambassador Dragos Viorel Tigau from his post in Kenya.
The ministry “deeply regrets this situation, apologizes to all those affected, and strongly rejects and condemns any behavior or attitude incompatible with mutual respect,” according to the statement.
“The African Group would like to condemn in strongest terms possible the insulting, racist and degrading utterances,” wrote Chol Ajong’o, South Sudan’s ambassador to Kenya who leads African diplomats in Nairobi.
The action was taken in response to allegations that Tigau stated “the African group has joined us” after a black monkey appeared at the conference room window prior to a meeting. The incident occurred on April 26 at a United Nations building in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Kenyan diplomat Macharia Kamau tweeted that he was “appalled and disgusted” by the remarks. “This is intolerable and unacceptable,” he stated further.
Appalled &disgusted at learning of remarks by Romanian Amb in Nairobi in reference African Group members as monkeys during Eastern European group meeting. Utter shame attempts to cover up this disgrace. This intolerable &unacceptable in any Age let alone 21 Century in Nairobi!
— Amb. Macharia Kamau (@AmbMKamau) June 8, 2023
“We deeply regret this situation and offer our apologies to all those who have been affected,” it added, saying racist behavior’s or comments were “absolutely unacceptable”.
The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it was informed of the incident only last week, and Tigau was recalled as soon as the government became aware. According to the ministry, the ambassador has apologized for the incident, including in writing.
The Romanian government “hopes that the incident will not affect the relationship with the countries of the African continent,” according to a statement released by the Foreign Ministry.