The African Union Commission has expressed dismay at the comments made by Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini at a recent conference in Vienna at which he compared African immigrants to slaves.
“It is the view of the African Union that name-calling will not resolve the migration challenges facing Africa and Europe,” the African Union Commission said in a press release issued on late Tuesday.
“It is common knowledge that emigration from Italy in the last two centuries has been the most important case of mass migration in modern European history,” it added.
Speaking at a session of a conference on migration and security hosted by Austria, Salvini had said: “I’m paid by citizens to help our young people start having children again the way they did a few years ago, and not to uproot the best of the African youth to replace Europeans who are not having children anymore.”
He further said: “Maybe in Luxembourg there’s this need, in Italy there’s the need to help our kids have kids, not to have new slaves to replace the children we’re not having.”
The African Union called on Salvini to retract the derogatory remarks “…in the interests of constructive engagement on the migration debate between the two continents."