ACHPR’s Atoki talks about ending human rights problem in Africa

23 Apr
Mrs Catherine Dupe Atoki, Chairperson, ACHPR (Photo credit: (Falka Lawyers Association)

Mrs Catherine Dupe Atoki, Chairperson, ACHPR (Photo credit: (Falka)

By Modou S. Joof

African States have been urged on Tuesday to build democratic functional human rights institution to put an end to the problem of human rights violations and abuse committed in the continent.

At the end of the 53rd Ordinary Season of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) in Banjul, The Gambia on April 23, 2013, Commissioner Catherine Dupe Akoki said: “African governments should promote the building of democratic values, competent and independent judiciary.”

She claims Africans are now determined to take their destiny into their own hands as shown by the peaceful conduct of elections in Senegal, Ghana and Zimbabwe. However, she said unconstitutional changes of government remain a challenge to Africa’s democratic process.

“The commission will continue to work tirelessly in advancement and promotion of human rights in Africa,” Atoki said, “We urge all State Parties to provide an environment conducive to all stakeholders in the field of human rights.”

The ACHPR Chairperson calls on the African Union, an organisation of heads of states and governments in Africa, to pay attention to the protection of human rights in conflict countries like Mali, Sudan, Central Africa Republic and DR Congo.

She also urges NGOs to strengthen their cooperation with the African Commission in the protection and promotion of human rights in Africa.

The Gambia’s Justice Minister Lamin Jobarteh hopes the human rights issues raised at the 53rd ordinary session will be put into consideration.

He claims the “Government of The Gambia is committed to the principles of human rights and the good work of the Commission in the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa”.

40 Human Rights NGOs boycotted the 53rd Ordinary Session of the ACHPR, at the back of what they call “gross disregard for human rights by The Gambia”.

NGOs from Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Zambia and international and regional NGOs like Article19, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and Media Foundation for West Africa said they are “protesting against holding sessions of the African Commission in The Gambia where basics human rights are constantly violated with total impunity”.

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