The President of the Republic of Senegal, H.E. Mr. Macky Sall, received on Wednesday 5 September, 2012, the delegation of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights on a three day sensitization visit to the Republic of Senegal. The delegation of the Court, led by Honorable Justice Gérard Niyungeko, President of the Court, accompanied by Judges Modibo Tounty GUINDO and El Hadji GUISSE, and other members of the Court’s Registry, is in Senegal as part of the Court’s outreach programme.
The Court initiated the promotional activities in 2010 to raise public awareness about its existence and functions. It was also an opportunity for the Court to explain to the public its importance and role in the protection of human rights, as well as to inform potential litigants on how they can access and litigate before the Court.
The Court also uses the opportunity of the sensitization visits to encourage States that have ratified the Protocol establishing the Court, but have not yet done so, to make the declaration allowing individuals and non-governmental organizations to institute cases before the Court, after exhausting local remedies.
During the visit to the Republic of Senegal, the delegation of the Court decided to pay a courtesy visit on the President of the Republic, to encourage Senegal, which has already ratified the Protocol, to consider making the declaration.
During the meeting with H.E. Mr. Macky Sall, he assured the delegation of the Court that he and his Government will, in consultation with other stakeholders in the field of human rights, consider the possibility of making the said declaration as soon as possible. He indicated further that his Government will always support the activities of the Court and intervene in favor of the Court at the level of decision-making organs of the African Union.
The delegation also paid courtesy calls on the Prime Minister of Senegal, H.E. Mr. Abdoul Mbaye, the Speaker of the Senegalese Parliament, Honorable Moustapha Niasse, the President of the Supreme Court, Justice Papa Oumar Sakho, the Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, H.E. Ms. Aminata Touré and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese abroad, Mr Alioune Badara Cissé. The delegation was also received by the Mediator of the Republic, Honorable Serigne Diop and the Deputy Chairman of the Constitutional Council representing the President of the Constitutional Council of Senegal, Mr Cheikh Tidiane Diakhate as well as by the Permanent Secretary of the Senegalese Commission of Human Rights, Mr Abdoulaye Mar.
At each meeting, the President briefed the Senegalese authorities on the background of the Court, its mandate and its functions as well as the challenges that the Court is facing. He also took opportunity to reiterate to those authorities the striking request, that Senegal considers the possibility of making the declaration allowing individuals to directly institute their cases before the African Court. He also asked them to use the Court for advisory opinion regarding human rights legislation and continue avail their support to the Court. All the officials welcomed the work already done by the Court and pledged to spare no effort to support and sustain the Court in its efforts to protect human rights in Africa.
In addition, the Court, in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Senegal and the Senegalese Bar Association, organized a sensitization seminar for Human Rights Organizations and Civil Society Organisations in Senegal at the King Fahd Palace Hotel, in Dakar, Senegal.
Senegal is the twelfth (12th country to be visited by the Court within the framework of its promotional activities. Other countries include: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Gabon, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa and Uganda.