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AFRICAN COURT WINDS UP THREE DAY SUCCESSFUL SENSITISATION VISIT TO THE SAHRAWI ARAB DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC

Friday, 09 February 2018 06:29

Arusha, 09 February 2018: The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) yesterday wound-up a three-day successful sensitisation mission to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

During the mission, the African Court delegation, led by President Sylvain Oré, paid courtesy calls on the SADR’s President H.E Brahim Ghali, President of the Parliament H.E Khatry Adouh, Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, Minister of Justice and Religious Affairs H.E Marabih El Mami, President of the Constitutional Council H.E Mohamed Bouzeid, Chief Justice H.E Mohamed Mbarek, President of the National Human Rights Commission Mr Abba El Heissan and Leaders of the Sahrawi Union of Lawyers, among others.

The other members of the African Court delegation included the Vice President Hon. Justice Ben Kioko, Hon Justice Chafika Bensaoula and the Registry staff.

The African Court held a public seminar on its work and activities for stakeholders which was attended by over 100 delegates including ministers, judges, ambassadors, lawyers, students, media and civil society representatives.

The President of the SADR H.E Ghali commended the African Court for dispensing justice in the Continent, adding that the nation attaches high importance to the respect for human rights and human dignity.

‘’This meets your mandate of ensuring respect for human and peoples’ rights and gives self-confidence to the people of Africa for truth, progress and self-determination,’’ President Ghali told the African Court delegation during his discussions at the State House.

He urged the African Court to continue to pursue vigorously its quest to create a continent of self-respecting people that abides by norms of fairness and justice. He informed the Court that SADR was still consulting on the issue of the declaration allowing individuals and NGOs to have direct access to the court and would do everything possible to enhance its support to the court.

The sensitisation mission is part of the on-going efforts of the Court to interact with different stakeholders in order to deepen their understanding of the Court’s mission and importance and to encourage States to ratify the Protocol establishing the AfCHPR and deposit the declaration under Article 34(6), which allows direct access to the Court by NGOs and individuals.

The main objective of the visit was to encourage SADR, which has already ratified the Protocol, to deposit the declaration required under Article 34(6) of the Protocol.

So far, 30 out of 55 African Union (AU) Member States have ratified the Protocol and only 8 of them have deposited the declaration recognising the competence of the Court to receive cases from NGOs and individuals. These 8 States are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Tanzania and Tunisia.

Justice Oré welcomed the SADR’s desire to consider depositing the declaration, adding that it was a step in the right direction.

 ‘’For the Court to achieve its objectives and further strengthen African human rights systems, a greater number of countries must ratify the Protocol and make the declaration (under Article 34(6) ),’’ he stressed.

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

  1. The AfCHPR was established by virtue of Article 1 of the  Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, to complement the protective mandate of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, with a view to enhancing the protection of human rights on the continent.  
  2. The success of the Court as a human rights protection mechanism requires a wider ratification of the Protocol by Member States, as well as their acceptance of the competence of the Court, by making the declaration under Article 34(6). This “universal” ratification will give the Court the legitimacy it needs to effectively discharge its mandate.
  3. Since December 2010, the Court has carried out continent-wide promotion programmes which have so far seen it undertake 29 sensitisation visits and held 12 regional, continental seminars and conferences.
  4. The main objective of the sensitisation visits is to enhance the protection of human rights in Africa. Specific objectives include raising awareness about the Court; encouraging the ratification of the Protocol and deposit of the Declaration that allows individuals and NGOs direct access to the Court; sensitising would-be applicants on how to access the Court and the procedures before the Court; encouraging the public to utilise the Court in settling human rights disputes and encouraging the utilisation of the Court for advisory opinions.

Further information on the Court can be obtained from the Court’s website at www.african-court.org.

For more comments:

Dr Robert Eno, Registrar

Tel: +255 2970430; 02970431; 02970432; 02970433; 02970434; 02970435

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last modified on Friday, 09 February 2018 06:39
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