13th Extraordinary Session: Final Communique

Final Communiqué of the 13th Extra-Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights 

Banjul, The Gambia

19 to 25 February 2013

  1. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) held its 13th Extra-Ordinary Session from 19 to 25 February 2013 in Banjul, The Gambia.
  1.  The Session was chaired by Honourable Commissioner Catherine Dupe Atoki, Chairperson of the Commission, and was attended by the following Commissioners:

                   ·         Honourable Commissioner Kayitesi Zainabo Sylvie Vice-Chairperson;

                   ·         Honourable Commissioner Reine Alapini-Gansou;

                   ·         Honourable Commissioner Faith Pansy Tlakula;

                   ·         Honourable Commissioner Soyata Maiga;

                   ·         Honourable Commissioner Mohamed Bechir Khalfallah;

                   ·         Honourable Commissioner Lucy Asuagbor;

                   ·         Honourable Commissioner Med S. K. Kaggwa;

                   ·         Honourable Commissioner Maya Sahli Fadel ; and

                   ·         Honourable Commissioner Pacifique Manirakiza.

  1. Honorable Commissioner Yeung Kam John Yeung Sik Yuen was absent with apologies.
  1. The Chairperson briefed Members of the Commission on the outcome of the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council and the 20th Summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), which included the request of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government for the Commission to be part of the African-led Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) to monitor the human rights situation in the liberated areas of Mali.
  1. The Chairperson further briefed the Commission that the 50th Anniversary/Golden Jubilee of the Organization of the African Unity/African Union would be celebrated in May 2013.
  1. Eighty-one (81) Communications were tabled before the Commission:

                             i.            Thirteen (13) on Seizure;

                             ii.            Thirteen (13) at Merits stage;

                             iii.            Forty six (46) at Admissibility;

                             iv.            Three 3 for Review;

                              v.            One (1) request for Deferment; and

                              vi.            Five (5) involving lack of Diligent Prosecution.

  1. The Commission:

                              i.            Decided to be Seized of twelve (12) new Communications;

                             ii.            Examined three Communications on Admissibility and decided that two (2) of them be Admitted;

                             iii.            Considered two (2) Communications on Merits and adopted a decision on one (1);

                             iv.            Rejected request for Provisional Measures in two (2) Communications and issued Provisional Measures at its own initiative in one (1) Communication;

                              v.            Denied request for Review in one (1) Communication;

                             vi.            Struck out five (5) Communications for lack of diligent prosecution.

                             vii.            Agreed to put its good office at the disposal of the parties to facilitate the implementation of its recommendations in one (1) Communication.

  1. The Commission also deliberated on various issues pertaining to its collaboration with the African Court.
  1. The Commission considered and adopted the following:

                             i.            Report of the Working Group on Communications;

                             ii.           Report of the Communications Audit;

                            iii.            Report of the Advisory Committee on Staff and Budgetary Matters;

                            iv.            Concluding Observations on the Combined Periodic Report of the Republic of Burundi;

                             v.            Report of the Promotion Mission to Togo; and

                            vi.            Model Law on Access to Information in Africa;

  1. The Commission adopted the following Resolutions;

                             i.            Resolution Reconstituting its Working Group on Specific Issues Relevant to the Work of the Commission; and

                            ii.            Resolution on Elections in Africa.

  1. The Commission adopted a Declaration on the trial of twenty five (25) Sahrawi civilians by a military Tribunal in Rabat, Morocco.
  1. The Commission deliberated on two Memoranda of Understanding with its partners: one with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and another with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and approved both.
  1. The Commission decided to undertake an investigative mission to Mali from 27 March to 7 April 2013, pursuant to Decision AU DEC.1 (XIX) of the Assembly of African Union Heads of States and Government, conditions permitting.
  1. The Commission held discussions with Mr. Adama Dieng, Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide, on how the Commission and Mr. Dieng’s Office can collaborate in matters of mutual interest in furtherance of their respective mandates.
  1. The Commission also held discussion with a consultant engaged by the European Union (EU), to identify the challenges and difficulties encountered by the Commission in accessing and utilizing funds allocated under the EU 55 million Euro Support Program for the Commission and to propose a way forward.
  1. The Commission expresses its sincere and profound gratitude to the Government and People of the Republic of The Gambia for the hospitality extended to the Members of the Commission during the 13th Extra-Ordinary Session.

Done in Banjul, The Gambia during the 13th Extra-Ordinary Session of the Commission