10: Resolution on the Military

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights meeting at its 16th Ordinary Session held from 25 October to 3 November, 1994 in Banjul, The Gambia:

Recalling the intervention in African States by the military during the past three decades, and the fact that only very few states have escaped this phenomenon,

Affirming that the best government is one elected by, and accountable to, the people,

Aware that the trend world-wide and in Africa in particular is to condemn military take-overs and the intervention by the military in politics,

Recognising that the forcible take-over of government by Army civilian or military group contravenes Articles 13(1) and 20(1) of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights,

Considering that such interventions stultify political development and antagonise relations between national groups:

1. Calls upon African military regimes to respect fundamental rights.

2. Reminds them that they are entrusted with the national armouries solely for the purpose of national defence and the maintenance of internal order under the direction of the legitimate authorities;

3. Calls upon incumbent military governments to handover political power to democratically elected governments without prolonging their incumbencies and unnecessarily delaying the return to democratic civilian rule;

4. Encourages states to relegate the era of military interventions in government to the past in the interest of the African image, progress and development, and for the creation of an environment in which Human Rights values may flourish.