117: Resolution on Strengthening the Responsibility to Protect in Africa

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (the African Commission or ACHPR), meeting at its 42nd Ordinary Session held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, from 15 - 28 November 2007:

    Recalling its mandate to promote human and peoples’ rights and ensure their protection in Africa under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter);

    Recalling the principles under the Constitutive Act of the African Union and the Protocol establishing the Peace and Security Council, which provides that the African Union shall intervene, to prevent, in situation of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, in a Member State of the African Union;

    Recalling the report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) of 2001, which set the foundation for governmental and civil effort in achieving international consensus on the Responsibility to Protect;

    Taking into account the common African position on the proposed reform of the United Nations, otherwise known as the “Ezulwini Consensus”, where the African Union at its 7th Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council1 of 1- 8 March 2005, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, adopted the principle of Responsibility to Protect ;

    Aware of the United Nations Summit Declaration of September 2005, whereby the international community expressed its determination to act where national authorities are unwilling or unable to protect their population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity;

    Re-affirming the call made in the September 2005 United Summit Declaration for cooperation between the United Nations and regional organisations, to help protect populations from those grave threats;

    Deeply concerned that in the recent past, the international community has not responded quickly enough to situations of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity and the continued slow response to the allegations of genocide and crime against humanity;

    Recalling the November 2006 Tripartite Decision between the Government of Sudan, the AU and the UN, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to establish an AU / UN hybrid force operation in Darfur, in order to protect the civilian population in Darfur, Sudan;

    Concerned that the re-emergence of the conflict in North East Democratic Republic of Congo and conflicts in Somalia, Chad and Central Africa Republic resulted in the violation of International Human Rights Law and the fundamental rights of the people of those countries:

    • Commends the States Parties to the African Charter, which have contributed troops to the African Union Mission in Sudan, AMIS, and the role of AMIS under difficult circumstances;
    • Condemns the armed rebel groups in the Darfur conflict for attacks on AMIS troops and the humanitarian relief agencies;
    • Commends the UN Security Council for its Resolution 1769 (2007) of 31st July, 2007, to establish the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur – UNAMID;
    • Calls on African States, African Union and the United Nations to expedite the operationalization of the UN-AU Hybrid operation in Darfur - UNAMID, by contributing troops to the said force;
    • Calls on all parties to the Darfur conflict to observe an immediate ceasefire and seriously pursue peace negotiation within the UN and AU framework;
    • Calls on the UN and AU to enhance the AU Peace-keeping forces in Somalia, in order to provide enhanced protection against the violation of International Humanitarian Law and the fundamental rights of the people of Somalia;
    • Urges the parties to the conflicts in north-east DRC, Chad and Central Africa Republic, to observe their obligations under international human rights law and to ensure that they respect the fundamental human rights of the civilian population, in particular the rights of women, children and internally displaced peoples.


    Done in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, 28 November 2007.

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