Activities as Commissioner
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ACTIVITY REPORT OF COMMISSIONER MUSA NGARY BITAYE
43rd ORDINARY SESSION OF THE AFRICAN COMMMISSION ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS
The four state parties in respect of which I am assigned promotional responsibilities and oversight are Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe.
During the intersession, notes verbale were sent to both Ghana and Sierra Leone requesting on my behalf promotional missions to be conducted in those countries.
So far, Ghana has acknowledged receipt and we are in contact with the High Commissioner of Sierra Leone to The Gambia for a response from the Sierra Leone authorities. We have planned promotional missions to Nigeria and Zimbabwe for next year.
VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS IN AFRICA BY NON-STATE ACTORS
Following the authorization by the African Commission to study the violations of human and peoples’ rights in Africa by non-state actors in the context of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, a preliminary study was made by NANA KUSI APPEA BUSIA, Jr. which I submitted to the African Commission during its 42nd Ordinary Session in Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo. I also submitted a parallel study made by the FOREST PEOPLE to the African Commission at the same Ordinary Session.
As a step forward on this important issue, I have prepared a resolution calling for the appointment of a working group to be presented for consideration and adoption by the African Commission during this 43 rd Session in the Kingdom of Swaziland.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS PROJECT
I also have an oversight over this Project, aimed at disseminating the rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Charter through major African languages. A Technical Committee meeting held in Dakar, Senegal, last year, sponsored by BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY, identified the major African languages, the language experts and the challenges.
The follow-up meeting has so far not been held this year due to lack of funding. It is hoped that the funding problem will be resolved by next year when the African Commission presents its budget to the African Union.
In February 2008, I attended the Extraordinary Session of the African Commission held in Banjul during which the draft Rules of Procedure were considered and elaborated in part.
Activities as Working Group ChairpersonWorking Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa
MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS/COMMUNITIES
Between the 4th and 5th of May 2008, I chaired the meeting of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Manzini, Kingdom of Swaziland. The activities of the Working Group during the intersession were assessed and plans were made for future activities.