Activities as Commissioner
During the period under review I undertook the following activities;
1. Between 25 January and 3 February 2009, I was privileged to represent the Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights to the meetings of the policy organs of the African Union namely:
- the Permanent Representatives Coucil;
- the Executive Council of Ministers;
- the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Executive Coucil adopted the budget of the African Commission for 2009 an approved a new structure for staffing the Secretariat of the African Commission. Both decisions were aimed to enhancing the capacity of the African Commission to discharge its mandate. I wish to reiterate, once again, the appeal by Commissioner for adequate resources.
2. Between 1 and 8 March 2009, I undertook a promotional mission to the Republic of Seychelles. This was a follow up mission to the one undertaken by the African Commission in 2004. The report of the mission shall be presented to the African Commission when it meets later in the private session. However, I can state that one of the immediate outcomes of the mission, is that the African Commission has received a communication which was sent by an NGO based in Seychelles. The said commuication shall be brought to the Commission for seizure, when the Commission convenes in private session later this week.
3. On 20 March 2009, I presented a paper to the 3rd East African Civil Society Organizations' Forum in conjunction with the Coalition for an Effective African Human Rights Court in Arusha, Tanzania, on the topic of "Comparative analysis of civil Society influence within the Regional Economic Communites and the African Union". My presentation introduced the African Human Rights System and Mechanisms to the representatives of Civil Society organizations from the five member states fo the East African Community, namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda; with special focus on the regional and sub-regional courts, their human Rights jurisdiction, and access by individuals and NGOs to those courts.
4. Between 30 March and 3 April 2009, I participated in the 6th Extra Ordinary Session of the African Commission, which was convenved to dispatch pending matters including communications and mission reports.
5. I wish to state that during this period, I was unable to undertake a promotional mission to the Republic of Rwanda, because it coincided with the holding of the 6th Extra Ordinary Session, which I have mentioned above.
I wish to thank the Government of the Republic of Rwanda for the invitation extended to undertake the mission. I believe that at an appropriate mutually agreeable dates, the Commission shall undertake the said mission.
6. I am happy to note that followng my promotional mission to Botswana sometime in 2005, and in August 2008, during which time I conducted a training on state reporting, under the African Charter, the Republic of Botswana has submitted its initial State report, after a period of 22 years, which will be examined by the Commission during its forthcoming session.
7. Let me take this opportunity to express with regret the fact that, for the entire period of my tenure as a Commissioner Rapporteur responsible for promotion in the Republic of Eritrea, I could not undertake a promotional mission to that State Party to the African Charter. The inability, which was due to lack of cooperation by Eritrea, in spite of authorization granted in June 2006, has meant that the Commission has not been able to engage in cnstructive dialogue with the Republic of Eritrea at a time when the Commission continues to receive reports regarding the deteriorating human rights situation in that country.
It is my sincere hope that, a promotional mission shall be conduted in Eritrea in the near future. I urge the Republic of Eritrea to cooperate with the Commission and to facilitate the long overdue mission.