1. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights held its 7th Ordinary Session in Banjul (The Gambia), from 18 to 28 April 1990, under the Chairmanship of Professor Umozurike.
2. The following Members were present at the session:
3. The opening ceremony was presided over by Mr. UMOZURIKE, chairman of the Commission in the presence of Mr. Harry Lloyd EVANS, chairman of the Public Service Commission of the Republic of The Gambia, members of the diplomatic and Consular Corps, representatives of international organisations, other Gambian dignitaries and a cross-section of the Press.
4. After the welcome address by Professor UMOZURIKE. Speeches were made by:
5. In his address, Mr Evans reiterated the firm commitment of the Gambia Government to provide the Commission with all necessary to enable it attain its set objectives.
6. The Commission dealt in particular with the following items:
7. The Chairman, Secretary and Members of the Commission submitted reports on their respective activities during the intersession. The fruitful discussions on these reports gave rise to various observations and suggestions.
8. The Commission had lengthy discussions on the implementation and follow-up of promotional activities with a view of securing the necessary financial resources for the attainment of its set objectives.
9. The Commission noted with satisfaction that certain International and non-Governmental Organisations had provided it with some of the resources for its activities.
10. The Commission considered the 6 communications it received during its 7th session. Since its establishment it received and considered 105 communications of which 16 are directed against States Parties of the Charter.
11.With respect to promotional activities, the Commission published various editions of the African Charter and the Rules of the Procedure as well as an African Review on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
12. The commission granted the status to two (2) non-governmental organisations, namely: The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe and The International Organisation against all form of Racial Discrimination.
13. The Great Socialist Peoples’ Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was the first State Party who had submitted its 1st Periodic Report.
14. In its quest to improve its work and procedures, the Commission decided to review its Rules of Procedure at its next session.
15. It prepared and adopted its 3rd Annual Activity Report, which shall be submitted to the next Assembly of Heads of States and Government.
16.In its course of general debate, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights dwelt on the situation of human rights and freedoms in Africa. It expressed its heartfelt satisfaction at the release of Nelson Mandela and the independence of Namibia, which had become the 51st Member State of the OAU since 10 April 1990.
17. It approved the message of support and solidarity read out on these occasions by the Chairman of the Commission.
18. It expressed the hope that the people of South Africa would continue the struggle in unity and solidarity until apartheid was totally dismantled and a democratic and non-racial society emerges.
19. During the in-depth and serious discussions, members of the Commission unanimously expressed their grave concern about the situation of human and peoples’ rights in Africa. All African countries should take this concern into account with a view to ensuring the rules of law in each state. This was the solemn pledge made by African countries when they instituted and adopted a Charter which guarantees inter-alia, the right to life, the inviolability of the human being, the security of the person, the right to be tried within a reasonable period by an impartial court freely in the government of his country.