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African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

Statement of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on events of 30 December 2014 in The Gambia

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) is deeply concerned by the attempted coup that took place on 30 December 2014 in Banjul, The Gambia. Recalling its mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter), the Commission uses this opportunity to underscore the right of every citizen to participate freely in the government of their country, either directly or through freely chosen representatives in accordance with the provisions of law, as provided in Article 13 of the African Charter.


The Commission reiterates the principles stipulated in its Resolution on the Unconstitutional Change of Governments ACHPR/Res.213 (CCXIII) 12, adopted on 2 May 2012 during the Commission’s 51stOrdinary Session in Banjul, The Gambia, and in Decision AHG/Dec.150 (XXXVI) of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union on Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa which, inter alia, reject all types of unconstitutional changes of Government as anachronistic and in contradiction to the promotion of democratic principles.

The Commission further recalls the provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance as well as the African Union Assembly Decision AHG/Dec.141 (XXXV) and the Harare Decision on unconstitutional changes of governments which, among other things, recognize that the principles of good governance, transparency and human rights are essential elements for building representative and stable government and contribute to conflict prevention.


The Commission trusts that the Government of The Gambia, as the primary guarantor of human rights within its national borders, will keep its obligations under the various regional and international human rights treaties to which it is a party, and ensure due process for persons who may have participated in those events.



                                                                                            Banjul, 7 January 2015