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African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

Final Communique

Final Communique of the 13th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

1. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights held its 13th ordinary Session at its headquarters in Banjul, The Gambia, from 29 March to 7 April 1993.

2. This session was preceded by a fourth workshop organised in the Gambia capital from 26 to 28 March 1993 by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the International Commission of Jurists and the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies.

3. The 13Th was attended by the following Commissioners:

  • Dr. Ibrahim A. BADAWI EL-SHEIKH, chairman;
  • Mr. Sourahata B. S. JANNEH, vice-chairman;
  • Mr. Alioune B. BEYE;
  • Mr. Ali Mahmud BUHEDMA;
  • Mr. Robert H. KISANGA; 
  • Prof. Isaac NGUEMA;
  • Prof. U. O. UMOZURIKE;
  • Dr. Mohamed Hatem BEN SALEM;
  • Mr. Alexis GABOU;
  • Justice Moleleki D. MOKAMA.

4. The opening ceremony took place qt 10.00 am on 29 March 1993 at Kairaba Beach Hotel, in the presence of Hon. Hassan Jallow, Attorney General and Minister of Justice of The Gambia and H.E. Ambassador Abdullahi Said Osman, assistant Secretary-General of the Organisation of African Unity and the following dignitaries:

  • Ambassadors and Heads of Diplomatic Missions;
  • Representatives of International and African NGOs;
  • Members of the Press and others guest.

5. In his introductory statement, Mr Sourahata B. S. JANNEH, the vice-chairman, deputizing for the Chairman highlighted the actions undertaken by the African Commission with respect to the promotion and protection of Human and peoples’ rights in Africa (the Chairman of the African Commission joined the session on 4 April 1993)
6. H.E. Ambassador Abdullahi Said Osman stated that he was very delighted to participate in the Session to represent the Secretary General of the OAU, H.E. Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim. He also reiterated that the OAU is fully committed to do its utmost to support the commission in the efficient and successful discharge of its functions.
7. In his opening address, Hon. Hassan Jallow welcomed all the participants and urged that greater priority be given to Africa during the upcoming World Conference on Human Rights so that it would enjoy the solidarity of the international community in its untiring develpment efforts.

8. during its proceedings the Commission dealt mainly with the following:

  • consideration of the applications for observer status from NGOs;
  • consideration of periodic reports submitted by States under article 62 of the African Charter;
  • consideration of communication-complaints;
  • consideration of promotional activities under the African Charter;
  • administrative and financial matters;
  • consideration of rights to development.

9. the following non-governmental organisations were granted observer status:

  • Organisation Guinéenne de Défense des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen
  • Association des Journalistes Tunisiens ;
  • the Danish Centre for Human Rights ;
  • Africa Human Rights and Justice Protection Network
  • Agir Ensemble pour les Droits de l’Homme
  • Association Rwandaise pour la Défense des Droits de la Personne et des Libertés Publiques
  • Centre Béninois pour le Développement des Initiatives à la Base;
  • CUSO The Gambia;
  • National Society for Human Rights of Namibia
  • Association Chrétienne pour l’Abolition des Tortures et pour le Respect des Droits de l’Homme.
  • the African Institute for Human Rights and Peace Research
  • International Association of Lawyers for Human Rights Studies;
  • Universal Defenders of Democracy;
  • Women Concerned;
  • Egyptian Association of Human Rights Supporters;
  • Comité International pour le Respect de l’Application de la Charte Africaine;
  • Centre de Promotion des Droits de l Jmme au Burundi;
  • Commissao Nacional dos Direitos Homanos de Cabo Verde;
  • Legal Research and Resource Centre for Human Rights;
  • Ligue Tchadienne des Droits de l' Homme.

10. These 20 organisations increase to 110 the number of non-governmental organisations granted observer statuts by the African Commission.

11. At the beginning of its proceeding, the Commission heard statements from several NGOs representatives especially from the representatives of the International Commission of Jurist who presented the conclusions and Recommendations of the Brain-Storming Session on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Dakar, Senegal, 4 – 15 January 1993) and the 4Th NGO Workshop which preceded the meeting of the Session of the Commission (Banjul, The Gambia, 26 – 28 March 1993).

12. During the proceedings, the Commission considered the periodic reports submitted by the republic of Togo (initial report). The federal republic of Nigeria (initial report). The commission also received the reports of Benin, Cape Verde, Ghana and Mozambique, but would not consider them at its 13Th session.

13. The purpose of the consideration of these periodic reports is to evaluate the legislative or other measures taken by States to give effect to the rights and freedoms guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

14. The commission thanked the Governments of Togo, Nigeria for presenting their report. The Commission however urged the two States concerned to submit in writing additional information and response to the questions, which could not be answered.

15. The commission appealed to the States Parties to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which have not yet done so to submit their reports as soon as possible.

16. As regards protective activities, the Commission considered 15 communications from sources other than States Parties including 14 new ones. The Commission noted that some of these complaints apparently related to special cases, which appear to reveal the existence of serious and massive violations of human and peoples’ rights.

17. With regard to promotional activities, the Commission decided to organise with the assistance of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute two training courses on the implementation of the Charter with special emphasis on reporting procedures. The first cycle of training courses will be held in Harare, Zimbabwe in August 1993. The second will be organised at a later date in Tunis. The commission took note of the preparing for the seminar on refugees and displaced persons scheduled to take place in Harare from 12 to 16 July 1993.

18. The Commission also decided:

  1. to organise in co-operation with the Arab Lawyers’ Union and other NGOs a seminar on the rights to a fair trial and legal assistance;
  2. to organise in Cupertino with the Union of African Journalists, the Association of Tunisian Journalist and other organisations a seminar on the role of the media in the promotion of human rights;
  3. to initiate contacts for organising a seminar on the role of women in the African Charter.

19. The Commission emphasized the importance of its participation in the World Conference on Human Rights in June 1993 and mandated its chairman to submit a report containing recommendations to this conference.

20. The Commission decided to hold its 14Th Session during the second fortnight of November 1993 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the invitation of the Secretary- General of the Organisation of African Unity.

Done in Banjul, 7 April 1993