13th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, 29 March - 7 April 1993 Banjul, The Gambia

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 the fourth Workshop on NGO participation in the work of the African Commission jointly organized in The Gambian capital from 26 to 28 April 1993 by the International Commission of Jurists and the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies.

3. The 13th Session 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 Mahmoud Buhedma;

Justice Robert Habesh Kisanga;

Mr. Youssoupha Ndiaye;

Prof. Isaac Nguema;

Professor U.O. Umozurike;

Dr. Mohammed H. Ben Salem;

Mr. Alexis Gabou;

Mr. Moleleki D. Mokama;

4. The opening ceremony took place on 29 March 1993 at 10 a.m. at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in the presence of His Excellency the Honourable Hassan Jallow, Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Gambia and H.E. Ambassador Abdullahi Said Osman, Assistant Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity and the following dignitaries:

Ambassadors and Heads of Diplomatic Missions;

Representatives of International And African NGOs;

Members of the press and other invitees.

5. In his introductory Statement the Vice-Chairman Mr. Sourahata B.S. Janneh underscored the Actions deployed by the African Commission towards the promotion of human and peoples' rights in Africa.

6. H.E. Ambassador Abdullahi Saod Osman, expressed his delight in participating and deputizing for the Secretary-General of the OAU, H.E. Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim. He also reaffirmed the readiness of the General Secretariat of the OAU to do its utmost to support the Commission in the efficient and successful discharge of its functions.

7. In his opening address, the Honourable Hassan Jallow welcomed all the participants and urged that greater priority be accorded to Africa during the forthcoming World Conference on Human Rights so that it would enjoy the solidarity of the international community in its untiring development efforts.

8. The proceedings of the Commission dealt mainly with the following major issues:

1. Consideration of applications for Observer Status;

2. Consideration of periodic reports;

3. Consideration of communications - complaints;

4. Administrative and financial matters;

5. Consideration of the right to development.

9. Observer Status was granted to the following 18 Organizations:

1. Organization guineenne de défense des droits de l'homme et du citoyen;

2. Association des journalistes tunisiens;

3. The Danish Centre for Human Rights;

4. African Rights and Justice Protection Network;

5. Agir ensemble pour les droits de l'homme;

6. Association rwandaise pour la défense des droits de la personne et des libertés publiques

7. Centre beninois pour le dévelopement des initiatives à la base

8. CUSO, The Gambia

9. National Society for Human Rights of Namibia;

10. Association chretienne pour l'abolition des tortures et pour le respect des droits de l'homme;

11. The African Institute for Human Rights and Peace Research;

12. International Association of Lawyers for Human Rights Studies;

13. Universal Defenders of Democracy;

14. Women Concerned;

15. Egyptian Association of Supporters of Human Rights;

16. Comité international pour le respect et l'application de la charte africaine (CIRAC);

17. Centre de promotion des droits de l'homme du burundi;

18. Comissão Nacional des Direitos Humanos de Cabo Verde.

10. These 18 Organizations join the 90 already granted Observer Status by the African Commission.

11. At the beginning of its proceedings, the Commission was addressed by a number of NGO representatives including the representatives of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) who presented the conclusions and recommendations of the Dakar symposium of January 1993 and the 4th NGO Workshop which preceded the Session of the African Commission.

12. During its proceedings, the Commission considered the initial periodic reports submitted by the Republic of Togo and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

13. The consideration of these reports is geared towards assessing the legislative or other measures, taken by States with a view to giving effect to the rights and freedoms enshrined in the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.

14. The Commission thanks the Government of Togo and the Government of Nigeria for presenting their report before the Commission. The Commission, nevertheless, urged the two States concerned to reply in writing to the questions which were not answered or for which the response was unsatisfactory.

15. The Commission appealed to the States which have not yet submitted their reports to do so as soon as possible.

16. As regards protective activities, the Commission considered 55 communications, from sources other than States Parties including 14 new ones. For some of them, the Commission noted that they relate to special cases which appear to reveal the existence of a series of serious and massive violations of human and peoples' rights.

17. In the face of such situations in certain African countries the Commission decided to apply the relevant provisions of the Charter especially paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 58.

18. Moreover, in dealing with certain communications, the Commission resorted to the provisions of Article 46 of the Charter.

19. As regards promotional activities the Commission intends to organize with the assistance of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute training courses on the obligations contained in the African Charter in Harare and Tunis during the course of 1993. Moreover, a seminar on refugees and displaced persons will be organized in Harare from 12 to 16th July 1993, with the assistance of the Centre for Documentation and Research of Southern Africa.

20. The Commission will hold its 14th Session during the last ten days of November in Banjul, The Gambia.

Done in Banjul,

7 April 1993

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