African Commission Urges Foreign Powers to Refrain from Interfering in Affairs of Member States

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) has in a resolution urged foreign powers to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of its Member States.

The Commission made this resolution which was adopted in its 76th Ordinary Session, as itwasdeeply concerned by the instability that reigns in most of sub-Saharan Africa and by the consequences for the population.

The commission made this resolution recalling its mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in Africa according to Article 45 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter).

The ACHPR indicated that the resolution was made considering the Constitutive Act of the African Union adopted in Lomé on the 11th of July 2000 and in particular its Articles 3(h), 4(m)(p), and 30 on the promotion and the protection of human and peoples’ rights, on the respect for democratic principles, on the condemnation and rejection of unconstitutional changes respectively; 

It is worth noting that the Declaration and Plan of Action of Grand Bay (Mauritius), adopted by the First Ministerial Conference on Human Rights in Africa (12-16 April 1999), recognizes that the causes of human rights violations in Africa include unconstitutional changes of government.

As indicated in the resolution, the commission indicated that the resolution was made as it was alarmed by the recent declaration by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that had threatened the military junta, led by General Abdourahmane Tchiani, with the use of “force”, if constitutional order in Niger is not restored.

According to the commission it was also alarmed by the response by Mali and Burkina Faso military juntas that have warned that any military intervention in Niger to restore deposed President Mohamed Bazoum would be considered a “declaration of war” against their two countries;

The commission urged all African States to comply fully with the provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

It also called on ECOWAS to give priority to peaceful methods to preserve the security of the population in resolving the situation in Niger.

The continental human rights commission further called on those States that openly propose to use force in support of the Niger military junta in particular Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mauritania, to do so by giving priority to negotiation;

The commission also called on all foreign parties (in particular France) to refrain from taking initiatives that involve interference in the internal affairs of African states.

“The ACHPR urged the African Union and the international community to ensure that peace and stability are re-established through dialogue and negotiation to protect the interests and well-being of the people of Africa,” the ACHPR said.