ACHPR | African Commission welcomes new Commissioners

29.06.2020

From 29 June to 1 July 2020, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR or the Commission) is holding its 28th extraordinary session. The main objective of this short session is to administer the Solemn Declaration to incoming Commissioners who were elected during the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union in February 2020.

This extraordinary session is particular as it is the first ever organised by the Commission which will be held completely online. This session will be the opportunity to thank Commissioners whose terms is coming to an end and to officially welcome the new Commissioners in order to ensure continuity of the work of the Commission, especially in light of the current pandemic.

On 29 June, during its opening session, the following four new Commissioners were officially presented and read their pledges to the Commission: 

Honourable Commissioner Dr. Marie Louise Abomo from Cameroon. She is a judge of the Supreme Court of Cameroon and President of the Judicial Chamber of Cameroon.

Chairperson of the Working Group on the Rights of Older Persons and People with Disabilities in Africa, Chairperson of the Working Group on Specific Issues Related to the Work of the Commission; Country Rapporteur for Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Comoros, and Congo-Brazzaville.

 

Honourable Commissioner Mr. Mudford Zacharia Mwandenga (Zambia), Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Zambia.

Chairperson of the Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Africa; Country Rapporteur for Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Rwanda, and Malawi.

 

 

Honourable Commissioner Mrs. Alexia Gertrude Amesbury (Seychelles), human rights lawyer.

Chairperson of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa, Chairperson of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of People Living with HIV (PLWHIV), and Those at Risk, Vulnerable to and Affected by HIV in Africa; Country Rapporteur for Botswana, Zambia, Lesotho, Eswatini and Guinea-Conakry.

Mr. NDiamé Gaye (Senegal), Magistrate and President of Chamber at the Court of Appeal of Thiès. 

Chairperson of the Working Group on Death Penalty, Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings and Enforced Disappearances in Africa; Country Rapporteur for Central African Republic, Uganda, Nigeria, Egypt, and Sierra Leone.

These incoming Commissioners will replace the four outgoing Commissioners whose terms of Office have ended namely:

Hon. Commissioner Soyata Maiga (Mali-former Chairperson of the ACHPR, Chairperson of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and Those at Risk, Vulnerable to and Affected by HIV and Chairperson of Working Group on Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa).

 

 

Hon. Commissioner Yeung Kam John Yeung Sik Yuen (Mauritius- Chairperson of the Working Group on Older Persons and Persons Living with Disabilities).

 

 

 

Hon. Commissioner Lucy Asuagbor (Cameroon-Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women).

 

 

 

 

Hon. Commissioner Lawrence Murugu Mute (Kenya- Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Expression).

 

 

 

During this session, the Chairperson, Honourable Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso emphasised the willingness of the Commission to keep working beyond the call of duty in these extraordinary times to remind member States to respect the African Charter especially in regards to the measures they adopted to fight the spread of COVID-19, the use of excessive force witnessed in a number of countries and the protection of women and girls against gender based violence which has seriously increased during the pandemic. He also commended the work of African national courts of justice and national human rights institutions to uphold the rights enshrined in the African Charter during these times as well as civil society organisations who have come to the rescue of those whose rights have been violated.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Amesbury expressed her gratitude in noting that it is the first time that the Seychelles are represented within the Commission. She also highlighted that today more than ever Africa and African lives matter and it is the mission of the Commission to ensure that they are protected, especially in fighting this pandemic.

“We will continue to do all that is required of us to ensure that human rights are the pillar of the response to COVID and to rebuild once the time comes” concluded Commissioner Dersso.

Contact: Adélaïde Etong Kame, Africa Programme Manager, a.etong@ishr.ch

Photo: ISHR/Zoom

Category:

Region
  • Africa
Topic
  • Human rights defenders
  • NGOs
Mechanism
  • African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights