GAMBIA - «Truth and Justice for disappeared!»: final statement
The Euro-Mediterranean federation against enforced disappearances organized a formation within the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) in Banjul (Gambia). Human Rights activists of different countries, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Tunisia took part in this formation under the subject “Truth and Justice for the disappeared!”. It was focused on the African norms and mechanisms which protect the human rights. It appeared that no real mechanism exists, despite the huge amount of enforced disappearances in all the countries of the continent and is often systemic and generalized. It is also essential to increase those mechanism, and more specifically their modalities of application, in order to make their implementation more efficient.
Besides the reinforcement of those mechanisms, it is a priority to introduce a reference to enforces disappearances in the Status of the African Union and the ACHPR. It is capital to raise the awareness of the persons in charge in the African Union about the enforced disappearances in Africa.
The participants at this formation encourage NGOs to have recourse to the ACHPR through individual communications towards enforced disappearances, in order to make it examine those individual communications within a reasonable delay.
Associations promoting human rights, relatives of the disappeared persons and their representatives are pleased to work together in order to put an end at this practice and of its impunity.
Considering that enforced disappearances are a crime against humanity when they are massively and systematically committed and seriously obstruct the peacekeeping of a society, the participants wrote the following statement:
”All the member States of the African Union are called to :
- Release all the enforced disappeared individuals still arbitrarily detained
- Erase the phenomenon of enforced disappearances to cease those crimes on the continent scale
- Establish the truth and put an end to the impunity of the authors of those crimes
- Implement liable and efficient mechanisms in order to guarantee the non-repetition of those acts
- Ensure the security of the defenders of human rights in their country”
Banjul, Gambia, the 24th October 2016