African Union considers hybrid court for South Sudan

Wednesday October 26 2016

African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. PHOTO | AFP

The African Union plans to establish a ‘Hybrid Court’ on South Sudan to deal with impunity, promote national unity and justice in the country.

African Union chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said the decision followed work by the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan, which was the first of its kind on the continent.

In a speech read by Commissioner for Political Affairs, Dr Aisha Laraba Abdullahi during the commemoration of the Africa Human Rights day, Dr Zuma said the AU was keen on deepening the culture of human rights and justice in some of its Member states.

The day was commemorated at Banjul in the Gambia.

“We have deployed human rights observers in Mali, Central African Republic, South Sudan, DRCM, Somalia and Burundi. We currently have 45 human rights observers in Burundi. The impact of these observers in Burundi has been immense in respect of mitigating human rights violation in the country,” Dr Dlamini-Zuma said.

She lauded African countries for establishment of human right commissions saying, “By 2010, Africa was host to the largest number of government human rights commissions compared to other continents”.


The AU chairperson however cited inadequate resources to human rights institutions, inadequate capacity of human rights institutions, and lack political will, among others as challenges that must be addressed urgently.

Human rights instruments

Other challenges, she said, include, unwillingness by some States to cede part of their sovereignty to multinational monitoring bodies, insufficient commitment by some States to domesticate and implement international and continental human rights treaties, persistent crisis and conflicts across the continent which result in loss of life, destruction of property and reverse human rights gains, widespread poverty, inequality, remnants of colonialism characterised by human rights-unfriendly laws, bad governance, corruption and disregard for the rule of law.

Dr Dlamini-Zuma said the AU Heads of State and Government meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, declared the next 10 years as “the Human and Peoples’ Rights Decade in Africa” to fast-track implementation of various human rights instruments.

“To be effective, and to achieve its goal, the African Union must integrate democratic governance, respect for the rule of law and respect for human and peoples' rights at all levels. If Africa is to be economically and democratically transformed as envisioned in the Agenda 2063, it must be committed to women’s rights,” she said.

The AU chairperson called on Member States to ratify all the African Shared Values Instruments and domesticate them at the national level, to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights.

@King Muchui
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