4 August 2018

Africa: Sierra Leone to Ratify AU Court Protocol

Arusha — Sierra Leone says it would ratify the protocol that established the African Court on Human and People's Rights (AfCHPR) because it believed in dispensation of justice.

"The new direction of our government is commitment to the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights of our compatriots," said the Foreign Affairs minister, Dr Alie Kaba. Speaking to a high powered delegation of the pan African court currently visiting the West African state, the minister pledged to render every necessary support to the AfCHPR.

He assured the delegation led by the President of the African Court, Justice Sylvain Ore, that his country would soon ratify the protocol that established the Arusha-based judicial organ of the African Union (AU).

Currently, 30 of the 55 AU member countries have ratified the protocol while only eight of them have deposited their declarations allowing individuals and non-government organisations to directly access the court.

The eight states are Tanzania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Mali and Tunisia.

"Sierra Leone is yet to ratify the protocol," Justice Ore said as he underscored the need for the country to do so in the spirit of dispensation of justice in Africa.

The visit to Sierra Leone and other countries was aimed at updating them on the status of the court, which was established in 1998 and operationalised in 2006.

The visit took place alongside a seminar meant to sensitise the lawyers and other human rights stakeholders on the activities of the court mandated to fight human rights violations.

The delegation will later proceed to Liberia for the same mission.

Both countries are yet to ratify the protocol which established the court as well as sign the declaration allowing individuals and NGOs direct access to it.

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