#Article (Archive)

ACPHR will continue to engage African countries on human rights issues’

Oct 30, 2013, 10:30 AM | Article By: Malamin LM Conteh

The newly-elected chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACPHR) has said that the commission will continue to engage African countries that are state parties on human rights and other issues.

Rwandan national Zainabo Sylvie Kayitesi, elected as the new chairperson during the ongoing 54th ordinary session on the African Commission under way at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, was speaking in an interview with this reporter.

This can be done through ordinary sessions, promotion and fact-finding missions and different correspondences with member countries of the commission, she told this reporter.

“At the commission, we will also focus on sensitization on the implementation of the African Charter through conferences, through workshops on difference thematic issues of human rights in Africa” Kayitesi, who is also the chairperson of the Rwandan Human Rights Commission, told The Point.

According to her, human rights are a domain that concern everybody, and for the state parties, it is their responsibility to protect their citizens in order to see an African continent free from violations.

“Yes, as human beings, we can have violence because we are bound to make mistakes; we can commit crimes, but this should be done at a low level not massive or through the violation of human rights,” she noted.

Describing her election as chairperson of the commission as a challenge, Ms Kayitesi stated that “as Africans, we are faced with serious human rights challenges, especially in countries where there are conflicts.

‘‘As Africans, we have to focus on our strategies to see how we can promote and protect human rights in our beloved continent,’’ she added.

Who is Hon Zainabo Sylvie Kayitesi?

Zainabo Sylvie Kayitesi is a Rwandan national who served as both vice-chairperson and commissioner of the African Union Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights for two years and six years respectively.

She was also Minister of Public Service and Labour in Rwanda for three and a half years, served as the chairperson of the National Commission for Human Rights of Rwanda for eight years and also served as deputy Chief Justice of Rwanda.