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ADG Boss On Democracy, Human Rights

Aug 13, 2009, 5:37 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

Mr. Edwin N. Nwakame, the Director of Program of African in Democracy and Good Governance (ADG) has stated that in Africa as elsewhere, democratic government and respect for human rights are closely linked.

Stressing that democracy is the best means the world has produced to protect and advance human rights based on individual freedom and dignity, he said respect for human rights is the only means by which democracy can sustain individual freedom and dignity.

Mr. Nkawame made this statement while delivering a statement at a forum on the theme "Youth in peace- building, conflict prevention and migration," recently organised by the Africa in Democracy and Good Governance.

The objectives of the seminar, among others, were to help improve the timeliness and effectiveness of protection for youths to actively engage in peace-building, conflict prevention and to desist from illegal migration.

According to him, despite some improvements in some parts of the continent, Africa still remains behind in terms of human right records.

He cited the Sudanese region of Darfur, where he said, armed conflict continues amidst the international arrest warrant against President Omar El Bashir. This, he said, coupled with the dismal human rights situation shows no sign of improvement.

"Both government and rebels commit horrendous abuses", he stated.

To move Africa forward, he said emerging democratic governments would have to confront a legacy of poverty, illiteracy, militarisation and under-development produced by competent or corrupt governments.

He said "the syndrome of personal dictatorship and the winner take all practice as we continue to witness would need to be addressed, and thus ensure full respect for human rights, constitutional government and the rule of law, transparency in the wielding of power and accountability of those who exercise power".