Johannesburg: The Consortium for Refugees and Migrant Rights in South Africa (CORMSA) believes former Rwandan General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa should be stripped of his refugee status. They argue South African and international law both render him ineligible for the privileges attached to the status of a refugee, and maintain his protection was granted unethically. The Department of Home Affairs, meanwhile, is resisting the criticism with all its might, arguing that all the usual procedures were followed and that Nyamwasa is as worthy of protected status as anyone else.
The year 2011 marked 25 years since the entry into force of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African or Banjul Charter). In 2012, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) celebrates 25 years since it came into operation in 1987. Since its adoption, the African Charter has been supplemented by the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa (Women’s Protocol). All AU member states (with the exception of newcomer South Sudan) have become state party to the African Charter, and 26 of them have accepted the Women’s Protocol.
Dar es Salaam: African leaders have been challenged to increase the number of women judges in the continent’s Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, because of their outstanding performance in delivering day-to-day activities. Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union Commission, Dr Aisha Abdullahi, made the call here yesterday when speaking at the retreat between the African Court and People’s Rights and the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) of the African Union (AU).
Pretoria: South African authorities exceeded their public powers and acted unlawfully and irrationally by granting refugee status to former Rwandan general and suspected war criminal Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa. This decision should be set aside. This is according to the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in SA, supported by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre. They have called on the Pretoria High Court to review and set aside the decision by South African immigration authorities to grant Nyamwasa refugee status. This challenge is seen as a landmark case as there is virtually no case law on this subject.
Nairobi: On November 12, 2012 the 67th session of the UN General Assembly will review and vote over the candidature of the Republic of Kenya to the Human Rights Council for the period 2013-2015. For this purpose, the Kenyan government has issued an aide memoire making a number of "voluntary pledges and commitments on human rights" pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 60/251. The Kenyan government's record in the human rights arena can only be described thus: long on promises but short on delivery.
Almost eighteen years after the South African government signed the ICESCR, Cabinet has approved that South Africa will ratify the ICESCR. This important decision to ratify, which means that the ICESCR will be legally binding, was included in a statement issued yesterday on Cabinet’s ordinary meeting held in Pretoria on 10 October 2012. The Cabinet statement describes how the ICESCR is a “key international treaty which seeks to encourage State Parties to address challenges of inequality, unemployment and poverty, which are critical to the strategic goals of governments.”
In the third and final of the United States presidential debates, addressing foreign policy, Republican candidate Mitt Romney declared that he would seek an indictment of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for genocide.
New York: The Syrian crisis can only be resolved through diplomatic means, the head of a United Nations-backed inquiry today urged, while warning that the conflict in the Middle Eastern country was steadily worsening amid the growing presence of armed jihadist groups. In an interview with UN Radio, the chairperson of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Paulo Pinheiro, expressed concern that the conflict in Syria had deteriorated since his Commission presented its report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva last month.
A United Nations Security Council discussion on the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is an important opportunity to address inconsistencies in the Security Council’s referrals to the court. The Security Council discussion, its first ever debate on the ICC open to all UN members, is scheduled for October 17, 2012. Specifically, Human Rights Watch said, the debate should examine the Security Council’s failure to refer situations in Sri Lanka, Gaza, and – most starkly – Syria to the court, as well as shortcomings in its Libya and Darfur referrals.
Abuja: The Civil Society Associations Gambia (CSAG) has filed an application against the government at the ECOWAS Court of Justice regarding the West African country’s 38 death row inmates at Mile 2 Central Prisons. Banka Manneh, chairman of the CSAG, made the announcement in a statement released by the West African bloc ECOWAS on Monday in the Nigerian capital Abuja. The group accused the Gambian government of violating the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Customary International law.