By Lloyd Takawira
A coalition of African Non-governmental organizations (Africa NGOs Coalition) comprising Africa Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS), Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LJL), MENA Rights Group, REDRESS, and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), have applauded the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) for expediting guidelines on enforced disappearance in the continent.
In a joint statement, the Africa NGO Coalition said praised strides made by African Union Commission on Human and People’s Rights (AUCHPR) in crafting guidelines for the protection of people from enforced disappearance in Africa.
“We applaud the draft guidelines for the protection of persons from enforced disappearance being spearheaded by Africa Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) as this will improve the situation of victims of Enforced Disappearance and contribute to preventing such practices in the continent”
The NGO Coalition statement added that it has a plethora of documented cases across the country which have not been attended to by African governments.
“Members of the NGO Coalition have documented cases of enforced disappearances and acts of torture from across the African continent that are aimed at suppressing peaceful dissent. We, therefore, welcome efforts by the Commission which will help in highlighting the prevalence of this crime in the region and the need the take firm steps within the African Union to eradicate it,” read the statement
The conglomerate of African Non-governmental organizations also deplored how some African countries have rigidly displayed lethargy in ratifying the ACHPR Convention on the Protection of all persons from enforced disappearance.
The statement said, “17 out of the 54 African countries have ratified the International Convention on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance hence Enforced disappearance has been committed with impunity in most of the African countries with victims left forgotten.”
According, to the African Union Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), enforced disappearance involves the deprivation of a person’s right to liberty against their will by the state or those acting with the authorization, support or acquiesce of the state with no acknowledgement of the victims’ fate or whereabouts.
Recently Zimbabwe has been under the spotlight with allegations of abductions notable being the MDC Alliance trio of Joana Mamombe , Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova and the case of journalist cum government critic, Itai Dzamara who is yet to be accounted for since he went missing 2016 after vociferously speaking out against the rule of the late nonganarian leader, Robert Gabriel Mugabe.