Selected developments in human rights and democratisation during 2017: Sub-Saharan Africa

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Nyarko, Michael Gyan
Makunya, Trésor
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Global Campus
Abstract: This article reviews selected developments in human rights and democratisation in sub-Saharan African during 2017. It discusses the presidential elections held in Kenya, Liberia, Angola, Rwanda and Somalia/ Somaliland, noting in particular democratic gains in Liberia, Angola and Somalia where elections resulted in changes of government, which brought in new leadership. It further notes the democratic crises in Zimbabwe, where President Mugabe was removed from power through military intervention, and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where instability continued due to efforts by incumbent President Kabila to prolong his term of office. It reports on incidents of protests, recurrent internet shutdowns and interference with the freedom of expression and right of access to information in various African countries. The authors identify the cause of the rift between the African Union and the International Criminal Court as the Al-Bashir warrant issued pursuant to a Security Council Resolution, and recommend that the AU should focus on petitioning the Security Council to withdraws its referral, rather than to persist with its current onslaught against the ICC. In this context, they discuss the decision of ICC Pre-Trial Chamber, which clarified that there is no conflict between article 27(2) and article 98 of the ICC Statute in relation to state parties to the Statute or states referred to the ICC by the Security Council. As far as women’s rights are concerned, the article traces significant normative and jurisprudential gains, in particular the adoption of the Joint General Comment on ending child marriage, the Guidelines on combating gender-based violence and its consequences, and the decision of the ECOWAS Court of Justice against Nigeria denouncing gender-based discrimination as a violation of the right to dignity and non-discrimination. Key words: human rights; democracy; sub-Saharan Africa; elections; mass atrocities; accountability; women’s rights
human rights, democracy, sub-Saharan region, accountability, elections, women, crimes against humanity, Africa
MG Nyarko & T Makunya ‘Selected developments in human rights and democratisation during 2017: Sub- Saharan Africa’ (2018) 2 Global Campus Human Rights Journal 147-173

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