Immediate Media Statement
23 May 2014
Human Rights Institute of South Africa Commemorates Africa Day 25 May 2014
Attention: Editors and Reporters
Africa Day is observed as the day that marks the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on 25 May 1963. The Day was originally called Africa Freedom Day and it aroused out of the efforts of the African Leaders, political and human rights activists who attended the First Conference of Independent African States in Ghana on 15 April 1958. The African Union was established in South Africa in 2002 July 9 after the launching of the Constitutive Act.
Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) recognises this significant day in which the efforts and human rights struggles of all Africans are remembered and honoured. HURISA joins the people of Africa in the continued struggle for the attainment of human and people’s rights in all African countries. In celebration of this historical occasion HURISA recalls the re-joining of South Africa into the OAU/ AU on 23 May 1994. As this occasion marks 20 years on South Africa in the AU, we also observe the 10th Anniversary of the AU Peace and Security Council, which South Africa played fundamental role.
HURISA partnered with and Southern Africa Trust (SAT) to commemorate this historical era of freedom, human rights and democracy to launch the State of the Union Coalition Report to give reflection on South Africa’s Compliance with the AU Instruments and engaged the South African State officials and representatives from Chapter Nine Institutions on South Africa’s compliance with its AU commitments, on 20-21 May 2014, Constitutional Hill, Braamfontein.
Over 90 Participants attended made up of representatives of human rights defenders, activist and various civil society leaders, women, youth, children, governance, political, legal, faith based organisations. The participants pledged their solidarity support to the “Bring Back Our Girls” Campaign and advocated for robust actions to bring peace and security in Africa.
HURISA, SAT and participants at the Con-hill meeting are calling South Africa as a key peace role player in Africa and Dr Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma as the Chair of the African Union Commission to increase concerted efforts to foster a culture of unity in Africa in the search and return of the over 270 Nigerian Girls abducted by the Boko Haram militia.
We remind South Africa including all AU Member Sates of the resolution of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights at its 55th Session held on 28 April – 12 May 2014 in Luanda- Angola calling all African States to take the necessary measures to combat terrorism particularly by initiating joint actions aimed at preventing all activities relating to the financing, sale and transfer of weapons to terrorist groups.
Issued by HURISA Advocacy and Media Liaison Officer
Adv. Sipho Mantula
Tel: 011 333 1730