The 27th Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit in Kigali, July 10-18, 2016 is loaded with shocking demands to the international community. Even if the Summit is framed around “African Year of Human Rights, with particular focus on the Rights of Women” there is nothing much to do with women and human rights violations in the continent.
First shock, there is a call to amend the Charter of the United Nations of 1945 to allow 2 AU members as permanent members of the UN Security Council in what the leaders term as “Reforming the UN”. AU believes that if it is too easy to manipulate the national constitutions in favor of “the president”, it would be also easy to change the UN Charter that brought end to the World War Two!
Another ambiguously shocking demand is to arrange for the mass walk out from the Rome Statute that African leaders claim has denied them the chance to continue committing all horrors on the continent.
In reality, there is nothing substantively clear about Rights of Women nor human rights in general following the shameful assassination of a Burundian legislator in cold blood, Hon. Hafsa Mossi, a former Minister that served East African Community in her capacity as a woman.
Instead of investigating into several killings, disappearances of persons, shooting to kill, poverty, ignorance, diseases, and inter-ethnic hatred that haunt the dark continent, African leaders prefer pointing fingers at the Western thinking that African people are still in the cave and cannot see light.
Such claims are not going to save us from grand corruption of greedy rulers. It will not make Africa join the superpowers by making shocking demands that have nothing to do with strict observation of human rights. Kenya poor records of human rights violations and reports are full of evidence to this effect.
A number of innocent persons disappear only to find that they were tortured and humiliated before cutting their bodies into slices and dumping them in filthy rivers in order to kill justice yet we claim to join the superpowers.
If some of such rulers can remove or alter the provisions on constitutional presidential time limit in order to be in power for life and pass the power to the sons in heredity, how could this episode miss the glare of such meeting in Kigali? Does it make any sense?
Juba is reeling on fire and the government there cannot just maintain the Peace Agreement of Addis Ababa. Likewise, Bujumbura cannot honour the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Accord that brought about stability allowing still many crimes against humanity to occur and people living in fear.
The Opposition leaders are always maimed and even detained for telling the truth about the government while rulers pride off themselves of good governance. Some African countries have become a NO-GO zones for civil society members and there is no media freedom let alone social media. There is no transparency, accountability and equality in the African Union regime.
Lack of integrity in the African leadership and backward thinking are shaming the continent again even in the 21st Century! Promises have not been kept.
The Summit of Kigali has failed to address real issues affecting women in the continent and rather decided to deviate the attention to none issues.
I find this way of doing things very embarrassing and disappointing. It reminds us of the era of Idi Amin, General Bokossa, Gaddafi and Mobutu. The continent has never stopped throwing stones at the West even if it has benefited from it for Centuries on end. Now the attention moves towards China and India hoping that these other ones are not reading from the same script.
Democracy in Africa is something very far from reality and if what is happening in Zimbabwe is what one would refer to as “the African Democracy” then, such demands as joining the veto powers is just a mockery to the world. It is not right for leaders to deviate the attention of the world from serious issues such as arbitrary killings, unemployment, abuse of constitutional rights of the people, abuse of children and women, lack of free primary education and other serious unethical behaviour such as corruption. It is known that human rights campaigns have brought great achievements to humanity.
This Summit in Kigali, instead, addresses only issues that can make egocentric African rulers feel more gratified but has no substance.
In Kenya, the inclusion of 1/3 of women in the decision and law making organs has become a serious problem yet the attention is drawn to the ICC. The ICC has become a sacrificial goat while the continent is reeling in international injustice.
It is unethical, therefore, to pretend that the world is not reading what is happening within the black continent and how innocent lives are lost due to the greed of its rulers and power thirsty people.
Instead of assisting South Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, and many other war tone nations to live in peace, rulers prefer gratifying their egos in Kigali and making unsubstantiated claims to defer the world attention.
Many Africans are dying from hunger every day. Poverty is higher than what it was two decades ago in the continent. Unemployed youth are increasingly getting desperate, armed forces feel the pinch of poor administration and unfair treatment as their colleagues turn to be killers. Power thirsty rulers still think they have much to tell the world while very few Africans can afford two meals per day in the so called independent states.
Constitutions have been turned into mere decorative documents to blackmail the international community. Surveillance security gadgets in the cities and urban sectors have been turned into tools for committing serious crimes against humanity and nobody feels safe anywhere with this things on the roads. Hit men are all over!
The continent is rapidly bending towards another era of serious dictatorship and violations of fundamental freedoms and rights of persons. What can the African Union show to the world as a case in its achievements on human rights? The say goes, put your house first in order before you tell the other one to order his own! Time is running out for scapegoatism in the continent.
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About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!

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