According to Mr. Sukhdev Chhatbar, the visit is to set the stage for a high level delegation from the African Court including the President of the Court to Sierra Leone. The purpose of their mission is to hold a seminar and sensitisation meetings which are part of the on-going efforts of the Court to interact with different stakeholders in order to deepen their understanding of the Court’s mission and to encourage States to ratify the Protocol establishing the AfCHPR and to deposit the declaration under Article 34(6) of the protocol, which allows direct access to the Court by NGOs and individuals.
So far, he said, 30 out of 55 African Union (AU) Member States have ratified the Protocol and only 8 of them have deposited their declarations. These 8 States are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Tanzania and Tunisia. Sierra Leone is yet to ratify the Protocol establishing the Court, Mr. Chhatbar added.
The Senior Information & Communication officer further disclosed that the Court delegation will hold a mini training session on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 for Sierra Leone journalists to be reporting on the court’s activities. The session will be held at Golden Tulip Hotel. A seminar for human rights stakeholders in Sierra Leone will be held on Thursday 2 August 2018 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Conference hall.
The delegation will also pay courtesy calls on the His Excellency the President, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Speaker of Parliament, the Chief Justice, Human Rights Commissions and Bar Association, among others, he concluded.
On behalf of His Excellency, Dr. Julius Maada Bio and the people of Sierra Leone, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Nimatulai Bah-Chang welcomed the advance team from AfCHPR to Sierra Leone. The Acting Minister underscored the significance of their visit and assured the team of her Ministry’s support, cooperation and participation to their mission in Sierra Leone.
Present were: the Director General and Ambassador-At-Large, Paul A.S. Mina, the Director for Compliance and Human Rights, Hassan Morlai Koroma; the Director for Africa, Eric Gamanga and the Principal Compliance Officer, Mrs. Ashmia Sesay.