Bamako, 10 April 2013 – In preparation for their deployment across Mali, especially in the recently liberated territories of the northern part of the country, a group of 10 Human Rights Observers has completed a three-day training program in Bamako, Mali. 

The Observers who come from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone, are led by Ms. ReineAlapiniGansou, a Lawyer and Law Professor from Benin. Ms. Gansou is a Member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights since 2005 and she served as Chair of that Commission from 2009 to 2011. She is also the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders in Africa and a Member of the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration.

The 10 AFISMA Human Rights Observers, who arrived in Bamako last week, are the first batch of 50 who will be deployed in Mali over the next few months, as part of the implementation of the decisions of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) and the Authority of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

From 8 to 10 April 2013, the Observers received exposes on topics relating to: the political, security and human rights situations in Mali; the special situation of vulnerable groups, including women, children and displaced persons; strategies and techniques for monitoring prisons and detention centers; and survival skills in hostile environments. The training was organized by AFISMA, in collaboration with the Human Rights Component of the United Nations Office in Mali (UNOM). The trainers included members of the Mali Bar Association and the National Human Rights Commission.

Addressing the Observers in Bamako, on 10 April 2013, at a ceremony organized to mark the end of their training, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission and Head of AFISMA, former President Pierre Buyoya, urged them to apply the lessons learnt during their training, and expressed confidence at their readiness for deployment to their respective stations.


Posted by Limi Mohammed

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