President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger, has reiterated his country’s strong commitment to the protection of human rights and to the mandate of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
President Bazoum also affirmed the African Court as the only continental judicial body of the African Union (AU) and stressed that it was in line with Niger’s, commitment as a constitutional democracy that embraced the rule of law and fundamental freedoms as prime governance standards.
In echoing this request, the President of Niger pledged to consider all processes towards the filing of the Declaration in a bid to affirm Niger’s human rights credentials and foster its participation in regional integration.
The President of Niger stated during interaction with a delegation of the African Court headed by its President, Lady-Justice Imani Daud Aboud at Niamey.
The delegation included; the Vice President of the Court, Justice Blaise Tchikaya and key Registry staff.
Highlighting the purpose of the African Court’s visit, Lady-Justice Aboud stated that “after its long-standing commitment made by ratifying the Court’s Protocol, it is high time that Niger filed the Declaration recognizing the jurisdiction of the Court to entertain cases brought by individuals and NGOs from Niger”.
She said the African Court’s delegation undertook the visit to Niger as part of its sensitization programme to the Member States of the AU aimed at increasing awareness of the Court among various stakeholders, mainly governments.
During its four-day visit to Niger, the Court’s delegation also paid courtesy calls and held meetings with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Communication in his capacity as Acting Minister of Justice.
Others included; the Speaker of Niger Parliament, the President of the Court of Cassation, the President of the Constitutional Court and the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission.
Engagements with these various stakeholders involved their respective roles in raising awareness domestically on the work of the African Court and how best Niger can play its role in the attainment of the African Court’s mandate in line with relevant norms of the AU pertaining to human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Various officials and stakeholders met during the visit assured the Court’s delegation of their eagerness to extend effective cooperation to the continental judicial institution in achieving its mandate to reinforce the protection of rights and freedoms primarily guaranteed to citizens by domestic mechanisms, which States establish in fulfilment of their obligations under African and international instruments.
The Republic of Niger ratified the Protocol establishing the African Court on May 17th, 2004.
The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights was established by virtue of Article 1 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Up to date, only six State Parties to the Protocol have deposited the declaration recognizing the competence of the African Court to receive cases directly from NGOs and individuals. The six States are: Ghana, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Mali, Malawi and Tunisia.