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    PATROL-AFRICA ‘regrets dismal ratification’ of the Malabo Protocol 

    PATROL-AFRICA ‘regrets dismal ratification’ of the Malabo Protocol 

    June 12, 2014

    Adama Dieng: ‘The Malabo Protocol addresses many critical challenges of concern to Africa relative to peace and security, economic and environmental protection.’

    TEN years after the adoption of the Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights (the Malabo Protocol), the Pan-African Alliance for Transparency and the Rule of Law (PATROL-AFRICA) has noted with regret that there has been only one ratification and 15 signatures out of 55 African Union Member States.

    “This is a dismal record by any standards by member states,” PATROL AFRICA said in a recent statement

    “But we welcome with satisfaction, and congratulate the Republic of Angola for being the first country to ratify and to deposit on Friday, May 21, 2024, with the African Union Chairperson, the first instrument of ratification of the Malabo Protocol, which was adopted on June 27, 2014 by the African Union,” the statement added

    PATROL-AFRICA noted that the implementation of the Malabo Protocol would go a long way in helping to address many of the deeply entrenched governance and rule of law challenges facing the African continent, and which affect peace and security and the rule of law, by interpreting and applying the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG), the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Governance, and many other instruments adopted by the African Union. 

    The organisation said it was aware that the Malabo Protocol was not a perfect instrument, adding that this was evidenced by “the unfortunate provision that grants immunity to ‘any serving African Union Head of State or Government, or anybody acting or entitled to act in such capacity, or other senior state officials based on their functions, during their tenure of office’”.  

    The President of PATROL-AFRICA, Adama Dieng, said: “This provision is unconscionable as it is a well-established principle of international law that no one, including heads of state, enjoys immunity for atrocity crimes.

    “Nevertheless, the Malabo Protocol addresses, apart from atrocity crimes (genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity), many other critical challenges of concern to the African continent relative to peace and security, economic and environmental protection.” 

    PATROL-AFRICA said the Protocol defined crimes such as the crime of unconstitutional change of government, piracy, terrorism, corruption, money laundering, trafficking in persons, trafficking in drugs, trafficking in hazardous wastes as well as illicit exploitation of natural resources.

    In this regard, PATROL-AFRICA said it was fully conscious of the fact that the crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity were included in the Malabo Protocol following a decision of the Assembly of the Union, that the African continent must have the capacity to deal with these crimes in a complementary manner to other competent jurisdictions.

    The statement went on to say that similarly, the crime of unconstitutional change of government arose from the concern expressed by states in ACDEG that this offence constituted one of the essential causes of insecurity, instability and violent conflict in Africa, hence, the requirement in its article 25(5) that “perpetrators of unconstitutional change of government may also be tried before the competent court of the Union”.
    “Significantly, the envisaged African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights will have three sections and a total of 16 judges. In addition to the Human and Peoples’ Rights Section (which already exists) there will be a General Affairs Section, and an International Criminal Law Section,” the statement said.

    “The latter section will exercise competence over both individual criminal responsibility, including corporate criminal liability, which would enable the holding to account of errant corporations and other organisations, for example those dumping toxic waste on the continent as well as those enabling terrorism.

    “In view of the above, PATROL-AFRICA, which works for good governance, respect for the rule of law, and therefore for peace, urges the relevant authorities in African Union Member States to follow the example set by the Republic of Angola and ratify the Malabo Protocol, as well as the other three protocols relating to the judicial organs of the Union. 

    “These are the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Relating to the establishment of an African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights (1998); the Protocol of the Court of Justice of the African Union (2003); and the Protocol on the Statute on the African Court of Justice and Human Rights (2008),” the statement concluded.                                                                                                                        

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