Human rights in Africa declining - CNBC Africa

Human rights in Africa declining

Western Africa

by Aviwe Mtila 0

A recent report shows that many African governments respond to security threats with no regard for human rights. Photo: Pixabay.

Despite the African Union's declaration that 2016 is the Year of Human Rights, a recent report released by Amnesty International shows that many governments in Africa still respond to conflicts and security threats with disregard for international humanitarian law and human rights.

CNBC Africa's Onyi Sunday discussed the findings of this report with Muleya Mwananyanda, Deputy Director for South Africa at Amnesty International.

READ THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE CONVERSATION BELOW OR WATCH THE VIDEO:

“In Africa we have seen, broadly, a decline in the respect for human rights. This is disappointing for us. There are three things that we have noticed, so there is heavy repression on people with dissenting views. We’ve also seen governments disrespecting institutions that are set up to protect people’s rights. There’s also genuinely an increase around refugees being treated badly by government.”

-          Muleya Mwananyanda, Deputy Director for South Africa at Amnesty International.

“There are some positives and some negatives that have happened, but obviously we are more alarmed by the negative things that have happened. For example there’s lots of conflict happening in parts of Africa. You have, in east and the whole of Africa, Al Shabaab, that has continued to abuse human rights. You also have, in other parts of Africa, in Cameroon, Nigeria, activities of Boko Haram, but the government of those countries have also not really clothed themselves in glory.”

-          Muleya Mwananyanda, Deputy Director for South Africa at Amnesty International.

[video]

“We still have a political crisis happening in Burundi and we still have governments here in Southern Africa for example, where repression has become the order of the day and I have in mind what is happening in Angola right now where 15 youth activists were arrested merely for expressing their opinions. This should not be happening in this day and age.”

-          Muleya Mwananyanda, Deputy Director for South Africa at Amnesty International.

“There is quite a lot that government can do, and of course the war factors are both state elements and non-state factors. But the government has the responsibility to ensure that they respect the rights of people, particularly the civilians. In Nigeria, last year, we just released a report that actually outlined crimes committed by state agents during the war to sniff out Boko Haram. So they can stop that, that is a start.”

Muleya Mwananyanda, Deputy Director for South Africa at Amnesty International.

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