The human rights organization Amnesty International has issued its annual report. Regarding Africa, the report says, “Armed conflicts continued to bring widespread destruction to several parts of the continent in 2004 – many of them fueled by human rights violations.” It also says, “Refugees and internally displaced people faced appalling conditions.”
The Amnesty report adds, “Across the region, there was discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS. Political repression was widespread and human rights defenders came under attack.”
Adotei Akwei is a spokesman for Amnesty International in Washington. He spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the continent’s hot spots.
He says, “Well, I think in terms of crises one would have to start off with the ongoing situation in Darfur, Sudan, and then the ongoing conflict which has wracked the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And I think probably the third one -- the volatile situation in the Ivory Coast. All of those involve significant numbers of people in terms of people who have been displaced. For example, in Darfur you have close to two million people inside the Darfur region itself and then about 300,000 who have been displaced in neighboring Chad.”
As for the DRC, Mr. Akwei says, “In the Democratic Republic of the Congo the statistics are even more appalling in that we’re not even sure whether we’ve lost two million people or three million people because of a conflict that has gone on for about six or seven years. And then in the Ivory Coast people are very concerned the numbers there but also the potential for it to erupt again into outright conflict.”