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Human Rights Defenders Press Africa Rights Commission

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has opened a two-week meeting today in the Gambian capital, Banjul. It’s the 40th ordinary session of the commission.

Among the groups following developments is the East & Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project.

Tumusiime Kabwende Deo is the spokesperson for the group. From Kampala, Uganda, he told VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua, “Just as we have raised our voices before, we would like the commission to pay specific attention to the problems being faced by human rights defenders in the East and Horn of Africa.” In particular, he cites Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Uganda.

Deo says, “We would like to see the commission coming up strongly to advise the concerned governments to cause a redress of the situation, as well as the international community to keep watch over the unfolding events and ensure that at least a solution is found.”

Deo says it appears not much has changed since the project raised similar issues at the commission’s previous meeting. He says it may not be so much of a lack of pressure, but rather a slowness to act by the governments in question.