On the sidelines of the 64th session of the African Commission: Maat held a seminar on foreign interventions
Ayman Okeil: States supporting terrorism threaten national sovereignty and undermine the human rights situation
Al-Seif: African continent faces many challenges in human rights files,
Pasha: Foreign interventions are incompatible with the African Charter.
Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights held a seminar on the impact of foreign interventions on the human rights situation in Africa. The seminar was held in cooperation with United Towns Agency for North-South Cooperation (International), Gals Forum International (Uganda), Regional Centre for International Development and Corporation (Uganda) and Partners for Transparency (Egypt).
This is on the sidelines of the 64th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. It is held in Sharm El-Sheikh from April 24 to May 14, 2019, with the participation of African state missions and African civil society organizations in addition to a number of experts from the African Union and the United Nations.
The seminar discussed the foreign interventions and their impact on the right to peace and security and the right of peoples to self-determination. Speakers were Ayman Okeil, General Director of Maat For Peace, Aya Al-Seif, Executive Director of the United Towns Agency for North-South Cooperation, Abdel-Rahman Pasha, Senior Researcher at the African affairs Unit in the Maat for peace. The seminar was moderated by Hagar Monsef, Director of the African Affairs, and Sustainable Development Unit in Maat.
In his speech at the seminar, Okeil said that the interference in the countries’ internal affairs threatens the political and social stability and undermine the human rights situation, as what some countries do such as Qatar, Iran and Israel. Those three states interfere blatantly in the internal affairs of a number of African countries such as Senegal, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mauritania.
While, Aya Al-Seif stated that the African continent faces many challenges in human rights files. Violations continue to occur in many parts of the continent that directly violate the right to peace and security and the right to self-determination. In another context, Al-Seif thanked the Egyptian government for facilitating its entry into the country and obtaining a visa at the airport.
Abdel-Rahman Pasha stressed that foreign interference in African countries contravenes Article 20 and 23 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which gives states and citizens the right to sovereignty over their lands. He also mentioned that the colonialism has begun to take a new form through private military and security companies and military bases.
Representatives of African civil society organizations, specialists in international human rights law, and experts from international and regional partner organizations participated in the seminar. Ms. Faustor, Chairperson of the Coordinating Committee of the African NGOs Forum, and Human Rights Expert Naji Moulay Lahsen, Executive Director of the Independent Commission Network for Human Rights in North Africa participated.
During the seminar, the establishment of an alliance of civil society organizations was discussed. This alliance should monitor the subsidies and interventions of countries and ensure that they do not affect human rights or internal sovereignty. The speakers recommended the need for a unified African position to oppose or reduce relations with countries that interfere in the internal affairs of African countries or those that support terrorism with the aim of destabilizing.
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