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Haki Africa hosts the Africa Peace, Security Accountability Symposium 

Haki Africa hosted the Africa Peace and Security Accountability Symposium with the Civil Society Organizations and the African Union (AU) to deliberate on the status of human rights and security in Africa.

Speaking at the event at a Nairobi hotel, Haki Africa’s Executive Director Hussein Khalid, his organisation, is hosting a Pan African forum for unity around human rights and security since human rights are being violated openly in the name of enhancing security.

Khalid added that states are using extra-legal security measures to silence differences and critics as a result of judicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture increasing in some African countries including Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

“Civil society now finds itself in an environment where civic space is shrinking,” stated Khalid at the conference which was also attended by former Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga.

He however assured Africa that Haki Africa is coordinating efforts to ensure Africa is liberated from human rights violations and insecurity.

This, he said, would be much easier since Haki Africa has sought partnership with the African Union (AU) which is to push for security sector accountability and to promote human rights.

“This convening has brought together leading grass root human rights organizations in over 13 counties to work together with the AU to enhance human rights and security,” said Khalid.

Open Society Foundation (OSF) Regional Office Senior Advisor Job Ogonda shared that Africa has a lot of challenges including economic, geo-global political and economic undercurrents and demographic crisis aside from security issues.

Ogonda noted that security is the main focus because democratic states are supposed to offer security to their people and in this case they are failing.

He added that security is the under-righter of all rights and other democratic pillars and without security, basic rights such as health care will be impossible to be delivered.

“Basic rights are not possible without peace and security,” said Ogonda.

Ogonda at the same time reiterated that AU has been given responsibility and mandate to further peace and security in Africa and its ability to deliver on the mandate depends on political will.

He said that political will must come from the citizens since accountability at the security sector is a huge task.

“In order to respond to the mechanisms, the structure of security sector effectively, we must be coherent. The AU has a plan for peace and security called silencing the grass,” stated Ogonda.

On his part, Africa Union member Kriss Kayoshe described human security as central and African security as indivisible and the reason for human insecurity is that there is no development and consistency change of government.

“The security sector is at a crisis because of bad governance, we need democratic oversight. It is about time we breech, the civil society has to hold democracy accountable,” he said.

By Caroline Mbusa and Emmanuel Kipkoech

 

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