Resolution on the Post-Election Situation in Togo

We, the participants of the Forum of NGOs in preparation of the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 11th African Human Rights Book Fair, held in Banjul, the Gambia, from April 27th to May 11th, 2005,

The Forum of Human Rights Defenders NGOs meeting in Banjul expresses its deep concern with regard to the political context in which the Presidential elections of 24th April were held.

It notes that massive irregularities marred the conduct of the elections, confirming the worries expressed by most observers of Togo’s politics.

It notes that once again, the interests of the people of Togo were sacrificed to the will of a group seeking to monopolize power and that, once again, the people’s thirst for political change has been scorned.

It denounces vigorously the passivity of the international and sub-regional community, particularly the attitude of France which hurriedly reached its decision before ECOWAS observers who had monitored the elections produced their mission report.

The Forum of NGOs is worried about the violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms which have characterized the political and social life since the coup d’etat of Faure Gnassingbe and which have worsened since the proclamation of the election results.

It calls upon the attention of the international community, particularly ECOWAS, with regard to the eruption of violence and police and military repression of the civilian population.

It calls upon and urges the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to urgently take appropriate measures and actions in order to stop the serious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Forum of NGOs calls for the reorganization of credible and transparent elections, taking into consideration the legitimate aspirations of the people of Togo.

It finally expresses its solidarity with the fallen victims under the bullets of the repressive forces.

 

Done at Banjul,  April 26th, 2005

Recommendations on Small Arms, Child Soldiers and Mercenaries

The Forum on NGO Participation at the Ordinary Session of the ACHPR recommends:

The adoption by ECOWAS Member States of a legal instrument restricting and regulating the importation, trading and manufacture of small arms (ALPC);

1. The prohibition of the transfer of arms to non-state parties within the ECOWAS Zone;

2. The Strengthening of the institutional and technical capacity of the National Commissions (NATCOM) to render them  functional and efficient by:

  • Endowing the NatComs with a legal status to ensure their effective functioning,
  • Training or involving members of the NatComs in training programmes in the fields of disarmament, peace and security.

3. That the effective control of the circulation of  Small Arms be ensured through:

  • The establishment of coherent legal and regulatory framework to control the circulation of Small arms,
  • Stricter borders controls,
  • The denunciation and sanctioning of countries and individuals violating arms embargoes or which carry out or are involved in illegal arms dealing.

4. The effective implementation by ECOWAS Member States of the sub-regional, regional and international Conventions on the  Protection of Children before, during and after conflicts:

  • Need for a sub-regional civil society coalition to arrest the use of child soldiers,
  • Free child soldiers enrolled in armed and regular security forces,

5. The urgent transformation of the moratorium expiring in October, 2004 into a Convention and the setting up of a Small Arms Department within  ECOWAS.

6. The strengthening of the AU/NEPAD Security Programme, the United Nations Action Plan, and the recommendations of Children’s Organisations.

7.  Increased sensitisation campaigns on the sale of small arms.

8. The strengthening of National Commissions which serve as focal points for the implementation of all Small Arms Agreements.

 

Done in Banjul, May 20th, 2004