Africa should do more to monitor, respond to human rights abuses — rights group
African nations need to do more to address the widespread displacement, killings and other abuses that have come about from the continent’s many conflicts, according to a new report published this week by Human Rights Watch.
The report that summarizes human rights trends in 23 African countries has found that in many countries on the continent, the population is caught up in conflict and simply has nowhere to turn. “Some of the most egregious of human rights violations continue to cascade in the context of conflict,” says Mausi Segun, head of Human Rights Watch Africa. “Civilians have continued to bear the brunt of armed conflict, communal violence, political and social unrest as well as government repression against critical and independent voices in several African countries. All of these have resulted in the destruction of lives and livelihoods.”
According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), there were at least 36,000 violent events and more than 50,000 deaths caused by violence in Africa in 2022. Human Rights Watch said in at least 15 armed conflicts, in the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin area, the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa, government forces and armed groups have been implicated in abuses against civilians.
Political, religious and social intolerance have also increased, according to human rights researchers. The latest report by the rights watchdog praises the African Union and regional blocs including ECOWAS for taking action, such as reconciling Ethiopia’s warring factions, condemning coups in West Africa and refusing to recognize any attempt to seize power by force.