The Fight for Human Rights in Africa: Perspectives on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights page – 6

Rights & Democracy

Chapter 2 – The African Human Rights System: Comparison, Context, and Opportunities for Future Growth

– Sybil Sakle Thompson

Africa’s human rights system has long been dismissed by jurists and activists for its inability to properly protect those in its charge. In comparative analysis, while the superiority of the European and inter-American human rights systems is assumed without question, the African system is almost inevitably found wanting (Murray 2006). Of all the world’s regional human rights protection systems, the African system has the shortest pedigree, and was until recently both chronically under-funded and lacking the support of the states responsible for its operation.

The perception that the mandate of the African human rights system remains unfulfilled, however, is contradicted by the positive steps that have been taken since the drafting of the continent’s first comprehensive human rights convention. This chapter briefly surveys the development of Africa’s human rights system, drawing comparisons where appropriate with its European and inter-American counterparts. The early role played by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in protecting human rights in Africa, through the drafting of the African (Banjul) Charter on Hu-man and Peoples’ Rights,1 is discussed in Part 1. Part 2 considers the role of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in promoting and protecting human rights in Africa. Part 3 addresses the creation of the African Court for Human and Peoples’ Rights, and Part 4 highlights the African Union’s stated commitment to the principles of human rights and good governance through its provision for an African Court of Justice. The chapter closes with some remarks on possible future avenues for the growth of systematic human rights protection in Africa.

The Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter)

The Charter of the Organization of African Unity, signed at Addis Ababa on May 25, 1963, represented the collective will of 32 newly independent African countries to encourage inter-state cooperation “in response to the aspirations of [African] peoples for brotherhood and solidarity, in a larger unity transcending ethnic and national differences”.2 The Preamble to the OAU Charter speaks of the organization’s commitment to both the Charter of the United Nations3 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.4 The OAU’s pur-poses (OAU Charter Article II (e)) re-state the organization’s commitment to the principles embodied in both documents (D’Sa 1985, p. 72).

However, between the OAU’s founding and into the late 1970s, large-scale human rights violations were perpetrated by the governments of African states primarily against their own peoples, both in peacetime and in conflict situations. Africa’s poor human rights protection record during this period can be attributed to numerous factors: successful consolidations of power by repressive rulers; the perpetuation of Cold War proxy conflicts; and civil strife rooted in the ethno-religious pluralism that remains characteristic of many African countries (Ojo and Sesay 1986, p. 91). During this period the organization’s states “[condemned] the racist practices of South Africa while at the same time overlooking the human rights atrocities within their own frontiers,” raising fears that African states would continue to invoke the OAU Charter’s “non-interference” clause (Article III (2)) as justification for failing “to publicly condemn breaches of human rights in their fellow countries… [giving] rise to allegations of a ‘double standard’” (D’Sa 1985, p. 73).

In 1979, the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Governments (“the OAU Assembly”) passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a committee to draft a human rights covenant that would address the unique needs of African countries and peoples in the post-colonial era. The committee’s first draft of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights was granted the unanimous approval of the OAU Assembly in Nairobi on June 27, 1981.

 Comparison of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) to the european Convention on Human Rights (eCHR) and the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR): Unique Features of the African Charter

The African Charter adapts international human rights law to “Africa’s colonial history, philosophy of law, and conception of man.” (Obinna Okere 1984, p. 141). The African Charter is the fixed expression of the need of then newly independent African states for responses to African human rights problems, problems whose most appropriate solutions differed from solutions employed in Europe and the Americas.

The African Charter refers to African customs and practices as sources of law both in its preamble and in its operative text (D’Sa 1985, pp. 73-74). The marginalization of indigenous African sociological perspectives and customary practices during the colonial period prompted OAU member states to legitimize cultural differences that distinguish African states from American and European countries, not only as sources for the interpretation of human rights previously codified in international instruments like the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,5 but as legitimate sources to invoke in interpreting human rights for Africans in the African context. To that end,

[t]he catalogue of rights that the African Charter guarantees differs from its European and inter-American counterparts in several important respects. The Charter proclaims not only rights but also duties, and it guarantees both individual and peoples’ rights. In addition to civil and political rights, the African Charter sets out a series of economic and social rights. … African historical traditions and customs are also reflected in some provisions of the Charter, particularly those dealing with duties of individuals and family matters. (Buergenthal 2006, p. 798).

The African Charter is also distinguished from the American Convention on Human Rights6 by its refusal to grant standing to individual petitions. Under Article 44 of the ACHR, petitions may be filed by individuals (Ojo and Sesay 1986, p. 97). Articles 34 and 56(4) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms7 require signatory states to make separate declarations to grant individuals standing before the organization’s human rights bodies.8 The African Charter makes no specific provision for individual complaints beyond Articles 55 through 59 inclusively, which refer to “Other Communications.”

This is troubling, because the African Charter “permits… state parties to impose more extensive restrictions and limitations on the exercise of the rights it proclaims than the European and inter-American human rights instruments” (Buergenthal 2006, p. 798). Many of the civil and political rights given in the African Charter contain “clawback clauses”9 that allow signatory states “to justify limitations on individual rights and freedoms by reference to domestic laws, which may be restrictive” (D’Sa 1985, p. 76; see also Welch 1992, p. 46). None of the African Charter’s clawback clauses stipulate any further conditions under which a state’s clawback on individuals’ rights must also be justified. This is unlike the ECHR, which employs a derogation mechanism similar to that contained in article 4 of the ICCPR.

As stated above, the African Charter also distinguishes between collective rights (enumerated in Chapter I of the Charter) and duties owed by individuals (Obinna Okere 1984, pp. 145, 148). These “duties,” or responsibilities, are said to flow from individuals’ membership in groups, and include obligations to discrete categories of beneficiaries: one’s family, society, the state, other legally recognized groups, and the international community (Article 27). The specific duties owed these beneficiaries complement the individual’s general responsibility for “maintain[ing] relations aimed at promoting, safeguarding and reinforcing mutual respect and tolerance” (Article 28). These stipulations have variously been understood as “a code of good conduct for all citizens of African countries” (D’Sa 1985, p. 77) and as a formulation that recognizes that individual human rights are best enjoyed when distributed to group members in collective form (Kiwanuka 1988, p. 85).

It is important to remember, however, that despite the African Charter’s distinctive cultural orientation, culture itself is not an unproblematic source of rights in the African Charter. The collective (peoples’) rights present in the African Charter exist in constant tension with the right to self-determination (D’Sa 1985, p. 78). The African Charter does not define what constitutes a “people” for the purposes of self-determination. Some commentators suggested shortly after the African Charter’s drafting that the right to selfdetermination contained therein should be interpreted as one that groups within states could avail themselves of, given the existence of racist and oppressive post-colonial regimes at the time of the African Charter’s signing (Addo 1998, pp. 185-186).

In practice, the OAU Charter’s commitment to the “safeguard[ing] and [consolidation] of … the sovereignty and territorial integrity”10 of member states was frequently invoked to undermine the legitimacy of secessionist interpretations of the African Charter’s right to self-determination by groups within states. For the most part, after African countries achieved independence, selfdetermination was no longer formally recognized as part of the African Charter’s bundle of collective rights. Instead, the rights of discrete groups within states were subsequently construed as “minority rights” (Kiwanuka 1988, p. 90; see also Addo 1988, p. 184).

The African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)

Promotion of Human Rights under the Charter

The unique provisions of the African Charter outlined above can only be understood in the context created by the case history of the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights (“the African Commission”). Established by Articles 30 to 46, inclusively, of the African Charter, the African Commission is a quasi-judicial body responsible for promoting and protecting the human rights guaranteed by the African Charter. It began functioning in late 1987, well before it formally adopted its Rules of Procedure in February 1988 (Odinkalu 1993, p. 533; see also Welch 1992, pp. 49-54).

Like the ECHR and the ACHR,11 the African Charter creates both an inter-state complaints mechanism (articles 47 to 54), and, as mentioned in Part 1.1 , above, a non-state petition mechanism subject to the approval of African Charter signatory states. The requirement that non-state petitions identify complainants, exhaust all local remedies, and refrain from disparaging the states they concern (article 56) impose onerous obligations on non-state claimants. Even petitions that conform to these requirements in all respects may nonetheless be deemed inadmissible if they do not win the support of a simple majority of the eleven Commissioners (Ojo and Sesay 1986, p. 97).

However, the Commission has successfully used Article 55 of the African Charter to accept cases from non-state petitioners (Heyns 2004, p. 694; Helfer 1999, p. 355). This is critical for four reasons. First, the majority of the Commission’s petitions come from non-state actors. Second, the Commission has also used its authority under Articles 60 and 61 of the African Charter to draw inspiration from international human rights law in interpreting African Charter provisions. For instance, the Commission has clarified that states that refer to domestic law to justify invoking the internal limits of the African Charter’s clawback clauses must act in accordance with international human rights law (Eno 2002, p. 689).12 This has prevented states from using clawback provisions to stop the Commission from accepting petitions from wronged parties, allowing both NGOs and individuals to participate more fully in the Commission’s activities than they otherwise might. Third, this practice effectively renders inoperative Article 52 of the African Charter, under which the focus of the Commission’s dispute resolution efforts is given as achieving “‘an amicable solution’ between… states, not between the aggrieved individual and the state” (Ojo and Sesay 1986, p. 96).

Finally, accepting non-state complaints has enabled the Commission to evolve a robust case history that demonstrates its extremely innovative approach to the African Charter over time. This approach has shifted the focus of disputes brought under the African Charter from relatively petty concerns about the admissibility of complaints, to concerns about the obligations of states towards individuals and groups. This shift is evident from the Commission’s case history on self-determination,13 civil and political rights,14 and social and economic rights.15 As one commentator notes, “the potential of this mechanism has not nearly been exhausted” (Heyns 2004, p. 694).

Challenges to Protection of Charter Rights

Despite having pioneered the innovative approach to non-state petitions described above, the Commission has been roundly criticized as ineffectual. The Commission has employed the full scope of its promotional capabilities; however its protective capabilities remain grossly inadequate to the magnitude of the continent’s need (Chapter 1 of this publication describes some of these needs in greater detail). This is in part because key provisions in the African Charter limit the scope of protective action granted to the Commission by the OAU Assembly (now the African Union Assembly; see Part 4, below). For instance, the Commission cannot initiate on-site investigations under its own authority. It may only draw states’ attention to widespread human rights violations, and is obliged to wait for the Assembly’s Chairman to request an indepth study before it may investigate emergency situations (Article 58). Further, Commission reports on specific issues cannot be made public without the prior approval of the Assembly (Article 59). Finally, amicable resolution of disputes between states having failed, the Commission must wait for three months before it may prepare a written report to the Assembly (Article 52). The Assembly thus has the potential to unduly influence the Commission’s work, to the extent of negating its protective capacity.

The African Court for Human and Peoples’ Rights

In short, the African system has been restricted to “settlement of cases involving human rights violations, through the instrumentality of the Commission” (Obinna Okere 1984, p. 156) because the Commission’s recommendations are not binding (Article 53). This is not particularly shocking: recommendations of the European Commission on Human Rights are also non-binding (Murray 2002,

p. 198). However, the European and American systems had, by the time the African Charter was operative, already “advanced beyond diplomatic settlement to the ultimate stage of judicial arbitration of human rights violations” (Obinna Okere 1984, p. 156).

With this in mind, the OAU adopted the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights at Ouagadougou on June 10, 1998.16 Under Article 2 of the 1998 Protocol, the role of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (“the African Human Rights Court”) is complementary to the protective role of the African Commission. While this subject is explored in greater detail in Chapter 1 of this publication, three key points of comparison to the European and American experiences are made here.

First, under Article 4 of the 1998 Protocol, the African Human Rights Court’s advisory jurisdiction is entirely discretionary. The African Human Rights Court can “give advisory opinions ‘on any legal matter relating to the Charter or any other relevant human rights instruments, provided that the subject matter of the opinion is not related to a matter being examined by the Commission’” (Eno 2002, p. 231). The advisory capacities of the European Court on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court on Human Rights are, by contrast, limited to providing opinions requested by the Committee of Ministers and OAS member states and organs, respectively (Eno 2002, p. 232).

Second, unlike its European and American counterparts, the African Court can adjudicate disputes not only under regional human rights instruments, but under international ones as well. “This is particularly important and encouraging because a person whose rights are not adequately protected in the African Charter can easily hold the state concerned accountable by invoking another treaty to which that state is a party either at [the] UN level or sub-regional level” (Eno 2002, p. 227). Of course, this will only be possible where states party to the African Charter have signed other human rights treaties, and where states formally allow individual petitions to organs responsible for the administration of such international treaties.

Third, under Article 5.3 of the 1998 Protocol, “[t]he Court may entitle relevant non governmental organizations (NGOs) with observer status before the Commission, and individuals to institute cases directly before it, in accordance with article 34.6 of [the] Protocol.” This requires states to make a formal declaration giving the African Human Rights Court jurisdiction to hear non-state petitions filed against them. Not only is this an improvement on the African Charter’s failure to refer to NGOs at all, it improves on both the European and American Courts of human rights, neither of whose statutes grant NGOs standing to initiate complaints (Mohamed 1999, p. 201; also see Eno 2002, p. 230). This novel provision in the 1998 Protocol is of the utmost significance, because NGOs have traditionally played a vital role in helping the African Commission fulfil its promotional and protective mandates.

Article 6.3 of the 1998 Protocol also allows the African Court to transfer cases to the Commission (Eno 2002, p. 228). While the limited protective capacity of the Commission has already been noted, the fact that NGOs, in addition to being “relevant,” must also have observer status at the Commission to bring cases before the African Human Rights Court (1998 Protocol, article 5.3), means that the Commission will play an important role both as a clearinghouse for NGOs seeking to bring cases before the African Human Rights Court themselves, and also in filtering meritorious cases from the Commission to the African Human Rights Court for further review.

The African Union (AU)

With little fanfare and even less scrutiny from the international community, 27 African countries signed the Constitutive Act of the African Union at Lome on July 11, 2000.17 The Constitutive Act replaces both the OAU Charter and the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community,18 its immediate predecessors (Article 33), but borrows many of its provisions directly from the Abuja Treaty.

The African Union (AU) deliberately distinguishes itself from the OAU by placing human rights and good governance at the heart of its objectives.19 In particular, Article 30 of the Constitutive Act allows the AU to suspend member states whose governments come to power through unconstitutional means (Maluwa 2003, p. 165). The sanctions contained in the Constitutive Act’s provisions can only be realized through the exercise of political will by states in the form of concrete action to protect human rights, raising hopes that African states are preparing to “[confront] the … urgent challenges of strengthening democracy, collective security, and human rights in Africa” (Maluwa 2003, p. 158). It is therefore surprising that the Constitutive Act, while mentioning the African Charter and “other relevant human rights instruments” (Article 3(h)), mentions neither the African Commission nor the African Human Rights Court, the two institutions created under the statutes of its predecessor to promote and protect human rights in Africa.

The Constitutive Act’s failure to reference these institutions does not leave the organization without a judicial body, as the possibility of the creation of an African Court of Justice is given in Article 18 (Udombana 2002, p. 1243). Such a court was created by the AU’s adoption of the Constitutive Act’s Protocol of the Court of Justice of the African Union at Maputo on July 11, 2003.20 The African Court of Justice was originally conceived of in the Abuja Treaty (which defined it in Article 7.1(e) as an organ of the African Economic Community). In addition to identifying the African Court of Justice’s functions (Article 18) and organization (Article 20), the Abuja Treaty stipulates that the Court’s decisions will be “binding on member states and organs of the Community” (Article 19). Article 87 of the Abuja Treaty gives the African Court of Justice jurisdiction over inter-state dispute-resolution where states are un-able to amicably resolve disputes themselves (Packer and Rukare, p. 376).

The 2003 Protocol, however, makes no mention of human rights. This, in combination with the Constitutive Act’s silence concerning the Commission and the African Human Rights Court, and current provisions for an African Court of Justice, has created some confusion among African states. Their resultant unwillingness to ratify the 2003 Protocol raises concerns about the future ability of individuals whose human rights have been violated to access justice (Murray 2002, p. 206). Legal commentators also fear that jurisdictional overlap between the two Courts could potentially “[thwart], rather than [develop], human rights jurisprudence,” because of the potential for “conflicting interpretations [of] the provisions of relevant human rights instruments invoked before each Court” (Udombana 2002, pp. 1247-8).

One suggestion is that the functional relationship of the African Human Rights Court and the future African Court of Justice emulate the complementary relationship of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice. However, the success of this approach in Europe is enabled by the fact that “EU law has primacy over national law, and so states are required to comply directly with European Convention provisions where the ECJ has used them as interpreting EU law” (Murray 2002, p. 207). Although the first 11 judges have been elected to the African Court of Justice,21 the Court has yet to receive a case or issue a judgment, and so it remains to be seen whether AU member states, long committed to the principles of state sovereignty and non-interference, will easily comply with its judgments. An alternative approach would be to further develop the African Human Rights Court as part of the establishment of the African Court of Justice, with a view to eventually making the Human Rights Court a specialized chamber of the Court of Justice.

A third way seems to have been adopted by the AU Assembly of Heads of state and Government, at its 7th Ordinary Session at Banjul (July 1 and 2, 2006). The AU Assembly endorsed the Executive Council’s recommendation that the AU’s Ministers of Justice convene to consider the Draft Protocol on the Statute of the future African Court of Justice and Human Rights, drafted by Mohamed Bedjaoui, the former President of the International Court of Justice and Algeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, with a view to making recommendations to the Executive Council by January 2007.22


While the framework for the operation of the forthcoming integrated court will be addressed in the pending Protocol to the AU’s Constitutive Act, the African human rights system has already laid the foundation for the systematic promotion, protection, and en-forcement of human rights law throughout the continent. With its receptivity to NGO submissions, its capacity to address complaints under the African Charter and other international human rights treaties, the African Human Rights Court is poised to make great inroads into human rights protection in Africa.

The AU’s latest judicial project raises the tantalizing possibility that the enforcement of human rights law throughout Africa could become more than a mere flight of fancy. The African Court of Justice’s 2003 Protocol stipulates at Article 37 that the court’s judgments are binding. If this provision is retained in the final protocol that establishes the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, the latter Court’s judgments in respect of human rights could also be of binding effect, once the Court is established and operational.

The creation of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights is an unparalleled opportunity for African states to capitalize on the start made in human rights protection on the continent by NGOs and the African Commission, by increasing the strength of legal protections available to African individuals and peoples. The future will reveal whether African states are ready to exercise the political will needed to invest the promise of substantive human rights protection for Africa with life.

By March 2008, the African Union Commission completed consideration of the merger of the two courts and adopted a document entitled “the Single Legal Document on the African Court of Justice and Human Rights.” This was to be tabled before the Executive Council and eventually the Heads of state for adoption at the African Union Summit in Egypt in June /July 2008.



1- June 27, 1981, O.A.U. Doc. CAB/LEG/67/3 rev. 5, 21 I.L.M. 58 (1982) (entered into force October 26, 1986), see Charter.pdf [African Charter].

2- 479 U.N.T.S. 39 (entered into force Sept. 13, 1963), Preamble, see Documents/Treaties/text/OAU_Charter_1963.pdf [OAU Charter].

3- June 26, 1945, 59 U.S. Stat. 1031, T.S. 993 (entered into force October 24, 1945, amended 1965, 1968, and 1973).

4- U.N.G.A. Res. 217(III), U.N. GAOR, 3rd. Sess., Supp. No. 13, at 71, U.N. Doc. A/810 (1948) (adopted by vote 48-0, with eight abstentions) [Universal Declaration of Human Rights–UDHR].

5- U.N.G.A. Res. 2200A (XXI), 21 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 16) at 52, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), 999 U.N.T.S. 171 (entered into force March 23, 1976), available at> [ICCPR].

6- O.A.S.T.S. No. 36, 1144 U.N.T.S. 123 (entered into force July 18, 1978, reprinted in Basic Documents Pertaining to Human Rights in the Inter-American System, OEA/Ser.L.V/II.82 Doc. 6 rev.1, p. 25 (1992)) [ACHR].

7- (E.T.S. 5), 213 U.N.T.S. 222 (entered into force September 3, 1953, as amended by Protocol No. 11

(E.T.S. No. 155) which entered into force on November 1, 1998), online: rdonlyres/D5CC24A7-DC13-4318-B457-5C9014916D7A/0/EnglishAnglais.pdf [ECHR].

8- The entry into force of Protocol 11 to the ECHR amended that Convention to give individuals compulsory standing before the European Court of Human Rights (see Mohamed 1999, p. 206; and Eno 2002, p. 230).

9- Clawback clauses are found in African Charter Articles 6 (liberty and security of the person and freedom from arbitrary arrest), 8 (freedom of conscience and religion), 9.2 (freedom of expression and the right to disseminate one’s opinion), 10.1 (freedom of association), 11 (freedom of assembly), 12.1 (freedom of movement and residence within one’s state) and 12.2 (the right to leave any country and to return to one’s own country), 13 (freedom to participate in the government of one’s own country), and 14 (right to property).

10- OAU Charter, supra note 2, in Preamble.

11- Article 24 of the ECHR, supra note 7, allows for inter-state complaints immediately upon ratification of the treaty by European Union member states. Article 45 of the ACHR, supra note 6, by contrast, allows inter-state complaints “only if this has been recognized by both parties concerned, namely, the applicant state and the respondent state.” See Obinna Okere 1984, p. 156.

12- African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Communications 105/93, 128/94, 130/94, and 152/96, Media Rights Agenda & Others v. Nigeria, 12th Annual Activity Report (1998-99).

13- African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Communication 75/92, Congrès du Peuple Katangais v. Zaire, 8th Annual Activity Report (1994-95); Communications 147/95 & 149/95, Sir Dawda K. Jawara v. The Gambia, 13th Annual Activity Report (1999).

14- African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Communication 60/91, Constitutional Rights Project (Akamu) v. Nigeria, 8th Annual Activity Report (1994-95); Communication 74/92, Commission Nationale des Droits de l’Homme et des Libertés v. Chad, 9th Annual Activity Report (1995-96); Communications 105/93, 128/94, 130/94, and 152/96, Media Rights Agenda & Others v. Nigeria, 12th Annual Activity Report (1998-99); Communication 102/93, Constitutional Rights Project & Another v. Nigeria, 12th Annual Activity Report (1998-99); Communications 54/91, 61/91, 98/93, 164-196/97, & 210/98, Malawi African Association & Others v. Mauritania, 13th Annual Activity Report (1999); and Communications 48/90, 50/91, 52/91, & 89/93155/96, Amnesty International v. Sudan, 13th Annual Activity Report (1999).

15- African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Communication 155/96, Social and Economic Rights Action Centre and the Centre for Economic and Social Rights v Nigeria, Annex V, 15th Annual Activity Report (2001-2).

16- OAU Doc. OAU/LEG/MIN/AFCHPR/PROT.1 rev.2 (1997) (entered into force January 25, 2004), available at> [1998 Protocol].

17- OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/23.15 (entered into force May 26, 2001), available at [Constitutive Act].

18- June 3, 1991, O.A.U. Doc. AHG/Res. 205 (XXVII) (entered into force May 12, 1994), available at> [Abuja Treaty]

19- Abuja Treaty, supra note 18, at Articles 3(h) and (g).

21- Decision on the Election of Judges of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Assembly/AU/Dec.100 (VI), Assembly of the African Union, 6th Ordinary Session, OAU Doc. EX.CL/241 (VIII) (January 23-24, 2006), at 12, available at>.

22- Decision On The Draft Single Instrument on the Merger of the African Court On Human And Peoples’ Rights and the Court of Justice of the African Union, Assembly/AU/Dec.118 (VII), Assembly of the African Union, 7th Ordinary Session, O.A.U. Doc.EX.CL/253 (IX), at 11, available at>.