By Michael Ssemakula
The pragmatism of African approach towards human rights securitization is still in a far estranged-forsaken-realism of International Human Rights Law (IHRL) equilibrium due to power hunger and personalization of state-sovereignty through feigned democracy dispensation.
International Human Rights Law is an embodiment of obligations through treaties signed between states` and the customary international law which the states are bound to conform. This article critiques the two-faces of the alliance-approach in their methodology towards promoting human rights in Africa through the principles of governance to dispense democracy in the bid to protect the African citizenry personal freedoms.
Enormous efforts through alliances such as Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), African Union (AU) and East African Community (EAC) between states to protect citizenry’s basic entitlements and civil liberties have been coherent and seen a conciliatory-brighter-note in the realization of peace as the principle feature in states that have experienced a vile constitutional crisis, in the grim present-past, after Adama Barrow’s right to free and fair elections as codified in (Fox, 1992) was stripped by Yahya Jammeh, ex-president of Gambia in 2016, ECOWAS fronted itself through diplomatic and military intermediation approach to honor the constitution right of Gambians to vote and respect people’s decision with a prime objective of securing peace and averting the humanitarian crisis that the country was about to befall.
Contrariwise, some states in the alliance approach have wandered-way from obligations enshrined in International Human Rights Law through unsavory deals to accomplish their underhand-political-neoliberalism intentions under the disguise of peacebuilding. Uganda as an exemplification, has been accused of conspiring with the Rwandan government officials to repatriate political asylees back to Rwanda for political prosecution over alleged political criminalities (KIYONGA, October 30, 2017).Further, as a largest host of refugees in the East African Community from countries experiencing political tumults, Uganda is cited out as an archetype of refugee unjust treatment and exploitation. In (BBC, 2018) Ugandan officials were suspended by UNHCR over the allegations of mismanaging aid relief through inflating refugee-figures and counterfeiting documents on delivery of food-assistance and demanding refugees to pay bribes for services which should be free, thereby interloping their fundamental right to basic services and embarrassing the EAC image.
Therefore, in order to guard people’s rights against violations and fulfill the states’ obligations enshrined in the International Human Rights Law amidst challenges and gaps in protection of the people especially the vulnerable populaces, this article proposes strengthening of the multi-country human rights federations and civil society networks as oversight bodies to watch over the work of political alliances in Africa. This makes the alliance approach more effective because human rights federations’ and civil society networks’ unison pressure increase policy influence through joint policy advocacy, policy engagement efforts and policy evaluations which keep alliances under check to guarantee their sustainability.