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Liberian Elections and Charles Taylor

(1 September) As Campaigns for Liberia’s Presidential and Parliamentary elections kick off, African and International Organisations Call on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and African Union Chairperson President Obasanjo of Nigeria to Ensure Charles Taylor Does Not Interfere in Liberia’s Democratic Process from Nigeria where he is currently exiled.

In a statement issued today, Mr Shina Loremikan of the Coalition Against Impunity campaigning for the trial of the former Liberian leader before the UN- supported Special Court for Sierra Leone stated “ECOWAS and President Obasanjo must ensure that Charles Taylor does not, cannot and is unable to distort Liberia’s electoral process and results.”

He continued, “It is bad enough that Taylor who is wanted by Interpol for crimes against Sierra Leonean, Liberian and other West African citizens is being sheltered from justice by the government of President Obasanjo. All indications are that he has the freedom to influence affairs in Liberia from Nigeria. President Obasanjo must guarantee that Taylor does not have any opportunity to affect the outcome of the Liberian elections”

Read the press release here.


No Forcible Return of Refugees to Rwanda

(Kampala, 10 March) Human rights groups today called upon refugee hosting governments to abide strictly by international and regional standards of refugee rights protection during the current repatriation exercise of Rwandese refugees from Uganda and elsewhere in the Great Lakes region.

As the findings from three separate reports on the Rwandese refugee repatriation effort were discussed in Kampala, the authors of the reports – the Refugee Law Project, Makerere University, Amnesty International and Human Right First—stressed the vital importance of  voluntary and sustainable repatriation in conditions of safety and dignity for long term security and stability in the region.

Each of the reports highlights different challenges facing Rwandese refugees still in exile. Ten recommendations for a safer repatriation were endorsed by the Refugee Law Project, Amnesty International and the International Refugee Rights Initiative, a successor organization to Human Rights First.* 

Read the press release here.