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Rights activists seek urgent action to end violent conflicts in Africa

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Human rights activists and experts are looking for possible ways to end violent conflicts and civil wars now tearing apart some African countries such as Somalia, Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan.

They were attending the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions’ biennial conference and its 10th anniversary event that kicked off on Tuesday in the Rwandan capital Kigali.

The theme of the Nov. 7-9 event is “A human rights-based approach to implementation of Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063 -- the role of national human rights institutions.”

“Countries such as Somalia, South Sudan and CAR are facing deadly conflicts that have led to the destruction of property and loss of lives. We need strong and sustainable measures to end violent conflicts in these countries using peaceful means,” said Mark Thomson, secretary general of the Association for the Prevention of Torture, a global forum dedicated to preventing torture and other forms of ill treatment.

He said civil wars and conflicts are root causes of poverty, suffering and malnutrition on the continent which has derailed Africa social and economic development.

The three-day meeting has attracted more than 200 delegates including human rights activists, government officials, members of academia and civil society organizations from across 44 member countries of the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions  to seek actions to realize Africa development through protection of people’s rights.

Opening the forum, Johnston Busingye, Rwandan minister of justice said that people in violence-stricken countries in Africa are needlessly still in poverty, yet they can be pulled out of it if there is a strong will.

“Persistent wars and conflicts in some countries in Africa have led to thousands of people internally displaced or seeking refuge abroad. It is today more than ever that action must be taken without hesitation to end violence on our continent for the better future of the generation to come,” the minister said.



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