THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

CSO petition to African leaders
African Civil Society Forum 2007
March 24, 2007

We, 250 leaders of different NGOs and CSOs from all over Africa attending the African Civil society Forum 2007 convened by CONGO, the AU and UNECA here in Addis Ababa, 22-24 March 2007 under the theme of DEMOCRATIZING GOVERNANCE AT REGIONAL AND GLOBAL LEVEL TO ACHIEVE THE MDGs:

Reaffirm the central role of all our Governments in full partnership with the CSOs and all stakeholders in the Millennium Development Goals;

Recognize that the fulfillment of the MDGs is underpinned by respect for the Human Rights of all citizens, the Rule of law, in an enabling environment that is democratic, accountable and encouraging the full participation of all citizens including Civil Society Organizations, Political parties and the private sector institutions.

Re emphasize the role and duty of Civil Society Organizations in all our countries in the struggles for the eradication of poverty, defense of human rights, promotion of justice and advocacy for peace and general human security;

Express our deep concern at the increasing deterioration in human rights and rule of law in many countries across Africa including denials of freedom of expression, speech and association and also the growing hostile political environment for CSO activities and other civic obligations.

Hereby resolve as follows:

Urge all African governments to urgently work towards the creation of an enabling environment in order to benefit from the contribution of CSOs in the various efforts to achieve the MDGs;

Meeting in Ethiopia we feel obliged to express our concern at the current political polarizations in the country including the detention of politicians and Civil Society activists;

In this regard urge the Governments of Ethiopia to immediately and unconditionally all political prisoners;

We also call for the immediate release of our Civil Society colleagues, Women and the baby child currently detained with the mother;

We also express our concern at the current escalation in the worsening human rights situation in Zimbabwe;

The recent assaults on leading opposition figures and continuing detention and other denials of rights are both shameful to Zimbabwe and all Africans;

We Call on the SADC and the AU, to assist Zimbabwe to return to full compliance with the recommendations of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights and UN Special Envoy recommendation based on their impartial fact finding missions to Zimbabwe;

In addition, we are alarmed at the slow progress in arresting the fast deteriorating conflict in Darfur and consequent untold suffering of the people of that region especially innocent women, and children;

We call on the Sudan government to fully cooperate with the African Union and the UN in their joint effort to protect civilians and help resolve the conflict;

The armed conflict in Somalia is also of great concern to us. It sets a very dangerous precedent on the continent whereby one state in collaboration with foreign powers can impose a military solution on another African country. We call the AU and the leadership of Africa to immediately assume their responsibility to end the invasion and actively seek the full cooperation of all Somalis in finding a lasting peaceful resolution of the conflict;

IN the specific cases of Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Sudan we urge the governments of these countries to actively explore and commit themselves to dialogue with all political stakeholders and Civil Society Organizations so as to bring about national reconciliation, harness the collective efforts of all their citizens towards nation-building and the realization of the MDGs; and

Finally we call upon all our governments and all citizens to observe the principles of democratic governance, the rule of law and active promotion of tolerance and stop the criminalization of political opponents and victimization of CSO leaders.

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.