African Ombudsman and Mediators condemn violence in Libya and Cote d’Ivoire

The African Ombudsman and Mediators Association (AOMA) has expressed concern over the violence that has engulfed the Northern African region and Cote d’Ivoire, calling on leaders of conflicting parties to refrain from using lethal force against civilians.

“The African Ombudsman and Mediators deplore the needless loss of innocent lives in Libya and surrounding countries,” AOMA said, adding that the situation in Cote d’Ivoire was also deteriorating into a civil conflict that could lead to the loss of more lives.

AOMA noted peace efforts that were being made by the African Union (AU) to address the situation in strife torn countries and urged African leaders to attend to those issues as a matter of urgency through the AU, seeking peaceful solutions to prevent further losses of lives.

AOMA also reaffirmed its commitment to the stance that when people complain, the institution of the ombudsman in Africa is able to step in to ensure accountability and responsiveness by governments. The AU and government had to take measures to ensure ombudsman and mediators’ independence.

Ombudsman and Mediators have been on a week-long programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal under the banner of AOMA, where the Association held its Executive Committee meeting, launched of its Research Centre and held a needs assessment workshop.

Under the leadership of President Paolo Tjipilica (Angolan Ombudsman) and Executive Secretary Adv Thuli Madonsela (Public Protector of South Africa), AOMA seeks to entrench good governance in governments, upholding of the rule of law and respect for human rights in the continent. This is achieved through supporting, developing and protecting the independence of ombudsman institutions.

Following its Executive Committee meeting, AOMA welcomed the successful acceptance of its request for accreditation within the AU as an observer within the AU Commission as well as the project of a cooperation agreement to be signed with the AU.

AOMA also resolved that its membership be increased and widened. Currently, AOMA has 36 members out of 53 countries in the continent.

AOMA further expressed condolences to the Office of the Mediator of the Republic and the people of Mali following the recent passing of its Second Vice President and Mediator of Mali Adv Mbam Diatigui Diarra.

Issued by the African Ombudsman and Mediators Association

For more information, contact:

Oupa Segalwe
Manager: Outreach, Education and Communications
Public Protector South Africa (AOMA Secretariat)
072 264 3273

Published Date: 
Thursday, March 17, 2011