Resolution on the Renewal of the Mandate, Appointment of the Chairperson, Reconstitution and Expansion of Mandate of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities, in Africa - ACHPR/Res. 455 (LXVI) 2020


The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (the Commission), meeting at its 66th Ordinary Session, held virtually from 13 July to 7 August 2020:

Recalling its mandate of promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights in Africa under Article 45 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter); 

Recalling its Resolution ACHPR/Res.51 (XXVIII) 2000 adopted during its 28th Ordinary Session which established a Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities (the Working Group) composed of three Commissioners and seven Expert Members; 

Further recalling its Resolution ACHPR/Res.65 (XXXIV) 2003 on the Report of the Working Group adopted at its 34th Ordinary Session held in Banjul, The Gambia, from 6 to 20 November 2003; 

Recalling Resolutions ACHPR/Res.123 (XXXXII) 2007; ACHPR/Res.155 (XLV1) 2009; ACHPR/Res.204 (L) 2011; ACHPR/Res.249 (LIV) 2013,ACHPR/Res.323 (LVII) 2015,  and Resolution ACHPR/Res.382(LXI) 2017, all on the renewal of the mandate of the Working Group for periods of two years;

Bearing in mind ACHPR/Res.237 (LIII) 2013,ACHPR/Res. 329 (EXT.OS/XIX) 2016 and ACHPR/Res. 354(LIX) 2016, all appointing new Expert Members for the Working Group; 

Recalling Resolution ACHPR/Res.425 (LXV) 2019 which renewed the mandate of all its Special Mechanisms, including the Working Group for a period of six (6) months, with effect from 10 November 2019;

Noting with appreciation the work undertaken by the Working Group under the leadership of Commissioner Soyata Maiga in the discharge of its mandate; 

Noting further that the term of the Chairperson and Members of the Working Group has come to an end; 

Recognizing the importance of the work of the Working Group in the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous populations/communities in Africa and the necessity to allow the Working Group to continue to carry out its mandate; 

Considering that the protection and promotion of ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious and regional minorities are guaranteed by Article 19 of the African Charter which enshrines the fundamental principle of equality of peoples and condemns the domination of a people by another;

Bearing in mind Article 2 of the African Charter which guarantees the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized in the Charter without distinction as to race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status;

Realizing the need to promote and protect the rights of non-dominant minorities who are distinct from indigenous populations/communities but suffer similar conditions of discrimination, marginalization, dispossession, domination, non-recognition and lack of representation, threat of loss of identity and poverty;

Recognizing that the protection of the rights of non-dominant minorities is key to ensuring enjoyment of rights on an equal basis, inclusive socio-economic development, national cohesion and peaceful coexistence and conflict prevention on the continent;

Bearing in mind theStandard Operating Procedures (SOPs) relating to its Special Mechanisms adopted during its 27th Extra-Ordinary Session held from 19 February to 4 March 2020, in Banjul, The Gambia;

Noting in particular, guidance provided by the SOPS on the working modalities of Special Mechanisms, general roles and responsibilities of mandate holders, the composition, appointment, tenure and conduct of mandate holders; as well as terms of office of Expert Members;

Noting the Final Communiqué of the 28th Extraordinary Session held from 29 June to 1 July 2020 wherein responsibilities were assigned to Commissioners;

Decides to:

  1. Appoint Commissioner Alexia Gertrude Amesburyas Chairperson of the Working Groupfor a period of two years effective 1 July 2020; 
  2. Appointfor the same period Commissioner Jamesina E.L. King as Vice-Chairperson of the Working Group;
  3. Renewthe mandate of Commissioner Remy Ngoy Lumbuas Member of the Working Group for the same period;
  4. Appointthe following Expert Members for a period of two years:
  • Ms. Hawe Hamman Bouba(Central Africa)
  • Dr. Melakou Tegegn(East Africa)
  • Dr. Belkacem Lounes(North Africa)
  • Ms. Lesle Jansen(Southern Africa)
  • Dr. Dimitri Pag-yendu M. Yentchare(West Africa)


Decides also to expand the mandate of the Working Group to include the rights of minorities, with the following amended title: “Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities and Minorities in Africa;”

Decides furtherto entrust the Working Group with the additional mandate to:

  1. Monitor rights issues relating to ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious and regional minorities in Africa with all its ramifications;
  2. Collect information and keep a database of reported cases of rights issues concerning minorities in Africa;
  3. Undertake studies on issues affecting minorities in Africa;
  4. Advise the Commission on urgent measures to be taken to address situations of Minorities in Africa;
  5. Collaborate with its stakeholders and partners including National Governments, International and Intergovernmental Organizations for the successful fulfilment of its mandate.

Done virtually, 07 August 2020