AU-Human Rights Memorial


The African Union Human Rights Memorial.

Focus Areas

Slavery took place in Africa for more than five centuries, African were traded within the continent and exported to the rest of the world to perform labour of different forms to nations including Spain, Britain, Dutch Empire, France and Portugal amongst others.


When slavery had not made any more economic sense, the masters began a campaign which could be said to enslave Africa’s in their own land instead of shipping them across the world. Colonialism in Africa which saw Africa being invaded by European imperialist in the 1870s and 1900 ,which was motivated by three main factors, economic, political, and social.

The Apartheid

The Apartheid (1948 to 1991) in South Africa was racial segregation under the all-white government of South Africa which dictated that non-white South Africans (a majority of the population) were required to live in separate areas from whites and use separate public facilities, and contact between the two groups would be limited.

Ethiopian Red Terror

Ethiopian Red Terror which was a campaign of oppression and mass killings in Ethiopia, which began in 1976, when communist Mengistu Haile Mariam took control of the military dictatorship after ousting Emperor Haile Selassie, and lasted until 1978. During these years, the governing body used atrocious violence against anyone that was not a part of its party by arbitrarily arresting, torturing, and massacring thousands of people.

The Rwandan Genocide

The Rwandan Genocide which was initiated in the capital of Rwanda, Kigali by extreme Hutu nationalists who incited Hutu citizens to take up arms against the Tutsi’s in 1994 from April to July which ended in the killing of up to 800,000 Tutsi minorities by members of the Hutu ethnic Majority. Evidence of the genocide pre dated the actual 1994 events, during the colonial rule, the Tutsi’s increased their hierarchy and dominated other ethnic groups, and this transformed the society into an ethic caste system.

Project Activities

The project will have the following components:

• Erect a permanent human rights memorial on the premises of AU’s new headquarters;

• Build an educational centre within the premises of AU, which will provide African countries with the necessary historical background to past violations and serve as communication centre for researchers and Universities working on human rights.

• Create a virtual presence (website) that will function as a hub for survivors, various memorial centres, museums, academic institutions, donor agencies and other interested parties.

• Conduct relevant research and studies.

Concept Note
The Concept Note for the African Union Human Rights Memorial