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The African Union Human Rights Memorial Mission and Objectives

December 13, 2016

The African Union Human Rights Memorial Mission and Objectives

                      The African Union Human Rights Memorial

Mission

The African Union Human Rights Memorial Project (AUHRM) aims to preserve the memory of mass atrocities, in recognition of past sufferings and in the interests of future peace and security. The African Union (AU) established in its Constitutive Act a commitment to continental cooperation on the basis of human rights principles, constitutionalism, and the responsibility to intervene in the case of crimes against humanity, or genocide. The AUHRM will reflect a series of grave crimes committed against Africans, including the appalling case of genocide in Rwanda.

Aims and Objectives

By raising the memorialisation profile within the AU, current and future generations of Africans will be informed about the causes, consequences and lessons of past conflicts. The AUHRM seeks to:

• Increase information available on genocide and atrocities in Africa, simultaneously serving to raise awareness of escalating problems.
• Enable African citizens to understand the workings of African governments and the African Union in responding to genocide.
• Facilitate opportunities to discuss and promote their involvement in democratic citizenship.
• Serve as a research and documentation hub for African human rights atrocities.

The African Union Human Rights Memorial (AUHRM) will initially focus on memorialising:

• Rwandan genocide
• Apartheid in South Africa
• Ethiopian Red Terror (1977-79)
• Colonialism and the slave trade

The AUHRM will consist of a number of components:

• A permanent memorial to victims of genocide and mass atrocities, on the grounds of the African Union headquarters.
• A research and documentation center in Addis Ababa. The center will be a hub of research and documentation of human rights atrocities in Africa, aimed at raising awareness of past genocide, and mass atrocities while promoting human rights to prevent future mass atrocity crimes from occurring.
• A mass atrocity awareness and prevention online education module, to be developed by researchers at the AUHRM center, in consultation with a group of experts. This education module will seek to add to the growing body of mass atrocity crime education, but focused on African contexts and perspectives. It will focus on both awareness and prevention and link history to modern human rights norms and institutions. It will educate new generations about past failures in the wake of mass atrocities and provide them with the practical knowledge and policy tools to ensure a different outcome when faced with similar situations in the future.
• A commemorative book featuring contributions from survivors and memorialisation experts will be produced.