Africa: Amnesty International's vitriolic report against rich countries

Africa has the lowest vaccination rate in the world with less than 8% of the population fully protected.

(illustrative image) © AP Photo/Leo Correa

Text by: Pierre Firtion Follow

3 mins

Amnesty International publishes this Tuesday, March 29 its report for 2021 on the situation of human rights in the world.

The NGO is very critical of rich countries.

In this period affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, she accuses them of having joined forces with large private groups “ 

to monopolize power and wealth

 ”.

In Africa, the very low vaccination rate is due in particular to an inequitable distribution of vaccines, points out Amnesty, which accuses certain African governments of having hidden behind the fight against the pandemic to stifle dissent.

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If Amnesty is presenting its report from Johannesburg on Tuesday, it is to alert people to the situation on the continent.

Africa has the lowest vaccination rate in the world with less than 8% of the population fully protected.

The fault lies with the developed countries and the multinationals, according to the NGO, which takes a very sober look at their (in)action. 

Wealthy 

states have collaborated with private sector giants

, accuses Amnesty International,

to dupe people with empty slogans and false promises of a fair recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic while many people in Africa are struggling. are being denied life-saving vaccines, which is one of the greatest betrayals of our time

 .”

The NGO thus points the finger at an unequal distribution of vaccines and the refusal of large pharmaceutical companies to share their technology.

Anti-Covid measures used to stifle dissent?

This crisis has led, according to the organization, to an increase in poverty, inequality and insecurity.

“ 

The Covid-19 pandemic has also highlighted

, adds the report,

the chronic lack of investment in the health sectors for many decades

 ”.

Amnesty further accuses some governments of using anti-Covid measures to stifle dissent, by banning peaceful protests - such as in Cameroon, Chad, Ivory Coast, Lesotho and Zimbabwe - by disrupting the access to the Internet or by using "

 excessive force to break up peaceful protests 

".

“ 

Instead of allowing much-needed discussion and debate on how best to meet the challenges of 2021, many states have redoubled their efforts to muzzle critical voices 

,” denounces the NGO.

In parallel, human rights abuses in conflicts on the continent "

 continued unabated in 2021

 ", the report noted.

“ 

New unresolved conflicts erupted or persisted in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Mozambique, and warring parties violated the rights of the person and international humanitarian law 

", judges the organization.

AU Peace and Security Council accused of inaction

Amnesty International is focusing on the conflict in northern Ethiopia in particular, pointing to the " 

serious human rights violations, including sexual violence against women, unlawful killings and forced displacement 

" committed by Ethiopian security forces and militias.

The Tigrayan forces have also been responsible for serious violations,

 the report adds,

including unlawful killings, rape and other sexual violence constituting crimes against humanity and war crimes

 ".

On this conflict in Ethiopia as on that in Mozambique, the NGO accuses 

 the Peace and Security Council of the African Union of “

inaction ”.

"

 Despite the harrowing accounts of human rights abuses that have continually emerged from the two countries' conflicts,

 the report finds, 

the Peace and Security Council has remained disturbingly silent 

."

In this very gloomy picture, the NGO notes however some "

 important victories in terms of human rights

 " such as the release of dozens of members or sympathizers of opposition parties and members of civil society organizations in Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea, the abolition of the death penalty in Sierra Leone or the dialogue initiated with pro-democracy demonstrators in the kingdom of Eswatini. 

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  • Africa

  • Coronavirus

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  • Vaccines

  • Ethiopia

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