Country Programmes: A Summary


African Rights has researched and published material on the abuses suffered by men, women and children in Rwanda, Sudan, Somalia and Somaliland, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe, amongst other countries. We mainly tackle abuses suffered by communities rather than individuals and take our priorities from the people we try to help. Occasionally we have provided practical assistance to help affected groups strengthen their own support systems.

African Rights has reported on some of the gravest human rights abuses in Africa’s recent past, including the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and the steady slaughter of the Nuba people of Sudan. We work in an integrated manner to document and analyse social and economic as well as civil and political injustices. The results have provided fresh understandings of deep-rooted problems.

In a series of reports and articles on Somalia, we revealed early on what has since been widely understood: that the international intervention in Somalia in 1992 was an unmitigated failure. We followed up these critiques with studies aimed at an understanding of the roots of the crisis in Somalia, as well as drawing attention to the situation in the breakaway Republic of Somaliland (the former northwest region), which we continue to monitor.

In recent years, we have devoted much of our time and resources to documenting the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. We maintained a presence in Rwanda during the genocide and in the years since we have gathered rich testimony from genocide survivors, witnesses and perpetrators. This research has been of value to both Rwandese and international justice initiatives.

In the course of several years of intensive work focused on the genocide and its aftermath, African Rights has explored in depth a wide range of concerns identified by Rwandese people including: the administration of justice; the role of the Church; the impact of the genocide on education; and miscarriages of justice.

We have published many of our findings in English and French and some also in Kinyarwanda. We have also amassed a wealth of first hand information as well as documentary material relating to the atrocities.

The social, economic and human costs of the genocide for its survivors have been devastating and the response to them comparatively weak. As well as producing publications to highlight the plight of survivors, African Rights sought to respond to these difficulties directly by establishing a small-scale financial and practical assistance project in 1999-2000.