The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has written the African Union (AU) asking them to intervene in what they call a political crisis in Malawi.
In a letter addressed to AU Assembly Chairperson and South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, the coalition expressed its deep concerns over the rapidly deteriorating political, human rights and security situation in Malawi.
The letter signed by HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo, his Vice Gift Trapence and national coordinator Luke Tembo highlights that it is a principle of the AU according to the Constitutive Act to encourage “peaceful resolution of conflict” and not to be indifferent when member states take decisions that endanger the people that they have a responsibility to protect.
Reads the letter in part: “The political, human rights and security situation in Malawi has reached worrying levels, with recent decisions taken by President Peter Mutharika, signaling a potentially volatile political and security crisis which needs to be averted as a matter of grave urgency.
“We are approaching your Office as the AU chairperson because we also subscribe to the principle of finding African solutions to African problems as the fundamental approach to addressing all conflicts on the continent, working within the frameworks of the AU and UN.”
The coalition further said in line with the objectives of the Africa Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, a democratic, stable and prosperous Malawi with a legitimate government which upholds its constitution and protects all its citizens is possible.
“As the chairperson of the African Union Assembly, we are assured of your mandate to promote the objectives of the AU,” it reads.
HRDC has been tussling with government over human rights issues. Recently, the coalition has been organizing anti-government demonstrations calling president Mutharika illegitimate.-