The Council for Afrika, a think-tank in the United Kingdom says for the past two years, members have called for a state of emergency in Africa, to stem the tide of rapid socio- economic deterioration.
A statement signed by Dr Koku Adomdza, President of the Council said across the world, citizens were calling for the ditching of narrow democracy that enriched only a minority, with widening democracy which guaranteed fundamental and socio-economic rights of the majority.
It said full employment, education, health, crime, poverty eradication and civil rights had become legitimate demands and responsibilities of leadership by the people.
“This is a new reality of the 21st Century, which African as well as Global Leadership must grasp firm and fast, for the benefit of human civilisation.
“The January 2011 insurrection in parts of the African Continent and regrettably preventable injury, loss of human life and the pathetically slow response by the international community to the crises in Ivory Coast, Tunisia and Egypt justify Afrika International’s call and necessitates the need to rapidly put in place an appropriately responsive international human rights framework, to protect the most priceless of all human treasures and the most fundamental of human rights – human life on the African Continent”, the statement said.
“Political office and political power do not take precedence over human rights, human lives nor civil liberties; and those with the responsibility and privilege to govern must not be in a position to compromise human rights, rather a responsibility to protect them”, it added.
The statement said it was completely objectionable that armed security forces should be unleashed against unarmed citizens in the exercise of the right to peaceful demonstration and protest.
It said it was also critical that the January 2011 uprisings in Africa were properly described as not simply and narrowly political unrests as the headlines suggest, but triggered by the neglect and abuse of fundamental human, economic and social rights.
Afrika International stressed that global and African leaders must re-adjust to the reality of heightened human rights awareness in the 21st Century.
“An embrace of healthy human rights-oriented democratic change looks set to be a win-win, for a new culture of pro-majority citizens’ leadership in the 21st Century, stability, human rights, peace and human civilisation,” the statement concluded.