PRETORIA, South-Africa, May 28, 2015 / African Press Organization (APO) — For the first time in its history, FIDH has opened an office in Pretoria, South Africa. This office, located in the headquarters of its member organisation in South Africa, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), at the Kutlwanong Democracy Centre (KDC) in Pretoria, will be officially launched on May 29.
“The decision to open an office in South Africa was motivated by the inspirational human rights history and journey of this country, the leadership role it plays within regional and international institutions, as well as the human rights challenges it continues to face,” declared Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.
“In the Southern Africa region where discrimination, inequality and injustice are still present, we are determined to continue advocating along with our member and partner organisations from this region to ensure that the rule of law prevails over arbitrariness,” he added.
“We are opening our office in Pretoria the same year that South Africa will hostthe 25th African Union Summit. South Africa’s proposal to host the AU Summit must be followed by concrete and active engagement, to ensure that this continent-wide body conforms with its mandate to protect human rights, maintain peace and security, and provide justice,” declared Alice Mogwe, FIDH Deputy Secretary General and Director of DITSWHANELO – The Botswana Centre for Human Rights. “Our delegation here will pay particular attention to these goals, thus contributing to our long-standing advocacy at the AU,” she added.
The office opening on May 29, 2015, will coincide with the launch of the KDC, in the presence of Karim Lahidji, FIDH President, Alice Mogwe, FIDH Deputy Secretary General (Bostwana), Arnold Tsunga, Former FIDH Vice President and member of LHR Board (Zimbabwe), and Jacob Van Garderen, LHR National Director.
“The Kutlwanong Democacy Centre provides a convenient and collaborative space in which NGOs can operate. FIDH is a welcome addition and we look forward to continuing our work with them as a member organisation,” explained Jacob van Garderen.
FIDH has 40 member organisations in Africa, with offices in Conakry (Guinea), Bamako (Mali), Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and now Pretoria (South Africa). FIDH’s board members from Africa are based in Uganda, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo and Botswana.
SOURCE: International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)