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The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation meets with the  African Group of Ambassadors
Juliana Vandy

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation meets with the African Group of Ambassadors

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation meets with the African Group of Ambassadors

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFAIC), Mamadi Gobeh Kamara has met with the African Group of Ambassadors and Justice Tonia Barnett, the Candidate for the position of Commissioner of the African Commission for Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR).

In fulfilment of the guidelines emanating from the provisions of the chatter and executive council decision for State Parties to nominate candidates eligible to the highest office in the State Party, the Government of Sierra Leone has considered it appropriate to nominate Justice Tonia Barnett for due consideration by Member States of the Economic Community of West African States( ECOWAS).

In her statement, the Deputy Minister thanked members of the Diplomatic Corps for honouring her invitation and formally Introduced Justice Tonia Barnett, as the candidate appointed by the Government of Sierra Leone for the position of Commissioner of ACHPR.

She noted that the elections are scheduled to be held during the next session, which is the 39th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union. She reiterated that Sierra Leone is eligible but also due for re-election for the position of a commissioner as a Member State from the Western Union Region and having served an initial term of six years.

She maintained that the nomination of Justice Tonia Barnett has already been accepted by the African Union Commission.

“This meeting, therefore, presents the opportunity for your Excellencies to not only meet

Justice Tonia Barnett, but also to hear from her regarding her vision, aspirations and expectations as potential Commissioner of the ACHPR” she said.

In her remarks, Justice Tonia Barnett informed the Honourable Deputy Minister and the African Group of Ambassadors that her nomination has been endorsed by several renowned Human Rights organizations, namely the Campaign for Good Governance, Centre for Human Rights and Rule of Law, Fifty Group and, lawyers of the Advocacy Group etc.

She continued by quoting Article 31 of the Chatter on Human and People’s Rights, which stipulates the qualification for the position of the Commissioner, adding that she has the ability and required credentials for the position.

 She stated that she has a degree in law, from the Fourah Bay College, a practising certificate from the Sierra Leone Law School and she is a holder of an LLM degree from Harvard Law School in Women and Children’s right.

"Between 2006 and 2017, I was a magistrate, and have presided on cases that dealt with

human right violations, especially violations against women and children involving sexual assault and in those cases I try to always enhance human right policies as enshrined in the human right conventions and the constitution of Sierra Leone” she said.

She maintained that in 2017 she was appointed as judge of the High Court of Sierra Leone and is presently a Judge of the Appeal Court. She concluded by stating that it is a laudable venture always, ensuring as a country we live by the conventions ratified.

 

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