Ambassador Brigety who was in the country on a two-day high level visit said this while responding to questions on a number of topical issues during a media conference at the American Corner on Friday, May 8.
He said: “Our view as a friend of the continent is that we are not pushing Africa and should not push Africa to accept anything because they have identified what they are going to do for themselves already. The question is: how can African governments and African institutions make real and effective for every African citizen, the human rights objectives and standards that their governments have adopted?
“The US has very good relations with most governments on the continent and those governments with whom our relations are strained have very horrible human rights records. These are governments who are torturing their own people and not Americans…We will continue, unapologetically, to fight for human rights for people all over the continent because not only is it at the centre of our foreign policy, it is part of the American identity.”
Brigety who is also his country’s permanent representative to the UN Economic Commission for Africa further described as ‘absurd’ claims that America imposes its will on African governments over human rights issues.
He added: “The US has the advancement of human rights at the centre of its foreign policy. In Africa, the good news is that Africans themselves have adopted a number of treaties and protocols and agreements to uphold human rights for their own people. These protocols involve both indigenous, like the African Charter for Human and Peoples’ Rights, and international human rights charters, such as the Geneva Convention on the treatment of civilians, universal human rights declarations.
“The United States has a strategic partnership with the African Union. The nature of the US-African Union partnership is based on four major issues: partnership on human rights and good governance in Africa, private sector economic growth, peace and security and opportunity and development. The reason why democracy and good governance comes first is because development and prosperity on the continent will depend on respect for human rights and good governance.”]]>