The new African Union headquarters building stands on the site of the former Addis Ababa central prison, known as Alem Bekagn (“farewell to the world”). In recognition of the thousands of people who perished at this site, and the millions of other survivors and victims of human rights abuses in Africa, including genocide, the AU has resolved to establish a permanent memorial on the site, and to hold regular commemorative events.
The African Union Human Rights Memorial Project (AUHRM) aims to preserve the memory of mass atrocities, in recognition of past suffering and in the interests of future peace and security. The African Union (AU) established in its constitutive act a commitment to continental cooperation on the basis of human rights principles, constitutionalism, and the responsibility to intervene in the case of crimes against humanity or genocide. The AUHRM will reflect a series of grave crimes committed against Africans, including the appalling case of genocide in Rwanda.
The website of the African Union Human Rights Memorial
WPF blog series: On Memorialization and Human Rights
"Remember Alem Bekagn" by Alex de Waal (London Review of Books, Vol. 34, No. 2) January 26, 2012.
"A Windy Afternoon at the African Union" by Alex de Waal, Reinventing Peace, January 30, 2012
Remarks of Andreas Eshete, Chairman, Interim Board of the AU Human Rights Memorial, upon the inauguration of the AU Human Rights Memorial, Reinventing Peace, January 31, 2012.