Tanzania 17 October: Arusha Centre - Arusha African Court

African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights

Today's run began from our base at Raha Leo near the centre of Arusha, with a forecast of heavy rain (but once again we were lucky with the weather and the rain was very light!).

With no support vehicle we were carrying all our kit - torch fuel, extra clothes, water, you name it....

Arusha is a colourful town and there are traders lining the streets with stalls - much of the pavement is also turned into shop space. We love the umbrellas fitted to motorbikes - very practical.

We ran together as a full team instead of our usual torch-passing-relay.

Pierre from Cameroon was leading the way.

Two local runners joined in!

Through the middle of town we had to deal with some busy traffic - cars, motorbikes, minibuses (called "dala dala") and handcarts all jostle for space on the road. Plus Peace Runners on this occasion.

The team running with a flaming torch and Peace Run flag attracted a lot of attention!

Tanzanians are ingenious when it comes to staying dry in the wet season - as well as umbrellas many motorbikes have home-made fairings made out of everything from plastic sheeting to rice sacks.

This handcart is loaded with live chickens....

Once through the city centre we took the road heading out of town towards the popular safari destinations of Lake Manyara and Tarangire.

Many of the dala dala are decorated with religious designs, both Christian and Muslim. Locals have been proudly telling us how faiths live side by side in harmony in Arusha.

Did we mention it's the rainy season?

Encouragement from the roadside....

We paused for a photo at the city's art gallery...

The Cultural Heritage Centre has an eye-catching gateway.

The approach to our goal for the day - the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights.

We were met by Ernest Simon, Security Officer, who welcomed us to the court and was among the first court staff to hold the Peace Torch.

Just as with our visit to the UN HQ in Nairobi we were issued with passes to allow us access.

These are some of the areas the court deals with - it was established by African countries to ensure protection of human and peoples' rights in Africa.

Agnes Tatenda, a communications intern from Zimbabwe, showed us around and explained the court's structure.

Mission statement of the court.

This artwork highlights breaches of human rights that people sadly encounter in daily life....

The court library is a public resource, open to all for legal research.

There are 11 judges at present, and all regions of the African Continent are represented.

Some of the inspiring and insightful quotations displayed around the court building.

We were invited into the main courtroom (Session Hall) and even allowed to take the seats of the judges. Phaedra seems very at home in the chair...

Our core team of 7 Peace Runners for this section of the run come from 6 different countries, but when the court is in session the panel is made up of 7 judges all from different countries so they go one better than us. Judges do not sit on a panel dealing with their own country, to ensure neutrality and impartiality.

It was great to see the picture and words of Nelson Mandela, who was a great supporter of the Peace Run.

The court's activities are on display around the walls.

Every Thursday the court staff all meet together for tea and fortunately this coincided with our visit so we were received as guests and given a chance to explain the Peace Run.

After many of the staff had held the torch Manatita from England introduced the runners and their home countries.

Deputy Registrar Nouhou Diallo (Burkina Faso) is currently in charge of the court.

In Burundi and Kenya our team was befriended by cats and by coincidence the same happened today.

We shared a moment of silent reflection and prayer for peace in Tanzania, Africa and the wider world.

Protocol Officer Emmanuel Niyonkuru receives the torch from the Deputy Registrar....

....and passes it on.

A round of applause at the end of our ceremony.

A final group photo outside the court.

Senior Information and Communications officer Sukhdev Chhatbar held the torch and was inspired (or should I say encouragaged) to run!

Returning to town from the court we stopped at a shop to buy a few Peace Run essentials like matches for lighting the torch. They had gelato so the team, who have not had a chance to eat ice cream for quite a while, had to give it a try. Then we found out the shop didn't stock matches anyway.....

Vasanti with lions and horses.....courage and dynamism!

The weather forecast proved totally wrong as the sun came out for our return journey.

Interesting sculptures at the Cultural Heritage Centre.

And some traditional Tanzanian music.

Timeless Fast Food - does that make sense? We finished the day very happy that we'd been so graciously received by the court staff and had had the opportunity to take the Peace Run to such a significant place.