Skip to main content


IHRDA offers fellowships to persons, usually qualified lawyers in their home countries who have a wealth of professional experiences.

Fellows at IHRDA stay for three months to a year and usually devote their time to research human rights issues and prepare specific cases to be brought before the ACmHPR and other complaint handling bodies within the African human rights system. Fellows also participate in other IHRDA programmes such as research and publication, capacity-building and advocacy.

Depending on the availability of funds of the specific fellowship, IHRDA covers fellows’ travel to and from The Gambia and provides a modest monthly stipend to cover their living expenses.

IHRDA Fellowship/Internship Policy

Click here to apply

Current Fellows

Eric Bigirimana

Legal Fellow (Burundi)

LLB - Université du Lac Tanganyika, Burundi
Eric is a member of the Burundi Bar Association and the East Africa Law Society. He has expertise in judicial practices and offers legal assistance to vulnerable people before Burundi courts and tribunals. He worked as a legal assistant with Human Dignity, contributing to the development of a joint alternative report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in Burundi, which was submitted to United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in 2017.
Eric also worked with Trial International as a trainer on referral of cases to international human rights protection mechanisms such as the Committee against Torture (CAT) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). He has eight years' experience as a human rights defender.

Arlette Kitumaini Mwamini

Legal Fellow (Democratic Republic of Congo)

LLB- (Université Libre des Pays des Grands Lacs, DRC, Goma)

Arlette is a Congolese human rights Lawyer. Prior to join IHRDA, she worked with different NGOs in DRC. She joined the Conolese Bar Association in 2021 and has represented victims before Courts and Tribunals in DRC.

She is a PSEA Network/WHO certified expert and trainer in Prevention/Protection against Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (PSEAH).
Arlette is a 2023 Clooney Foundation Waging Justice for Women Fellow. She is passionate on defending the rights of voiceless and promoting the rights of marginalized persons, especially women, girls and children. She aspires to pursue a Master’s Degree in human rights and in criminology.

Past Fellows

Alieu Faye

Finance and Administrative Fellow (The Gambia)

BSc in Accountancy (University of The Gambia), ACCA Diploma

Alieu started his professional career with PKF International, Accountants and Business Advisers in October 2015 as a Trainee Accountant (Auditee). He rose through the ranks to becoming a Senior Auditor. He then join the Gambia Printing and Publishing Corporation (GPPC) as an Audit Manager.

Prior to joining IHRDA, he worked as the Finance Manager at InSIST Net (INET).

Patricia Missodey

Legal and Communication Fellow (Ghana)

LLB (Hons.) - Wisconsin University College, Ghana, B.L – Gambia Law School, B.A - Business Administration - University of Cape Coast, Ghana

Patricia is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Gambia. Prior to joining IHRDA, she interned for Farage Andrews Law Practice, High Court of the Gambia (Ministry of Justice) and Oususs's Chambers in the Gambia. Before pursuing her passion for law, Patricia provided marketing expertise to several companies in Ghana.
She is interested in human rights and humanitarian law with respect to the protection of civilians in armed conflicts.

Ajie Fatou Saine

Finance and Administrative Fellow (The Gambia)

BSc in Accountancy (Cum Laude) (University of The Gambia)

Ajie started her career at Augustus Prom Audit Firm as External Audit Intern all through her summer breaks at the University of The Gambia. She has gained knowledge in auditing public institutions, ministries as well as projects coordinated and implemented by Government agencies such as African Centre of Excellence (ACE) project, Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) project, Results for Education Achievement (READ) project, Institutional Support For Economic and Financial Governance (ISEFG II) project, which are financed by World Bank and African Development Fund, respectively.
Ajie was a fellow of the University of The Gambia Program and the TAF Africa Leadership Program, and has also served as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Mentorship Coordinator at Educating For Africa’s Future, a charitable organization based in The Gambia.
Ajie has interest in the Accounting/ Auditing field and plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Finance and Economics for development.

Safa Babiker Mohammed Idress

Legal Fellow (Sudan)

LLB (University of Khartoum, Sudan)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Safa was working as a Legal Officer for People’s Legal Aid Center, Sudan where she coordinated a number of projects related to women in the center. She worked in several cases before the higher courts, and as a researcher in transitional justice issues. Safa also participated in writing a training manual on gender-based violence in Sudan. Her core expertise is in the area of women rights, litigation, research and program coordination.

AbdulMalik Bello

Legal Fellow (Nigeria)

LLM Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa), BL (Nigerian Law School), LLB (Bayero University Kano, Nigeria)

Abdulmalik is a Solicitor and Advocate of the Nigerian Bar. Before joining IHRDA, he worked in private law practice in Nigeria with Atalanta Partners, TS Olaosebikan & Co. and MS Inuwa & Associates. He is the founder of Rights Advocacy and Youths Development Initiative (RAYDI); a non-governmental organization majorly interested in rendering free legal and rehabilitation services to indigent inmates in Nigeria. During his compulsory national youth service, Abdulmalik worked as a State Counsel at the Ministry of Justice, Jigawa State, Nigeria. He is passionate about research in Human Rights, Constitutional Law, Islamic Jurisprudence and International Criminal Law.

Hairiya Seidu

Legal Fellow (Ghana)

LLB (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana),BL (Ghana School of Law)

Hairiya is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana. Before joining IHRDA, she was a private legal practitioner with practice experience from Legal Ink, Lawyers and Notaries and Kwame Gyan & Associates. She currently practices at Farouck Seidu & Associates where she has litigated several cases before the High Court. For her national service, she served as a staff at the High Court and Court of Appeal of Ghana.
She is pursuing an LL.M in Oil and Gas Law in the University of Ghana, Legon. Her core expertise is in litigation, drafting, research and advocacy. She is passionate about rights of women and children, LGBTQ+ rights, as well as environmental law and sustainability.

Koyo Edwige Adeline Yapo

Legal Fellow (Côte d'Ivoire)

Master en Droit Privé (l’Université Alassane Ouattara, Côte d'Ivoire)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Edwige worked as a Legal collaborator at the law firm MOISE-BAZIE, KOYO, ASSA-AKOH, Attorneys at Law in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Edwige has experience in OHADA (Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa) litigation. She also has experience in research, especially in the area of personal and family law related to women and children. She is passionate about the promotion and protection of human rights, particularly of vulnerable groups.
Edwige is a member of Association des Femmes Juristes de Cote d'Ivoire, an Ivorian civil society organisation, and also a seasoned trainer in legal techiques.

Daouda Ouattar

Legal Fellow (Burkina Faso)

Master II en Droit International Public (l’Université Thomas SANKARA, Burkina Faso), Licence en Droit Public et Urbanisme (l’Université Thomas SANKARA, Burkina Faso)

Daouda is currently pursuing a Certificate in Human Rights at Thomas SANKARA University. Prior to joining IHRDA, Daouda was the Research and Training Officer at Groupe de Recherche-Action sur la sécurité humaine (GRASH), which is a Burkinabe civil society organisation.
Daouda has also worked as an assistant legal advisor at Centre d'Information et de Formation en matière de Droits Humains en Afrique (CIFDHA). He is also the author of several articles.

Astou Diouf

Legal Fellow (Senegal)

Abdoulaye Diarra

Legal Fellow (Mali)

Maîtrise en Droit Privé (Faculté des Sciences Juridiques et Politiques de Bamako,Mali)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Abdoulaye worked with the Ministry of Territorial Administration in Mali in the context of RAVEC (administrative census for civil status). He is a lawyer and has been working in a law firm since 2013.

Omar T. Jallow

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Fellow (The Gambia)

HND in Information Management Systems (M.I.S), Cisco Certified Network Associate (C.C.N.A), Diploma in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Advance Diploma in Information Technology

Prior to join IHRDA, Omar served as an intern at the National Water and Electric Company (NAWEC). He also served as the Head of the software/hardware and networking team at Quantum Net Technical Service Center, where he provided IT support to different companies within the private and public sector.

Bernice Asante

Legal, Publications and Communications Fellow (Ghana and Rwanda)

BA Communications (Grand Canyon University, US)

Bernice is a final-year student at Loyola University, Chicago School of Law, United States pursuing a Masters of Jurisprudence in Rule of Law and Development (ProLaw),
Prior to joining IHRDA, Bernice was one of the photographers and graphic design students in her high school’s media team that created the school’s magazines and yearbook. She also previously participated in the annual Model United Nations simulation, and later co-founded a Model United Nations group franchise at the Dakar Academy School. At IHRDA, she assists in preparing documentation for the Sexual-and-Gender-Based Violence Database

Ndey Ngoneh Jeng

Legal Fellow (The Gambia)

LLB (Hons.) (University of The Gambia), BL (Gambia Law School)

Ndey Ngoneh Jeng is a Legal Practitioner and women’s rights advocate in The Gambia, with two-year post-call experience. Prior to joining IHRDA, Ngoneh served as Research Officer at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), The Gambia – developing research papers on fundamental rights, constitutional law and rights of marginalised groups. She also served as Secretary to the CRC’s Technical Committee on Constitution Drafting and Report Writing. She has also worked as Pupil Legal Practitioner at Torodo Chambers, where she gained experience in drafting legal processes, litigation, legislative drafting and legal research. She graduated second in her class at the Gambia Law School.

Gabriel Bangura

Communication & Legal Fellow (Sierra Leone)

LLB (University of The Gambia)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Gabriel represented the University of The Gambia in an Inter-Universities Speech contest in Ghana, and at the 24th & 25th All-African Human Rights Moot Court Competition in Zambia & South Africa. He is also an African Union Youth Volunteer (AUYVC) serving as a Communications Officer at the African Union Mechanism for Police Cooperation (AFRIPOL) based in Algeria. At IHRDA, Gabriel has worked extensively on preparing texts and documentation for the African Human Rights Caselaw Analyser and also maintaining IHRDA's website and social media platforms. He has a great wealth of experience and skills in media advocacy through photography and audio/visual editing.

Esso-Dong Divin Aymard Kongah

Legal Fellow (Togo)

Bachelor in Public Law (Catholic University of West Africa, Togo)

Prior to joining IHRDA, Esso-Dong worked as a Legal Intern at Centre de Documentation et de Formation sur les Droits de l’Homme - Togo, providing legal assistance to victims of human rights violations, preparing cases and drafting referral forms for regional and international human rights mechanisms.

He has also been engaged in youth advocacy leadership and youth participation in governance and sustainable development, as well as initiatives to promote access to justice and to popularize the law.

Maria Saine

Legal Fellow (Gambia)

Maria holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of The Gambia and a Master of Laws (General LLM) from Trinity College Dublin. From 2015-2018. Maria served as Programmes Manager for “Safe Hands for Girls” in The Gambia, an organization that works on the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation. She currently serves as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of The Gambia.

She has a developing expertise in human rights law and constitutional law. She is committed to working on human rights and constitutional development in The Gambia, and strives to gain global experience to effect change in Africa and globally. She has a growing portfolio of skills and experience covering domestic human rights issues such as Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage. Her overall goal is to become a human rights lawyer working in research and pressing legal, human rights, and constitutional law issues for the benefit of vulnerable and marginalized groups both in The Gambia and beyond.

Elizabeth Kumbong Amaazee

Publications and Communications Fellow (Cameroon)

Ms Amaazee holds an M.A. in Translation. She graduated from the University of Yaounde I in 2005 with a Bachelor’s Degree (Hons) in Bilingual Studies (English-French). She passed the competitive entrance examinations into the Advanced School of Translators and Interpreters (ASTI) of the University of Buea, Cameroon, in November 2007. As part of her studies, she did six weeks internship in the Ministry of Justice in Cameroon and was later selected for a six months internship in the Court Interpretation and Translation Section of the International Criminal Court at The Hague. She does freelance translation, terminology, editing and interpretation. She is a volunteer for doCip (Indigenous Peoples’ Center for Documentation, Research and Information) based in Geneva- Switzerland. She has published an article on ‘The Impact of Globalization on Fundamental Perceptions of Colours and Culture in African Societies’ published in TRANS (an online journal). Her interests include cinema, fashion, cooking, music and dancing.

Ashu Hailshamy

Legal Fellow (Cameroon)

Ashu holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B-Hons) from the University of Buea, Cameroon and a Barrister-At-Law (B.L) Degree from The Gambia Law School. He was the most outstanding student of his batch where he received the best prize for Legal Drafting and Conveyancing and the prestigious Presidential Prize. He has been called to The Gambia Bar to practice as Barrister and Solicitor of The Supreme Court of the Gambia. Prior to joining IHRDA, he has been a youth activist for change in Cameroon, and one-time President of the University of Buea Students’ Union (UBSU) where he represented over 18,000 students. He has a passion for International Human Rights Law, legal practice and advocacy.

KINDE Damsou

Legal Fellow (Chad)

Damsou holds a Bachelor of Laws from Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakesh and Master of Laws from Abdelmalek Essaadi University of Tangier, Morocco. He also earned a Certificate in International Crime and Justice from the Joint Program of the United Nations Inter-regional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and University of Turin, Italy. He is a prospective LLD Candidate in Human Rights from the Université du Quebec à Montréal, Canada.

Prior to joining IHRDA, Damsou worked as an Associate Legal Officer within the Office of the Legal Counsel of the African Union Commission (AUC) on legal matters. He also worked as an International Consultant/Junior Specialist with United Nations Development Program, Regional Service Centre for Africa under Governance and Peace-building Project. He has worked as a Law Clerk for Lambi Soulgan Law Firm, and as Teaching Assistant at the University of Moundou and Lecturer at some professional institutes in Chad.

Damsou’s career profile also includes working as a Legal Expert with the Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission in Chad, and as a Legal Consultant with the Project of Renewable Energies in Chad.

His ambition is to become a human rights lawyer to better focus on the victims of human right violations in Africa and particularly in his country.

Ubongabasi Obot

Legal Fellow (Nigeria)

MA Development Studies major in Human Rights, Gender and Conflict Studies; Social Justice Perspectives ( International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University, The Netherlands), LLB (University of Uyo, Nigeria), BL (Nigeria Law School).

Prior to joining IHRDA, Ubongabasi worked in Private Law practice as a Legal Associate in Nigeria with Nwoko and Co. She also worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Erasmus University and conducted research for Nuffic, The Netherlands. Ubongabasi has volunteered for Justice and Peace Nederlands and The Amsterdam Youth Force. She has also volunteered for the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria and other organisations. She currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Brokline Foundation in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria. At the IHRDA, she will be involved in legal research, and assisting in litigation work, bringing along her experience as a Human Rights Specialist and Development Practitioner

Watna Horemans (Cape Verde/Belgium)

Publications and Communications Fellow, IHRDA

Born of a Sao Tomean mother and a Belgian father, Watna has lived with his family for several years in different places (Cape Verde, Italy, Burundi and Benin) and attended high school in Cotonou. Watna holds a double Masters degree in Political Science from Université Libre de Bruxelles and in Human Rights Law from Facultés Universitaires Saint Louis. His studies are an expression of his concern for political issues, the consequences they have in the societies we live in and the means to improve them, and remains committed to work in defending and promoting human rights. A veritable polyglot, Watna is fluent in his native French and Portuguese, as well as English, Spanish and Italian, and speaks some Dutch. Watna has previously collaborated with Amnesty International francophone Belgium section and interned at IHRDA in 2011 for 6 months on the CLA project.

Agasha Tabaro

Legal Fellow (Uganda)

Agasha holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa and a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in International Law from University College London (UCL). Prior to joining IHRDA, Agasha gained research and advocacy human rights experience at Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET) and Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), both national non-governmental organizations in Kampala, Uganda. Having a keen interest in international justice, she also served as intern in the Chambers of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague and continues to volunteer online with TRIAL International on their Trial Watch Project. Agasha is also knowledgeable in matters of extractives governance and the management of large donor-based development programmes having dealt with the same in Uganda and Tanzania.

She enjoys traveling, photography and yoga.

Wivine Kavira Buruthere (DRC)

Wivine holds an LLB in Internal and International Public Law obtained from Catholic University of Graben in Butembo, North-Kivu (DRC) and a Diploma of Applied Studies (DEA) in Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law from the Regional Centre for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CERDHO) at Catholic University of Bukavu in South-Kivu (DRC). She is a human rights lawyer with over 10 years of experience, with particular interest in the rights of women and children. She has been involved in landmark cases on sexual violence in the eastern part of DRC. Wivine features on the roster for legal assistants to Counsels at the ICC in The Hague since 2014. She also teaches part-time in some institutions of higher learning in DRC. She equally serves as resource person in civil society seminars and colloquiums. Wivine has written and co-supervised many publications, research reports and scientific works for institutions and NGOs. She has worked with international organizations in the east of DRC and has participated in many training programs in and out of DRC. She is the focal point for many organizations that are passionate about justice in the DRC. Wivine speaks French, Kiswahili, Lingala and other national languages in RDC; she understands Castilian, Italia and a bit of English.

Mokhtar Hareck Beitoura

Legal Fellow (Mauritania)

Mokhtar is a Mauritanian who grew up in Dakar, Senegal, where he was repatriated to Mauritania in 1989 following a conflict. He is currently a PhD candidate in public law at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar (UCAD), finalizing a thesis on the African human rights system, particularly the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Mokhtar holds a Master’s Degree in Public Law, International Relations, and several other degrees. He has an Advanced Diploma (DEA) in Human and Peace Law from UCAD, DEA in Public Law from the Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences of the UCAD and a Master II in International and Comparative Environmental Law from the University of Limoge in France, (ULIM). He has acquired certificates from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg (IIHR).

Prior to joining IHRDA as a Fellow, Mokhtar had worked on the refugee problem in West Africa at RADDHO and at the WARIPNET Center, West Africa. He was also a trainee at the UNESCO Regional Office in Dakar (BREDA) in the field of human rights education, before joining Amnesty International’s Regional Office where he worked on Human rights education, research and monitoring of issues such as freedom of expression, the problem of slavery in Mauritania and human rights defenders. He also worked on the issue of Boko Haram in Central Africa, mainly in Chad and Cameroon. Mokhtar equally spent some time at the regional office of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, where he further worked on human rights issues, and contributed to analyse and contact partners in the implementation and follow-up of projects on slavery.

Simone Zagbo

Legal Fellow (Cote d’Ivoire)

Simone holds a Master in Business Law and a Bachelors Degree in Private Law obtained respectively from Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar Senegal and the University of Bouaké (now Université Alassane Ouattara) in Côte d’Ivoire.She held the post of Legal Officer and Manager in a private company in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, before developing passion for International Human Rights Law, which eventually inspired her to take internship at IHRDA. She aspires for a career as a human rights lawyer. Simone is particularly interested in the rights of women and children in conflict and crisis. She loves travelling and learning new cultures.

Lassana Diakité

Legal Fellow (Mali)

Lassana holds a Master’s Degree in Private Law, with specialization in legal practice, as well as a diploma from the Faculty of Law and Political Science in Bamako (Mali). Currently he is pursuing a Diploma of Advanced Studies (D.E.A) in International and European Human Rights Law. Lassana practises criminal law and is a regular member of the Mali Bar Association since 2010. He is an active member of Lawyers Without Borders in Mali (ASF-Mali). He was Coordinator of the project for legal support to underprivileged persons in illegal detention, which is a project being realized by the Association of Young Lawyers in Mali (AJAM) with funding from ‘Prisoner Without Borders’ – Mali (PRSF-Mali) and ‘Voice of Justice’. He is currently the General Treasurer of AJAM.

Esther B.A Ochoge

Legal Fellow (Nigeria)

Esther holds a law degree (LLB) from the University of Jos and a Masters in Information Rights (LLM) from Northumbria University, Newcastle. She graduated from the Nigeria Law Schoo (Enugu Campus) in 2007 and is a member of the Nigerian Bar.

Esther is an advocate for freedom of information (FOI) as a tool for achieving transparency, accountability and good governance in Africa. She is also interested in Criminal Justice and wrote a critique on the role of punishment in the Nigerian Criminal Justice system for her undergraduate dissertation.

During her fellowship at the IHRDA, she worked with the legal team on the compilation of a Human Rights Manual for Law Enforcement Agents in The Gambia.

Penda Sowe

Admin and Finance Fellow (The Gambia)

Penda holds a Diploma and Advance Diploma in Banking and Finance acquired from the Management Development Institute (2008-2009), she has a Junior and Senior Secondary school leaving certificate acquired from Saint Augustine’s Junior Secondary School (2002- 2005) and Saint Joseph Senior Secondary School (2005-2008).She has the ambition to pursue a Bachelors degree in Banking and Finance hence, contribute to the advancement of banking.

She likes listening to music, watching TV, going to the beach and spending time with her family.

Malick Jallow

Legal Research Fellow (Gambia)

Mr Jallow is a Lawyer and holds an LLB (Hons) Degree from the University of Buckingham, United Kingdom (2006). He has completed Postgraduate Studies with the Kenya School of Law ( 2012).

He worked as a Legal Intern for the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone (2008) where he focused on legal research and analysis, for the Appeals Chamber of the Court, on issues pertaining to International Criminal and Humanitarian Law.

In July 2010, Mr Jallow was awarded a fellowship by the European Union to work with the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands. At the ICC, he focused mainly on Victims’ Rights before the court, first with the Immediate Office of the Registrar and later with the Office of Public Counsel for Victims.

He has served his country as a State Prosecutor at the Attorney General Chambers and Ministry of Justice of The Gambia (2010 and 2011) where he was primarily responsible for giving legal advice to the State and prosecuting criminal matters before the subordinate courts.

In October 2011, Mr Jallow was chosen to serve as Chairperson of a Taskforce and assist in implementing recommendations for Reform of the Juvenile Justice System in The Gambia.

He has publicly spoken and written to promote Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.This is Malick’s second stint with IHRDA having previously worked here in 2011 as a Trial Monitor.

Mr Jallow is a Muslim.

Cases developed during previous fellowships


In 2009, IHRDA hosted Nicole Odia and Serge Lukunga, two (2) fellows from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They will be developing cases from Katanga Province on:

  • 393/10 IHRDA, Action contre l’impunité pour les droits humains (ACIDH) & Rights & Accountability in Development (RAID) v DRC; alleging gross human rights violation in the town of Kilwa in October 2004 [Read more about the case];
  • Alleged forced evictions in Kisiba, Katanga province in 2005.


With the generous support of the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) IHRDA hosted in 2008 Simon M Weldehaimanot [Eritrea], who developed and filed the following case.

  • 349/07 Simon Weldehaimanot / Eritrea; on the right to free movement, and right of citizens to leave their own country


Otto Saki from Zimbabwe and Steve Kafumba from Malawi attended their fellowship in 2004 and worked on three cases:


Sabelo Gumedze, from Swaziland, developed the following communication and did substantial research on citizenship rights in Africa during his fellowship at IHRDA.