atjrn

ATJRN workshops in 2010

“Advocating Justice: Civil Society and Transitional Justice in Africa

Twickenham Guest House

Johannesburg, South Africa

3031 August 2010

In line with the Network's aims of strengthening research capacity and creating spaces for exchange, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation organised a workshop entitled “Advocating Justice: Civil Society and Transitional Justice in Africa.” The objective of the workshop was to bring together Africa-based practitioners and scholars in order to share experiences and evaluate African civil society’s engagement with transitional justice on the continent.

The workshop aimed to encourage individuals and organisations to document their advocacy efforts related to influencing government transitional justice policies. It provided participants with an opportunity to discuss experiences, assess lessons about advocacy strategies, and forge personal and institutional links. Instead of focusing on transitional justice processes and their impact, the workshop sought to examine and highlight locally based civil society’s central role in shaping African transitional justice agendas.

Reflecting the range and scope of transitional justice processes on the continent, the workshop included presenters from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The participants discussed a number of topics relevant to the African context, including the successes and failures of particular advocacy strategies, lobbying in the context of repressive regimes, the benefits and challenges of working with civil society coalitions and networks, the influence of regional and international entities, and the question of finding “African” solutions to local problems.

The workshop report reflects on the themes that emerged during the workshop. The ideas presented in the report were developed collectively by the participants. Also available are the papers presenters wrote in preparation for the workshop, which contain richer detail regarding specific advocacy approaches used in each context.

Papers:

  1. John Caulker: Civil Society in Sierra Leone
  2. Ezekiel Pajibo: TJ in Liberia
  3. Kihika Sarah Kasande: Centering Women's Rights in TJ in Uganda
  4. Stephen Oola: TJ Advocacy in Uganda
  5. Njonjo Mue: TJ Advocacy in Kenya
  6. Shirley Gunn: Reparations Advocacy and Khulumani
  7. Wachira Waheire: Victims Struggle for Truth and Justice in Kenya
  8. Edem Comlan: Justice, Reconciliation, and Civil Society in Rwanda
  9. Dieudonne Diku Mpongola: TJ Advocacy in DRC
  10. Roselyn Hanzi: Reparations and the African Commission
  11. George Mukundi Wachira: Advocating for Holistic TJ Policy at AU

 

Papers:

  1. John Caulker: Civil Society in Sierra Leone
  2. Ezekiel Pajibo: TJ in Liberia
  3. Kihika Sarah Kasande: Centering Women's Rights in TJ in Uganda
  4. Stephen Oola: TJ Advocacy in Uganda
  5. Njonjo Mue: TJ Advocacy in Kenya
  6. Shirley Gunn: Reparations Advocacy and Khulumani
  7. Wachira Waheire: Victims Struggle for Truth and Justice in Kenya
  8. Edem Comlan: Justice, Reconciliation, and Civil Society in Rwanda
  9. Dieudonne Diku Mpongola: TJ Advocacy in DRC
  10. Roselyn Hanzi: Reparations and the African Commission
  11. George Mukundi Wachira: Advocating for Holistic TJ Policy at AU
  12. Workshop Programme

    Day 1: 30 August

     

    9:00–10:30 am Introductions and discussion of workshop goals and programme

     

    10:30–11:00 Tea break

     

    11:00–11:45 John Caulker, Fambul Tok International, Sierra Leone

    Sierra Leone: A Long and Difficult Journey to Reconciliation—The Role of Civil Society

     

    11:45–12:30 pm Ezekiel Pajibo, independent researcher Liberia Case Study

     

    12:30–1:30 Lunch break

     

    1:30–2:15 Kihika Sarah Kasande, FIDA-Uganda

    Centring Women’s Rights in Transitional Justice Processes in Northern Uganda: FIDA-Uganda's Experience

    2:15–3:00 Stephen Oola, Coalition for Reconciliation in Uganda

    CORU: Important Lessons for Proactive Civil Society Engagement in Catalysing Transitional Justice Discourse

     

    3:00–3:30 Tea break

     

    3:30–4:15 Njonjo Mue, International Center for Transitional Justice, Kenya

    Kenya Case Study

     

    4:15–5:00 Open discussion

     

    7:00 Dinner

     

    Day 2: 31 August

     

    9:00–9:45 am Shirley Gunn, Khulumani Support Group, South Africa

    Reparations Advocacy: The Case of Khulumani Support Group

     

    9:45–10:30 Wachira Waheire, National Victims Network, Kenya

    The Unfinished Business: The Case of Victims’ Unrelenting Search for Justice in Kenya

     

    10:30–11:00 Tea break

     

    11:00–11:45 Edem Comlan, Penal Reform International, Rwanda

    Justice and Reconciliation in Rwanda: What Role for Civil Society?

     

    11:45–12:30 pm Dieudonné Diku Mpongola, Congolese Coalition for Transitional Justice

    Advocacy for the Adoption of Transitional Justice Mechanisms in the Democratic Republic of Congo

     

    12:30–1:30 Lunch

     

    1:30–2:15 Roselyn Hanzi, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

    Reparations and the African Commission: Experiences from Zimbabwe

     

    2:15–3:00 George Mukundi Wachira, Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, South Africa

    Advocating for the Adoption of a Holistic Transitional Justice Policy at the African Union

    3:00–3:30 Tea break

     

    3:30–5:30 Summary of commonalities and discussion on the way forward

     
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