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Search Keyword: Tag: Transitional Justice & Peace Processes...........................

Center for Democratic Development, CDD Ghana, and Coexistence International

“Reflections: What We Have Learned from Working Together at the Intersection of Transitional Justice and Coexistence”, Transitional Justice Monitor, Vol.1 (2), July 2008.

(CDD Ghana) and Coexistence International (CI) are almost 2 years into a joint project exploring the relationships and linkages between coexistence and transitional justice in the West Africa sub-region. The project, designed by CDD Ghana and supported by CI, seeks to (1) create opportunities for more coexistence-sensitive transitional justice processes and (2) further catalyze a transitional justice network of West African state and non-state actors by building capacity and sharing information and best practices about the nexus of justice and peacebuilding. Reflecting on the last 2 years while at the same time looking forward to next steps, the partners are positive about the activities and learnings to date, and also very much aware of the need for this pressing work to continue.This edition explores the broader, as well as nuanced, connections between transitional justice as a field of study and the practice of peaceful coexistence, and enumerates the activities of CDD Ghana and other groups in this regards.

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Du Plessis, M. and Jolyon F.

“Justice and peace in a new Zimbabwe: Transitional justice options” Occasional Paper Number 164, Institute for Security Studies, June 2008

A major issue in any possible transition in Zimbabwe is how to deal with those responsible for and affected by past and recent political violence and human rights abuses. ‘Justice Issues’ are not simply matters to be dealt with at some later stage. They are themselves ‘political issues’ affecting the current stalemate. A form of national truth, justice and reconciliation commission may be one option. There is no single conflict resolution ‘first aid kit’: truth commission strategies are not unproblematic. Moreover, what is possible is heavily dependent on the balance of political power at the time of any transition. However, various general and Zimbabwe-specific factors commend such a body and accompanying strategy. The compromise it would represent can assist now in ensuring that a legitimate transition is possible (by giving reassurances and incentives to cooperate in peace building); it can also assist in the actual process of establishing facts and dealing with perpetrators and victims of past violence.

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McCandless, E.

“Lessons from Liberia: Integrated Approaches to Peace Building in Transitional Settings”Occasional Paper 160, Institute for Security Studies, March 2008.

Through research on the ground in Liberia and engagement in peace building discussions within the UN at headquarter level, the paper begins with a review of key conceptual and historical issues and debates surrounding post conflict peace building, and particularly the UN’s role. It explains in detail the process undertaken in Liberia, describing the interlocking activity areas that have formed the building blocks of an overall strategic approach aimed at strengtheningpeace building. Subsequently, lessons emerging from the Liberia case are assessed and finally conclusions and recommendations are presented.

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Waddell, N. and Clark, P.

“Courting Conflict? Justice, Peace and the ICC in Africa”. Royal African Society, 2008.

Established to prosecute those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has a global mandate. However, its activities have concentrated on African countries marked by ongoing violent conflict. Since commencing its operations in Africa, the ICC has encountered significant difficulties. While the work of the Court has taken concrete shape, so have its challenges. The title of this collection, Courting Conflict?, alludes to the inherent problems of pursuing justice in the midst of violence and points to the tremendous controversy generated by the ICC's work to date – not least the charge levelled at the Court that its actions risk prolonging conflict by jeopardising peace deals. Controversies over the establishment of this new international justice body have often overshadowed what it means for the African countries where the Court is taking its first steps. This collection investigates the politics of the ICC's interventions in Africa. The essays take the form of short comment pieces, written to stir and broaden debate on the ICC but also to help move it beyond the sensational and oversimplified.

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Hayner, P.

“Negotiating Peace in Sierra Leone: Confronting the Justice Challenge”, International Centre for Transitional Justice, December 2007.

The 1999 peace agreement between the armed opposition and the Government of Sierra Leone received considerable international attention. It ended a war renowned for its brutality, with a rebel force that seemed to lack any clear political ideology or aim. The peace accord is often remembered internationally for the blanket, unconditional amnesty granted to all warring parties, which met strong international condemnation. Despite the attention given to the accord, and the huge efforts of implementation by the United Nations and others, there has been no close study of the negotiating dynamics and influences over the three months of talks that led to the final accord. This article intends to fill this gap. Based on interviews with many of those directly involved in the talks, and focused especially on issues pertaining to justice and accountability, this account tracks the discussions and varying influences that finally resulted in the Lomé Accord of 1999. It also assesses the impact of this accord in the following years, from 1999 to mid-2007.

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Sawyer, E. and Kelsall, T.

“Truth vs. Justice? Popular opinions on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Court for Sierra Leone” Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution Vol.7 (1), 2007.

In Sierra Leone, international transitional justice has been pursued via a two-pronged approach. First, in a restorative philosophy, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission has attempted to provide an accurate historical record of the conflict, and to reconcile victims and perpetrators. Second, in a more retributive manner, an international tribunal is prosecuting individuals for war crimes and crimes against humanity. This strategy has been much debated, but largely at elite levels. Arguably, however, it is at the grassroots where the two institutions face their greatest challenge. To provide a bottom-up view, this article discusses the results of a popular opinion survey. The results show that the overall understanding of the Commission and Court is poor and that, partly as a result, the two organs are perceived to have had limited success. In spite of this, most respondents continue to think that they are important to peace in Sierra Leone. Statistical, cultural, methodological, and qualitative interpretations of these findings are discussed. The results provide pointers to the prospects for transitional justice models of this type.

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Quinn, J. “Chicken and Egg? Sequencing in Transitional Justice: The Case of Uganda.” Conference Papers for the Annual Meeting -- International Studies Association, 2007, pp. 1-23.

Post-conflict social repair is a delicate process. The emerging discipline of transitional justice is still trying to sort out the order in which mechanisms should be utilized to bring about sustainable change. Uganda has utilized nearly every known mechanism of transitional justice in the post-colonial period, yet the conflict there continues unabated. The paper considers the utility of sequencing in the effectiveness of such mechanisms in transitional processes, with reference to the experience of Uganda.

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Bosire, L.

“Overpromised, Underdelivered: Transitional Justice in Sub-Saharan Africa”International Center for Transitional Justice, 2007

The paper opens on a broadly informative note, with a background and genealogy of transitional justice, and then turns to an examination of key transitional justice approaches and country-specific implementation challenges. It draws heavily on past experiences in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ghana, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and South Africa, applying a comparative lens to these contexts to explore the obstacles encountered by these countries in pursuing accountability for past abuses. The paper asserts that many of the difficulties encountered in the implementation of transitional justice measures have resulted from a crippling combination of institutional deficiencies, poverty, and deep fissures between governments and citizens. It concludes that the institutions responsible for this breakdown must be analyzed and sufficiently reformed in order for transitional justice approaches to work.

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Villa-Vicencio, C., Nantulya, P. and Savage, T.

“Building Nations: Transitional Justice in the African Great Lakes Region”, IJR, 2006.

Building Nations: Transitional Justice in the African Great Lakes Region is a guide to the politics of transition in the African Great Lakes region. It provides a roadmap of the prevailing political situation in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.

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Longman, T.

“Memory, Justice, and Power in Post-Genocide Rwanda”.Conference Papers -- American Political Science Association, 2006 Annual Meeting

In the aftermath of the 1994 war and genocide, the government of Rwanda has undertaken a massive effort to shape public memory. Driven by the dual goals of creating national unity and securing their own power, government leaders have used memorials, commemorations, curriculum reform, re-education camps, and other policies to shape how the public understands the causes and nature of the cataclysm that shook the country and led to over half a million deaths. This paper looks at the ways in which judicial initiatives, including the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, national trials and the grassroots, and community gacaca courts, are being used to shape collective memory in post-genocide Rwanda. Based on five years of research in Rwanda, including results from two surveys, numerous focus groups, several hundred individual interviews, and ethnographic observation, this paper focuses in particular on the public reaction to these government efforts and the ways in which the public is developing counter-narratives and their own judicial understandings in an effort to empower themselves.

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Lincoln, J.

“Painful Truth and Experimental Justice: The Special Court and Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sierra Leone: A Model for Future Peace Building in West Africa?” Conference Papers -- International Studies Association, 2006 Annual Meeting

This paper assesses the impact of both the Special Court and Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sierra Leone. It looks at the interplay between the two institutions and assesses their contribution to: 1. the ongoing peace process; 2. helping to strengthen rule of law and respect for human rights and 3. facilitating reconciliation within society. This transitional justice model is then assessed with respect to other conflicts within West Africa, mainly Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire, asking whether such a model would be both replicable and useful to help strengthen ongoing peace building efforts in the region.

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Pham, P., Vinck, P., Wierda, M., Stover, E., and Di Giovanni, A.

“Forgotten Voices: A population-based survey on attitudes about peace and justice in Northern Uganda” The International Center for Transitional Justice, Human Rights Center, University of California, Berkeley, Payson Center, Tulane University. July 2005.

The purpose of the report is to highlight exposure of violence and human rights violations by the residents of Uganda, their needs and concerns as well as opinions about specific proposed transitional justice mechanisms, and their relationship to peace and justice. The objectives were addressed through gathering information from a total of 2, 585 residents from four northern districts of Uganda. Key findings in the report include the fact that levels of exposure to violence in Northern Uganda are high. With peace and food the most frequently cited immediate needs of respondents, there is generally a poor understanding of formal justice mechanisms coupled with considerable support for the amnesty process. Based on these findings, the authors recommend that the international community be more actively involved in the peace and transitional justice processes, and that there is a need for further population-based surveys in determining the evolution of peace and justice over time.

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Blackman, M.C. Stubbs, E.C., and Borello, F.

“A First Few Steps: the Long Road to a Just Peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”International Center for Transitional Justice, 24 November 2004

An assessment of the transitional justice initiatives undertaken thus far in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) suggests that— despite some initial progress—a lack of security, fear of destabilization, limited political will, and scarce resources, have thwarted the development of effective transitional justice policies and that much needs to be done before a comprehensive framework that adequately addresses the country's troubled past can be implemented. In its over 50-page Occasional Paper, "A First Few Steps: The Long Road to a Just Peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”, the ICTJ evaluates the country's efforts to pursue justice and makes recommendations on how it can move toward a just peace. Taking into account the complex realities of the current situation in the DRC, the Center urges that some measures, such as certain prosecution efforts, can and should take place immediately, while others should wait for necessary reforms and a more stable and secure environment.

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English Resources by Region

Central Africa......................
East Africa..........................
Horn of Africa......................
North Africa........................
Southern Africa...................
West Africa.........................

English Resources by Theme

Civil Society.........................
Disarmament Demobilization Rehabilitation (DDR).............
Institutional & Security Sector Reform...............................
Judicial Accountability & Prosecutions........................
Marginalized Groups (Women- Youth- Children- Forcibly Displaced)...........................
Memory & Memorialization....
Reconciliation & Social Reconstruction.....................
Reparations.........................
Restorative Justice................
Traditional or Local Justice.....
Transitional Justice & Peace Processes...........................
Truth Seeking Mechanisms....
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