Transitional justice in post-conflict societies takes centre stage at international conference
Transitional justice (TJ) has become a common term in Africa to describe how countries struggle to emerge from conflict to reconstruct their society through social, political, economic and spiritual transformation. TJ processes often include peace-building, post-conflict reconstruction, international diplomacy and international relations. TJ has thus become a major issue of concern in Africa since at least 15 African countries are undergoing transitional justice processes of one form or another. A call to accountability through truth and reconciliation commissions, special international courts, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and traditional courts has been witnessed in Rwanda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR), Sierra Leone, Sudan and Libya, among others.
ACORD’s Kenya programme, in collaboration with other peace-building organizations, will join Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR) in hosting an international conference on TJ in Nairobi, Kenya on October 8 and 9, 2014.
The general objective of this conference is to stimulate strategic response to the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission’s (TJRC) report on past human rights abuses in Kenya. There is a general impasse on what could be the way forward in the implementation of the recommendations of the TJRC. Given the current challenge on the need for national healing and reconciliation, it is fundamental that civil society, government, academic and religious institutions explore ways to find long lasting solutions to our fragmented society.
One of the expected outcomes of the conference is the creation of an international platform to discuss how different African countries have responded to the challenge of transitional justice and post-conflict peace building. The diverse contextual analyses from the continent will further enhance discussions and policy recommendations on how the country could carry forward the process of healing and reconciliation. The conference committee, of which ACORD is part of, is in consultation with different stakeholders in the country to develop a post-conference strategy towards policy formulation and implementation, taking into account the complex nature of the transitional justice process.
TJ is increasingly becoming an important arena within ACORD’s current peace building and gender work at both pan African and country levels. At country level, ACORD in Uganda, Guinea and Kenya is playing key roles in the evolution of local responses and national policy processes with regards to TJ.
Topics to be covered in the conference include:
- Transitional justice and peace building in Africa
- Transitional justice and reconciliation
- The African Union (AU) Position on the International Criminal Court (ICC)
- The ICC, political accountability and transitions in Africa
- Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commissions in Africa
- Terrorism, religion and post-conflict reconstruction
- International political economy and post-conflict reconstruction
- Grassroots peace building in post-conflict societies
- Gender and peace building
- The role of religious institutions in post-conflict reconstruction