Yesterday I had the pleasure of rejoining my former colleagues at the Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP) to rapporteur a one-day consultation with victims’ on Uganda’s draft transitional justice (TJ) policy. The consultation was organized in conjunction with Avocats Sans Frontieres (ASF) and included victims and victims’ group representatives from across the Acholi sub-region. It aimed to gather victims’ views on the draft policy developed by the Ugandan government’s Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS).
In the policy, JLOS outlines the government’s commitment to a holistic, victim-centered transitional justice process in Uganda. According to the draft policy:
The transitional justice policy is an overreaching framework of the Government of Uganda, designed to address justice, accountability and reconciliation needs of post conflict Uganda. The policy, which is a first of its kind in Africa and the World at large, provides a holistic intervention to achieving lasting peace in a country whose history has until recently, been marred by political and constitutional instability. A combination of justice mechanisms are proposed in the policy. It therefore marks a major milestone in the history of the administration of justice in Uganda. (p. 3)
It proposes both restorative and retributive processes, including four mechanisms: formal justice, traditional justice, truth-seeking, and reparations. It also addresses Uganda’s past use of blanket amnesty and the need to mainstream gender justice throughout.
For many years, civil society organizations like JRP, ASF, and others have dedicated themselves to realizing justice and reconciliation for communities affected by conflict in Uganda, especially the victims. For more information on these issues, you can visit JRP’s website at www.justiceandreconciliation.com.
You can also view the May 2013 draft of the TJ policy that is currently under review here.