ASF contributes to transitional justice in Uganda

UgandaNewsTransitional justice

Kampala, Uganda, 24 June 2014 – Since 2008, the security situation in Uganda has stabilized. A transitional justice process was launched to deal with the numerous crimes notably committed by the Resistance Lord’s Army. ASF continues to play a key role towards the development of the country’s transitional justice.

Uganda’s Transitional Justice Policy is a strategic policy guide intended to enable the Government of Uganda to handle post-conflict justice and accountability matters for victims of gross human rights violations and international crimes.

In a recent publication (*), ASF is making recommendations to the Government of Uganda and others stakeholders for the integration of a comprehensive, holistic and mutually reinforcing process; this process should contribute towards the realization of the broader goals of truth, justice, accountability and reparation for victims of gross human rights violations and international crimes.

“Any comprehensive transitional justice process should address the root causes of conflict; this is vital if we want each category of victim to be handled appropriately. This is why we recommend the creation of an Independent Transitional Justice Commission, whose mandate will be to regulate the overall transitional justice process”, explains Ms. Ismene Zafiris, ASF Head of Mission in Uganda.

During a launch and subsequent round table early June 2014, the ASF publication was shared with civil society organizations, representatives of the Governmental justice institutions, academics, private legal practitioners and many others involved in one way or the other in developing the transitional justice policy.

This launch was presided by the Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee of the Uganda Parliament, Hon. Jovah Kamateeka, who praised ASF for its commitment to the policy emphasizing the urgent “need for the policy to be passed”. This was confirmed during the roundtable discussion by the Deputy Head of the International Crimes Division of the High Court of Uganda, Lady Justice Elizabeth Nahamya, who too applauded ASF for the work it is doing towards making the policy a “reality”.

“We hope that our recommendations will help all stakeholders in the process to develop an enabling law that adequately achieves the overall goals of the policy. In particular, we wish that victims’ groups and NGOS will be actively involved in designing and implementing transitional justice mechanisms. These actors have a strong connection with the war affected communities and their input will be crucial for any truth telling process”, observes Ms. Zafiris.

ASF’s publication will be shared with all policy developers currently working on the draft policy especially the Justice and Order Sector of the Government of Uganda who have been mandated with coming up with the final draft of the policy before its operationalization into law.

(*) full title: Towards a comprehensive & holistic transitional justice policy for Uganda. Exploring linkages between transitional justice mechanisms

This publication has been produced with the financial support of the European Union.

Picture:  A billboard promoting peace in Kotido District in Uganda © Khristopher Carlson/IRIN