- Showing 1 posts filed under: Indigenous [–], Region: Africa [–] published between Nov 01, 2009 and Nov 30, 2009 [Show all]
Promoting international support for community-based justice mechanisms in post-conflict Burundi and Uganda
Those who committed crimes in the long wars in Burundi and Uganda are wanted by both the national and international criminal court system, but very little attention is given to peacebuilding, reconciliation, or restoration of the communities destroyed by violence. For example, the reconciliation process of mato oput, an Acholi tradition in northern Uganda, and the Ubushingantahe in Burundi, uniquely achieve justice and healing of the concerned parties in a way that a formal justice system cannot. These methods of restorative justice emphasize community-building and the need to reconcile an entire society after conflict.
To complete this project, interviews with both victims and perpetrators of crime, as well as implementers of restorative justice programs were conducted in Burundi and Uganda. Using this local perspective, the paper elevates the need for international recognition and support for restorative justice mechanisms in post-conflict communities in Africa. Civil society has an important role to play in elevating awareness of these traditions and practices, and the U.S. government can enhance restorative justice through both leverage and funding. Ultimately, it is imperative that Western governments and citizens around the world perceive restorative justice as a legitimate and much-needed form of justice.