- Showing 6 posts filed under: National Reconciliation [–] published between Nov 01, 2009 and Nov 30, 2009 [Show all]
Apology lite: Truths, doubts, and reconciliations in the Senate’s guarded apology for slavery
The United States Senate formally apologized for slavery on June 18, 2009. This followed an apology made nearly a year earlier, on July 29, 2008, by the House of Representatives. Unlike the House apology, the Senate apology contains additional limiting language, specifically stating that it cannot be used as a ground for monetary compensation. The apology is nearly nine hundred words, with a preamble which goes into some detail about the wrongness of slavery, admitting that slaves were “brutalized, humiliated, [and] dehumanized.” It then states:
(1) APOLOGY FOR THE ENSLAVEMENT AND SEGREGATION OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS.—The Congress . . . apologizes to African-Americans on behalf of the people of the United States, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow laws . . . .
(2) DISCLAIMER.—Nothing in this resolution—
(A) authorizes or supports any claim against the United States; or
(B) serves as a settlement of any claim against the United States.
Radovan Karadzic, the leader of wartime Bosnian Serbs, was a no show
today at the opening of his trial at the International Criminal
Tribunal on Yugoslavia. He's planning to defend himself against eleven
counts of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other
The reason for his no-show? One of his legal advisors told the BBC that from the scope of the trial - thought to include 1.2 million pages of evidence, numerous crime scenes and hundreds of witness - it was understandable why Mr Karadzic, who is not a trained lawyer, had stayed away.
Nov 13, 2009 National Reconciliation
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.
Engaging diasporas in truth commissions: Lessons from the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission (LTRC) Diaspora Project
The LTRC recognized that several aspects of the Liberian context made involvement of the diaspora a critical component of the truth and reconciliation process in Liberia. Liberia's long-standing relationship with the US and the role played by the US during the conflict – both actions and omissions – provided a framework for examining the conflict. Also, key witnesses, alleged perpetrators, and other conflict actors were known to be residing in the diaspora, primarily in the US, but also in Europe and West Africa, and there was a widespread belief that the diaspora had played a critical role in fomenting and funding the conflict. Finally, the potential for harnessing diaspora resources was a further motivating factor for the LTRC. Commissioners expressed the hope that diaspora engagement could rally additional resources for reparations and development. Indeed, in its final report, the LTRC recommended that Liberians in the diaspora each contribute at least US$1.00 monthly to the Reparations Trust Fund ‘as the beginning of its contribution as citizens of Liberia to the economic and social development of their motherland.’
Forgiveness: Human or Divine?
Earlier this month the film As We Forgive, a documentary about Rwanda, was released on DVD (check out the trailer here). It does not chronicle the 1994 genocide, but what has come after: Rwanda's struggle to rebuild itself.
Group-Conflict Resolution: Sources of Resistance to Reconciliation
To what extent can insights from apology and forgiveness in dyadic disputes be imported into the group conflict context?
How might differences between the two types of disputes necessitate differing dispute resolution techniques?
How is disputant resistance to conflict resolution changed or amplified in the group-conflict context?
These questions are the focus of the articles published in the spring 2009 issue of the journal Law and Contemporary Problems. The articles grew out of presentations made at a conference organised by the Law and Human Behavior progamme at Vanderbilt University Law School with financial assistance from the Andrus Family Fund.