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Introduction
Contents:
  1. BIBLIOGRAPHY
  2. Violent Conflicts and Civil Strife in West Africa: Causes, Challenges and Prospects
  3. Rising insurgency
  4. Civil society and peace building in Sudan: A critical look

This initial phase was followed by the actual work of the commission that involved statements taking, hearings and the writing of the report Ekiyor The recommendations put forward by the commission included a call for national, community and inter-personal reconciliation; the implementation of a reparations programme for victims access to pensions, micro-credits, free health care, education, skills and training as well as the establishment of a permanent Human Rights Commission HRC. Located in Freetown, the court was tasked with prosecuting individuals who bore the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian and Sierra Leonean law committed in the country from 30 November onward Tejan-Cole , The court was thus designed to prosecute only those who played leadership roles in the conflict.

But, the most prominent case handled by the SCSL relates to the former Liberian President Charles Taylor who was sentenced in May to a year imprisonment for his role in the Sierra Leonean civil war. The section above has highlighted the manner in which Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone have implemented transitional justice processes following their respective civil wars.

Despite some similarities, a number of differences among the three countries have been noted — attributable to the specific conditions within each state and the peculiar context of their respective civil wars and post-war situations.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

However, in taking into account the role played by power-sharing in the design and the implementation of transitional processes in the three countries, the paragraphs below highlight some salient trends derived from Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone that may be applicable to countries having to pursue transitional justice in the aftermath of civil war ended through power-sharing.

In these latter settings, justice is only pursued in its dimensions that do not threaten the political survival and sometimes the physical freedom of the main protagonists, in spite of their possible involvement in the commission of crimes and atrocities during the war period. This is mainly due to the fact that, in most cases, the suspected criminals are directly involved in state management during the transition and beyond.


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This state of affairs helps understand the total absence of lustration measures in transitional justice processes implemented in post-war Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone as analysed in this article. In order to deal with the past legacy of violence that included centuries of white minority domination, 45 years of legalised racial discrimination and decades of armed resistance, South Africa adopted the TRC in on the premise that the country could only move forward by uncovering and documenting the truth as well as reconciling with itself.

Furthermore, the context of the emergence of the South African TRC model was conducive to its adoption in many African countries that, like South Africa, had chosen negotiation and power-sharing as preferred mechanisms to end their respective civil wars. As highlighted in the previous section, no truth and reconciliation commission or mechanism was ever provided for in the General Peace Agreement for Mozambique. In both Burundi and Sierra Leone, the main perception is that the TRC was designed and managed in a way that does not threaten the physical freedom and political worthiness of political elites.

Amnesty represents the only transitional justice mechanism that cuts across all the three countries analysed in this article. Of course, internal predicaments specific to each country determined the scope and content of amnesty laws and measures adopted by each of them. It should be admitted that the prominent place afforded to amnesty in the three countries was, to a very large extent, a consequence of the adoption of power-sharing as the principal means to end the war in the three countries.

In all three countries, some forms of amnesty laws and measures were enacted prior to the conclusion of peace agreements between the government and rebel groups as a demonstration by the former of its commitment to a peaceful settlement. On the other hand, the adoption of amnesty laws or measures was a response to demands from armed groups that regarded such action as sine qua non for their commitment to a negotiated settlement.

Violent Conflicts and Civil Strife in West Africa: Causes, Challenges and Prospects

The case of Sierra Leone is eloquent in this regard. Still, after inclusive transitional institutions were put in place, former warring parties either affiliated with the former government or with former rebel groups used their newly earned privileged positions to issue further amnesty measures and laws designed to benefit wartime crime suspects. This was for instance the case in Burundi where a number of amnesty measures and laws have been taken since the signing of the Arusha Agreement in While power-sharing was central to the adoption of wide amnesty measures and laws in post-civil war Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone, it did not make similar provisions for reparation measures aimed at victims.

In this regard, Mozambique totally ignored the victims of what was actually a very atrocious civil war with devastating consequences for very large numbers of the civilian population. As may be learned from the Burundian, Mozambican and Sierra Leonean cases analysed in this article, power-sharing as a means to end civil war tends to provide former warring parties an opportunity to request and secure amnesty laws and measures for themselves.

It does not necessarily cater as much for the victims. Indeed, power-sharing significantly reduces the possibility for those suspected of committing wartime crimes and atrocities to face retributive justice. At the same time, as a result of the central role it affords to those suspected of committing wartime crimes and atrocities in the post-war dispensation, power-sharing tends to place the fate of war victims — including their quest for justice — in the hands of their very victimisers.

In Mozambique, parties to the General Peace Agreement, i. In Burundi, the Arusha Agreement left open, in theory, the possibility for a recourse to the international judicial system in the form of an international tribunal. In similar vein, no referral to the international judicial system was made by Burundian transitional and post-transitional authorities. Although CDF leaders, allied to the government, were prosecuted, there is need to emphasise that government and national army leadership were absolved of any wrongdoing during the civil war.

Perhaps, the most blatant case of politicisation of the international judicial system, as far as Sierra Leone is concerned, relates to Charles Taylor. This guarantee was later abandoned and Taylor was prosecuted and eventually sentenced to a year jail term, raising the concern that threat of judicial prosecution or withdrawal thereof had become a tool to constrain political actors to specific actions.

The experiences of Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone analysed herein reveal that post-civil war countries where conflict ended through a power-sharing-based agreement tend to avoid recourse to the international judicial system. Yet, as shown in this article, although commendable, the overall success of the SCSL was limited. Countries emerging from civil wars face daunting challenges, most of which they can hardly overcome even with meaningful external assistance. Transitional justice constitutes one among such challenges.

As this article has shown, Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone have all had to deal with demands for transitional justice in the aftermath of their respective civil wars. To a large extent, these demands were the result of the highly violent nature of these civil wars that affected large numbers of the civilian populations. The article has found that, by affording warring parties a prominent role in the post-settlement environment, the power-sharing mechanisms set up in Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone inadvertently impeded the pursuit of both restorative and retributive justice in all three countries.

Indeed, due to the central position they held within the power-sharing dispensations, former warriors emphasised amnesty while paying lip service to reparations. Lastly, notwithstanding the shortcomings above, the consensus generally brought about by power-sharing dispensations enabled all three countries to effect institutional reforms, albeit with limited and different levels of success. This article analysed the role of power-sharing in the design and the operationalisation of transitional justice mechanisms in post-civil war Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone.

Future research ought to go beyond just power-sharing to look into the contribution of other variables such as the economic situation and external influences in shaping transitional justice in African countries emerging from protracted internal wars ended through negotiations. Meanwhile, in learning from Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone, the proposals below ought to be considered with regard to addressing the tensions between power-sharing and transitional justice in such post-war settings:.

By Sadiki Koko. Abstract This article uses the cases of Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone to analyse transitional justice processes in African societies where power-sharing was used as a key tool to end very protracted and violent civil wars. Introduction The post world environment has witnessed a radical shift in the nature of wars around the world, characterised by a decrease of interstate wars and an increase in the number of internal or civil wars. Conceptual clarification: Power-sharing and transitional justice Debating power-sharing As concepts, power-sharing and the different mechanisms designed for its operationalisation government of national unity, inclusive government or coalition government are prone to semantic confusion.

It seeks to …halt ongoing human rights abuses; investigate past crimes; identify those responsible for human rights violations; impose sanctions for some of those responsible for serious human rights violations; provide reparations to victims; prevent future abuses; preserve and enhance sustainable peace and promote [community] and national reconciliation Fombad Power-sharing and transitional justice: Purposes and challenges Power-sharing and transitional justice tend to come to prominence in countries emerging from civil war ended through negotiations. As Igreja observes, the parties to the Mozambican peace agreement …deliberately precluded any possibility for the enactment of a mechanism for justice that could reckon with the grave abuses and war crimes.

Politicised power-sharing and impeded transitional justice in post-civil war Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone The section above has highlighted the manner in which Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone have implemented transitional justice processes following their respective civil wars. Elite-driven Truth and Reconciliation Commissions with a negative impact on retributive justice The fascination with TRC processes, as far as Africa is concerned, can be traced back to South Africa.

Power-sharing and the imbalance between demanded amnesties and deserved reparations Amnesty represents the only transitional justice mechanism that cuts across all the three countries analysed in this article. Power-sharing which avoids or politicises referrals to the international judicial system In Mozambique, parties to the General Peace Agreement, i. Conclusion Countries emerging from civil wars face daunting challenges, most of which they can hardly overcome even with meaningful external assistance.

Meanwhile, in learning from Burundi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone, the proposals below ought to be considered with regard to addressing the tensions between power-sharing and transitional justice in such post-war settings: Transitional justice processes ought to include the larger public and not just be elite-focused.

There is need to acknowledge the virtual impossibility to prosecute all wartime crimes perpetrators in the short term. Provisions ought therefore to be made for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide to be prosecuted — even if a longer period than that of the initial transition is required. The provision of amnesty should always be conditional on potential beneficiaries committing to open up to the TRC.


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Lastly, adequate space, capacity and resources ought to be afforded to civil society entities — especially community-based organisations — so as to enable them to play a meaningful role in the transitional justice process. Raimundo Armstrong, Andrea and Gloria Ntegeye The devil is in the details: The challenges of transitional justice in recent African peace agreements.

African Human Rights Law Journal , 6 1 , pp. Bhargava, Rajeev Restoring decency to barbaric societies. In: Rotberg, Robert I.

Rising insurgency

Truth v. Justice: The morality of truth commissions. Loyle, Scott Gates and Jon Elster Armed conflict and post-conflict justice, — A dataset. Journal of Peace Research , 49 5 , pp. Ekiyor, Thelma A stable economy is essential for the reintegration of people into society, which can be impossible in a stagnant economy. However, prioritizing economic austerity can mean sacrificing finances needed for reconciliation and peace consolidation programs. This can cause a dependency on foreign funding, which can have a significant impact on the implementation of peace agreements and increase the power of foreign states in those contexts.

Using peace agreements as a framework for jus post bellum involves paradoxes that relate to the process of how they are developed and drafted. Constitutional peace agreements are driven by conflict.

This impacts who authors the agreement, what the agreements say, and how they are implemented. Peace agreements are ultimately the result of political peace negotiations, which stands in tension with constitutional methods of reconciliation.

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Civil society and peace building in Sudan: A critical look

However, constitutional peace agreements are meant to foster peace and both shape and inform a new, peaceful society. Vivien Hart argues that process is a critical element for legitimacy. The drafting process is multi-dimensional and differs for each constitutional peace agreement. There are myriad ways constitutional processes can work and endless variation in completing the tasks necessary for post-conflict constitution making.

Processes that work in some contexts, such as promoting dialogue and debate over constitutional issues, could derail constitutional reform in other contexts and increase polarization in divided societies. In these situations, one process might serve a double peacebuilding purpose.