Accra hosts maiden meeting on disseminating AU Transitional Justice Policy

Iddi Yire, GNA

Accra, Aug. 28, GNA
– The Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund (ATJLF) in collaboration with the
African Union Commission (AUC) with support from MacArthur Foundation has
organised the maiden conference on disseminating African Union Transitional
Justice Policy (AUTJP) in Accra.

The Transitional
Justice Policy, which was recently adopted by the Heads of State and Government
at the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union in
February this year, was developed with a view to, inter alia, strengthen the
capacity of Member States, African Union (AU) Organs and Regional Economic
Communities (RECs) to respond timeously and effectively to the adverse effects
of violent conflict.

The two-day Regional
Consultation and Capacity Building Conference on the Implementation of the AU
Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP) is the first of a series of RECs meetings
to disseminate the AUTJP with the aim of promoting its effective implementation
in the region.

Madam Minata Samate
Cessouma, Commissioner for Political Affairs, AU Commission, in a speech read
on her behalf, commended ECOWAS for taking the lead in embracing the AUTJP and
commencing development of its own Strategy on the Policy; adding that “this
practice is a true demonstration of the Regional Economic Communities
(RECs)  being the building blocks of the AU”.

She reiterated the
importance of the AUTJP in realizing the lofty ambitions of the AU Agenda 2063
– “The Africa We Want”.

Madam Cessouma
extended her gratitude to the Board Members, the management and staff of the
ATJLF for being a genuine and committed partners of the AU.

She also thanked the
Management and staff of the MacArthur Foundation for the unflinching support
for the AUTJP programme.

“It is my firm
belief that partnerships like this are key towards the realization of the goals
and objectives of the AUTJP by the Department of Political Affairs of the AU,”
she said.

“Now that the AUTJP
has been adopted, there is a need to redirect our efforts toward three very
important aspects of the AUTJP, namely; the popularization of the policy, its
effective domestication and implementation and close monitoring and evaluation
of the results of its implementation in conflict prevention, management and
resolution across the African continent.”

She said an adopted
policy was a mere piece of paper if the provisions and the guidelines are not
domesticated and implemented accordingly.

Mr William Kpobi,
Chief State Attorney at the Attorney General’s Department, urged AU Member
States to chart the path of reconciliation in order to pave the way for
peaceful governance.

“The principle to
achieve peace within the context of the AU in transitional periods in the
various Member States is a daunting task,” Mr Kpobi said.

“Obviously in such
transitional periods, the issue that comes up is whether to break with the past
and start anew or to embody the past in the new in an acceptable or reconciliatory
manner,” he said.

“Abuses of the past
cannot be wished away. It must be confronted and dealt with to bring peace and
harmony. It is only by so doing that the way forward can be peaceful.

matters if well-handled, obviously leads to a smooth implementation of
governance. On the other hand, transitional periods if not well handled
obviously leads to anarchy along the line,” Mr Kpobi stated.

He said it was to
forestall such anarchies in ECOWAS sub-region and within the AU as a whole that
this important workshop was being organised.

Mr Makmid Kamara,
Director, ATJLF, said participants at the workshop would learn about the AUTJP
with the view to ensure coherence on transitional justice interventions across

participants to the workshop would map out effective implementation strategies
for the AUTJP and provide states with a framework that would eventually
contribute to peacebuilding, democracy building, constructive management of
diversity and post-conflict reconstruction and development.

Mr Emmanuel
Okurodudu of ECOWAS said ECOWAS was trying to come with its own transitional
justice policy, which would be based on the AU’s model (AUTJP).