By Denis Oringi
Africa is one of the continents in the world that has experienced and continues to experience numerous conflicts. These conflicts have resulted in enormous loss of lives, massive displacement and huge costs to the economy, seriously hindering the development of African states. These conflicts clearly need to be tackled to reduce the magnitude of human suffering and address the threat to global security. As different bodies come on board to tackle the issues that come after the conflicts, refugee law project in partnership with European Union is holding the 8th Institute for African Transitional Justice in west Nile deliberating on how inclusive gender can be incorporated to achieve transitional justice in Africa.
The discussion is being attended by a cross section of members hailing from the different African countries. The discussants have identified gender participation in the transitional justice as a big challenge in achieving transitional justice.
The women are said to be the marginalized group of people that are most times left out in the transitional justice yet they are part of the victims of conflicts. George Williams one of the participants challenges the policies that are in place that tend not to favor women that thus leaving them marginalized.
Looking at Uganda in particular, Anguyo Richard the Education Coordinator Madi and West Nile diocese it is the Ugandan laws that are failing the transitional justice.
Doctor Chris Dolan the director refugee law project says the legal procedures of Uganda do not address the needs of those affected by conflicts.
With the hearing of Dominic Ongwen the former LRA commander that is before the International Criminal Court-ICC, and it is one of the cases that the affected people need transitional justice to be done for. One of the participants who is a survivor of the LRA conflict wanted to know why Dominic Ongwen has been taken to ICC other than trying him in Uganda. In response, Priscilla Aling one of the lawyers handing the issue of Dominic Ongwen says it is Uganda that agreed to have the case heard by the ICC.
Breaking the silence against specific forms and patterns of victimization and perpetration of violence as it happened in Zimbabwe from Gukurahundi that was a series of massacre by the Ndebele civilians is what the refugee law projects and other partners want to achieve in Uganda. End.
By Denis Oringi