The Role of Transitional Justice in Resolving the Somali and South Sudan Conflicts
In order to achieve accountability for past injustice, provide redress for victims and move from conflict to peace, the concept of transitional justice has become indispensable in global postconflict states, and perhaps more importantly in Africa. In recent times, transitional justice has paved the way from repression to democracy. However, there has been some criticism emerging as to the ability and effectiveness of the transitional justice instruments previously applied in Africa and whether these mechanisms are able to offer justice, peace and lasting reconciliation. The common thread running through the criticisms has been that despite the use of transitional justice, the mechanisms applied to African states have not been able to either completely address past injustices or foster complete reconciliation leading to an inability to truly move past the conflict. This study provides an assessment of some of the criticism directed at transitional justice mechanisms previously applied in Africa, for instance for their disregard of some elements of tradition given the push by international actors. As a result, it aims to provide an understanding of where critics have stated that the mechanisms have failed. By so doing, it aims at providing a better understanding of how transitional justice can be applied in Somalia and South Sudan – two of Africa’s most recent and notorious post-conflict states.
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