"Amnesty" spectre looms as Burundi approves "Truth commission"
The government of Burundi has endorsed a UN plan to set up a truth and reconciliation commission as part of the country’s peace process...
The UN Security Council now needs to pass a resolution backing a TRC in Burundi, as well as a special court to prosecute war crimes or human rights violations.
One of the most successful truth and reconciliation commissions operated in South Africa in the mid-90’s, following the end of apartheid. Richard Lyster is a former TRC commissioner and a human rights attorney in South Africa. From Durban, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the difficulties in setting up such a commission...
The human rights attorney says while the TRC knew in advance what the testimony would be of those who told story of human rights abuses, it was important for witnesses and the country to share in a ‘cathartic’ event.
Also, while the natural urge of many people is to seek revenge against those who killed loved ones, the TRC must balance establishing the truth and amnesty for those who publicly testified about their criminal actions.
See also: -“Agreements based on immunity from prosecution rarely work”
- Pictures from the Gatumba massacre, August 13th 2004
Wikipedia entry on Gatumba