Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
Conseil pour le développement de la recherche en sciences sociales en Afrique
Conselho para o Desenvolvimento da Pesquisa em Ciências Sociais em África
مجلس تنمية البحوث الإجتماعية في أفريقيا

Open Forum on Victims in the Workings of International Criminal Justice in Africa: Lessons from the Kenyan Case

Number of visits: 1186

International Criminal Justice, Reconciliation and Peace in Africa:
The ICC and Beyond

Program at a Glance

The International Criminal Justice, Reconciliation and Peace in Africa: The ICC and Beyond Programme is a joint programme of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa and the Social Science Research Council’s African Peacebuilding Network in collaboration with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute and the Centre for Democracy and Development in Abuja. The broad goal of the programme is to significantly improve the quality of scholarship, debates and policy on international criminal justice, peace and reconciliation in Africa while further democratizing the nature of conversations on the subject through conferences, the conduct and dissemination of studies and policy engagement. On July 10-12, 2014 the program organized a major international conference on International Criminal Justice, Reconciliation and Peace in Africa: The ICC and Beyond in Dakar, Senegal. Leading up to and after the conference there will be open forums on important themes that resonated in the commissioned studies and conference. Public forums have the goals of generating wider public debate on the issues and allowing researchers and practitioners to gain valuable input and insights on the subject from the field.

Victims at the center: Victim-sensitive approaches to redressing gross human rights abuses in Africa

As debates over international criminal justice have raged it has not always been easy to keep the focus of attention on the victims of gross human rights abuses, who litter the African continent and whose numbers continue to increase with ongoing atrocities in places like South Sudan and the Central African Republic. However, talk of ‘victims’ raises many questions including the definition of that category, the politics of naming in the positing of victims, the extent to which local, domestic and international systems provide redress to victims and the levels to which such redress is compatible with the long term interests of reconciliation and peace. Two major questions worthy of continuing attention are:

1. What domestic, national and international systems and process exist for ensuring redress for the victims of gross human rights abuses in Africa?
2. Which among these best ensure redress to victims while promoting the long term interests of reconciliation and peace?

The Nairobi forum will seek to address these questions through a series of presentations and an exhibition of the cartoons touching on international criminal justice and gross abuses by the celebrated East African cartoonist Gado. The presentations, which will feature a strong interaction of panellists and participants will allow the exploration of alternatives mechanisms and the weighing of the benefits and costs of these systems with a view to capturing the informed choices that can best enable African societies to balance the interests of victims, the struggle against impunity and the search for long term social peace and reconciliation. It will run from 8:30-17:30 on April 24, 2015.


8:30-9:00 Registration

9:00-9:30 Opening remarks
• ALC (Godwin Murunga)
• Brief remarks on logistics (Sylvanus Wekesa)

9:30-11:00 Victimization, victimhood, historical injustices and political evolution in colonial and postcolonial Kenya
• Chair: Njonjo Mue
• Speaker: Muthoni Wanyeki, Mbugua Mureithi

11:30-11:15 Break

11:15-1:00 The situation of victims in national, regional, sub-regional and international instruments and systems of practice for dealing with gross human rights abuses
• Chair: James Gondi
• Speakers: Shuvai Nyoni, Dennis Jjuuko (20 mins)

1:00-2:00 Lunch

2:00-4:00 The media and victims of gross human rights abuses: Artistic and creative engagements with the question of the victims of gross human rights abuses
• Three parallel sessions will have 30 minutes each to engage with three cartoon installations by Gado on the issues of gross human rights abuses and international criminal justice. Each group will make a 10 minute presentation to a plenary session followed by a response from Gado and a Q&A session with the cartoonist
• Chair: Ato Onoma

4:00-5:00 Closing Remarks
• CODESRIA (Ato Onoma)

April 23 2015