Transitional justice in Angola: a case study
15 April 2021
14:00 - 15:30
Picture from the official website of Angola’s Commission for reconciliation and for the memory of victims.
Many governments worldwide are struggling in dealing with their violent pasts. Well known examples are South-Africa after the collapse of the ‘Apartheid’ system, or post-genocide Rwanda. Such countries in transition are typically facing difficult questions, such as what to do with the alleged perpetrators and how to memorialize the violent past. Angola serves as a good contemporary example of a country in transition.
In 2002, at the end of a devastating civil war that lasted for 27 years, the country’s leadership introduced a policy of “forgive and forget”, which was partly embodied in a general amnesty that the two main warring parties agreed on. In recent years however, the situation has changed, under the pressure of civil society actors Angola’s “new” president, João Lourenço, has installed a commission with the purpose to look into past conflicts and provide national reconciliation. The commission is set to finish its work on 30 July of this year.
During the event Maarten will present his research project, which consists of an analysis of the work of Angola’s reconciliation commission. Key questions that his first paper attempts to answer are: what have been the goals of this commission? Has the commission succeeded in achieving its goals? To what extent has the commission contributed to reconciliation in Angola? The research project can best be positioned as a ’legal-empirical study’ of Angola’s transitional justice process. The project is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on perspectives and research methods from political science, law and criminology. Besides a critical literature review, the main methods employed are content analysis of relevant media reports and government reports and a series of semi-structured in-depth interviews with key actors within the process.
Presenter: Maarten van Munster