Nearly 26 years after he was forced out of power, former Chadian president Hissène Habré has been found guilty of crimes against humanity, torture (including sexual violence) and crimes of war committed under his rule from 1982 to 1990. He has been condemned to life imprisonment by the judges of the Extraordinary African Chambers (EACs), a court specially created by Senegal upon the request of the African Union (AU). This was the first trial of its kind on the continent and years of lobbying were necessary to convince the AU and Senegal to proceed with it. In pushing Africa to bring Habré to justice, the victims and the international coalition of non-governmental organisations that have supported them have shown that Africa’s relationship to international criminal justice is far more open than the statements of some African leaders might suggest. Africa’s people demand such justice, and will pull all the necessary levers to obtain it.

TrustAfrica’s grantee, Victor Ochen, who directs the African Youth Initiative Network (AYINET) in Uganda, was invited by the International Criminal Court to attend the pre-trial hearing of its case against former Lord Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen in the Hague.

The New York Times (in an AP story on 26 Jan 2015) reported that:

Victor Ochen, director of a group called the African Youth Initiative Network, was in the court's public gallery to watch Ongwen's appearance and said his status as a former child soldier should not overshadow Ongwen's acts as a senior commander in a group notorious for sexual enslavement, mutilations and kidnapping tens of thousands of victims. 

Access Pambazuka’s wealthy repository of articles on TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE IN AFRICA: KNOWLEDGE, NARRATIVES AND PRACTICE and find out more about processes in Zimbabwe, Kenya,Somalia and South Sudan. In Africa, how do we apply these processes? Whose justice are we concerned with?  How do we make use of our African artists and oral traditions as we engage with victims?

On November 24-25 2014, TrustAfrica hosted a convening of smallholder farmers and advocates and other stakeholders engaged in policy reform processes in seven African countries. Entitled Strengthening Smallholder Agriculture in Africa: Prospects for Mobilisation and Advocacy, the meeting took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Published in allAfrica.com

Briggs Bomba calls for domestic resources to be mobilized to bring about inclusive development in Africa, in particular by stopping the illicit flow of money out of the continent.

A Lesson in Peace

Victor Ochen experienced firsthand the devastation caused by the ongoing conflict in Northern Uganda. It is what produced his deep compassion for victims of the conflict. And like those victims, he was looking for answers, for a way out of war. He assumed those answers could be found through peace, so he established the Uganda chapter of the African Youth Initiative Network.

Mr. Karim Tazi is a leading private sector entrepreneur who heads the Richbond Group in Morocco

Mr. Karim Tazi is a leading private sector entrepreneur who heads the Richbond Group in Morocco. He studied international law at the Sorbonne and earned his MBA at the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. He served as president of the Moroccan Association for the Textile and Clothing Industry from 2004-2007. He continues his family’s long commitment to public service and civic engagement through a number of activities. In 2002, he founded the Moroccan Food Bank, which collects and distributes food and clothing to people who need it, working with local and national NGOs and government agencies. 

Dr. Assefa Bequele, a Pan-Africanist of Ethiopian origin, is an economist by training and an internationally recognised authority on child rights and wellbeing. 

Dr. Assefa Bequele, a Pan-Africanist of Ethiopian origin, is an economist by training and an internationally recognised authority on child rights and wellbeing. His academic and professional contributions cover a wide range of areas including economic development, employment, poverty, governance and child wellbeing. He has had a long and distinguished career involving university teaching (in Ethiopia and USA), many years of service in the United Nations system, institution building, and international advocacy work on child wellbeing.

He is the author of numerous global and African reports, books and articles on economic development and child wellbeing. His path-breaking work on children at the international level includes the design and development of the ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), the world’s premier technical programme on child labour, and the development of the now nearly-universally ratified international Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour.   

He is the founder and first Executive Director of The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), a leading independent Pan-African policy research and advocacy centre, and the initiator of an Africa-wide movement for the wellbeing of children. He is also the architect of The African Report on Child Wellbeing, the leading independent report on children in Africa. Dr Bequele continues to serve as expert or adviser to international commissions, non-governmental organisations and regional bodies. He was for example member of the AU’s African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the Youth Advisory Council of MasterCard Foundation. He continues his advocacy and programmatic work through his engagement in various international and regional bodies including as board member of Plan International and the African Institute for Human Rights and Development (IHRDA) and as director of the Board of Enat Bank, the first and only commercial bank initiated and led by women in Ethiopia. He is a Fellow of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences.

Norah Fuathom had a choice to make.  She could succumb to her impossible circumstances or she could try to rise above them.  Norah is one of thousands of people whose relatives went missing during the course of conflicts that ravaged Uganda over the last 30 years.  In Norah’s case, it was her son.  After he was taken, she nearly lost her will to survive.  Yet, through the dedicated efforts of AYINET, as well as others, she was able to find her strength and use that strength to help others in similar circumstances. 

TrustAfrica’s Fund to advance International Criminal Justice in Africa seeks to engage civil society, as well as scholars, legal advocates, and state authorities, to develop innovative strategies to improve accountability for crimes committed.  To help achieve this objective, most recently, TrustAfrica was the primary donor for the first ever National War Victims’ Conference in Uganda.  The conference was facilitated by TrustAfrica grantee African Youth Initiative Network (AYINET), an independent Ugandan NGO that has been working for the last nine years on projects that seek response to and redress for serious crimes and harms resulting from armed violence.  

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