Book Chapter

Book Title

Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Societies in Africa


J.R. Stormes SJ, E.O. Opongo SJ, K. Wansamo SJ, and P. Knox SJ



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This chapter first analyses three facets of transitional justice -- the criminal-retributive, the historical-reconciliative, and the social-redistributive -- and identifies some of the synergies and tensions among them. The second section shines a spotlight on the post-independence, conflict, and post-conflict histories of Uganda, Sierra Leone, and Burundi, generally characterizing their distinct approaches to transitional justice, and the differing degrees of attention they devote to the various strands of justice. For each of the three countries, the text points to the work of a community-based civil society organization, and spotlights its approach to post-conflict transition in that country. The final section of the paper takes a sober look at the current capacity of transitional justice as a force for social change, given the reality of entrenched poverty and gender inequality in all three post-conflict societies. The chapter ends with an assessment of the efforts of the individual civil society organizations to address human insecurity, including the physical and structural forms of violence that women in each country confront every day. In learning from the experiences of these three conflict-emergent countries, and considering the contributions of civil society organizations in each, we may better frame the unfinished business of transitional justice as a transformative movement that meaningfully impacts the quality of life for people living in countries throughout the world.



Publication Date



Nairobi, Africa


Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development (ACORD); Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations, Catholic University of Eastern Africa (HIPSIR)


Transitional Justice, Criminal Justice, Historical Justice, Post-Conflict Society, Social Justice, Africa, Burundi, Uganda, Sierra Leone




The PDF is a draft of Professor Moore's book chapter.

Transforming Societies after Violence: Conceptualizing and Contextualizing Transitional Justice in Africa

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