Truth Commissions in Africa: the Non-Case of Namibia and the Emerging Case of Sierra Leone

Truth Commissions in Africa: the Non-Case of Namibia and the Emerging Case of Sierra Leone 98 Truth Commissions in Africa: the Non-Case of Namibia and the Emerging Case of Sierra Leone 1 MICHELLE PARLEVLIET 2 In February of this year, Africa acquired its own ‘Pinochet’ when a Senegalese court indicted the former dictator of Chad, Hissein Habré for acts of torture committed during his regime. It was the first time ever that the courts of another country indicted a former African head of state. In the same month, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe ruled that President Mugabe could be sued in his official capacity for failing to publish the reports of two commissions of inquiry into the deaths of government opponents in the Matabeleland region in the 1980s following clashes with the state security forces. Hitherto, the government had repressed the results of these inquiries, claiming their publication could spark violence between different political constituencies. Also in 1999, a number of developments happened on the African continent that indicated a concern with past human rights violations. In June, President Obasanjo of Nigeria established a commission to investigate human rights abuses that had occurred in his country between January 1966 and his assumption of power in May 1999. 3 In July, the civil war http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Law FORUM du droit international (continued in International Community Law Review) Brill

Truth Commissions in Africa: the Non-Case of Namibia and the Emerging Case of Sierra Leone

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2000 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1388-9036
eISSN
1571-8042
D.O.I.
10.1163/15718040020962528
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

98 Truth Commissions in Africa: the Non-Case of Namibia and the Emerging Case of Sierra Leone 1 MICHELLE PARLEVLIET 2 In February of this year, Africa acquired its own ‘Pinochet’ when a Senegalese court indicted the former dictator of Chad, Hissein Habré for acts of torture committed during his regime. It was the first time ever that the courts of another country indicted a former African head of state. In the same month, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe ruled that President Mugabe could be sued in his official capacity for failing to publish the reports of two commissions of inquiry into the deaths of government opponents in the Matabeleland region in the 1980s following clashes with the state security forces. Hitherto, the government had repressed the results of these inquiries, claiming their publication could spark violence between different political constituencies. Also in 1999, a number of developments happened on the African continent that indicated a concern with past human rights violations. In June, President Obasanjo of Nigeria established a commission to investigate human rights abuses that had occurred in his country between January 1966 and his assumption of power in May 1999. 3 In July, the civil war

Journal

International Law FORUM du droit international (continued in International Community Law Review)Brill

Published: Jan 1, 2000

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