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National Policy dialogue Forum on “Confronting the past and building the future: promises of Transitional Justice in Ethiopia” was hosted at Ghion

Addis Ababa University center for Human Rights (CHR) in collaboration with Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Ethiopia organized a two days long national Policy dialogue Forum under the theme of “Confronting the past and building the future: promises of Transitional Justice in Ethiopia” at Ghion hotel in Addis Ababa from November 4 – November 5, 2019.

The dialogue forum was organized with the objective of introducing stakeholders concepts and practices of Transitional Justice as a mechanism of confronting past human rights violence as well as building a just, peaceful and democratic society and create a platform for stakeholders including academics, practitioners, and key institutional actors for dialogue on relevant historical, policy, legal and institutional issues that inform the various Transitional Justice processes in Ethiopia.

Dr. Solomon Nugussie, Dean at College of Law and Governance Studies of Addis Ababa University, on his key note speech said “For the past two years our College with its three academic units contribute a visible professional support on national issues for the country. In the year 2018/19 it also organized more than 20 national and international conferences and deliver the research findings and the output of the dialogue for the responsible body.”

According to a world organization that works on Transitional Justice Dr. Solomon said “Transitional Justice consists of both judicial and non-judicial; including protection initiative, reparations, truth seeking, institutional reform or compilation of all these. And these reforms are processes or approaches that assist both internal legal standards and obligations”

He also added that the Transitional Justice objective is on the one hand tries to ensure accountability and also redresses the victims and help ordinary citizens (to) live safely in their country.

Wondemagegn Tadesse, Director at Center for Human Rights of Addis Ababa University on his speech said, “As you all know we are at the transitional time but, when we see this transition, there might be a risk of having good or bad transition and also there are so many challenges that might resist the current transition among them.”

Regarding the misunderstanding of history, some people think all the political, social, economic and moral beliefs and systems are thought to be true in all circumstances but others believe history should be reinterpreted, and in general there is a bad attitude and misunderstanding between people. “If we discus and listen to each other there will be a solution for our problems” Dr Wondemagegn says.

On the forum, different scholars and researchers presented their research findings on Concepts and Key Components of Transitional Justice, History of Violence, Reconciliation and Justice in Ethiopia, Reparation for Violence of rights, Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Transitions, Criminal Justice in Transitional Process, Criminal Prosecutions in ‘Transitional’ Ethiopia, Plurality of Justice Mechanisms in Ethiopia, Truth and Truth Seeking in Transition and Current Peace and Reconciliation Processes.

Netsanet Merete November 8, 2019