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Why establishing a Credible and Legitimate Transitional Justice Model in conjunction with Democratic Reforms is Necessary for Long-term Peace and Stability in Uganda

Jeremy Sarkin


Uganda is a specific focus of international criminal justice at present because of issues relating the International Criminal Court, and specifically the trial of the Lord’s Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen, which began in late 2016. In this context, this article reviews domestic developments in Uganda over the past few years to determine what Uganda ought to do about the past, and why the time is right for democratic reforms and transitional justice to occur in the country. It examines the processes Uganda has set up recently to determine when and how its past ought to be confronted, including a government inter-ministerial working group that has been dealing with transitional justice matters. The article considers why dealing with the past in Uganda, combined with democratic transformation, is a necessity, and why Uganda, at least in theory, has been embarking on a process to deal with the past. It examines the atrocities that have occurred in Uganda to examine why dealing with the past is essential to obtaining peace and stability. The article briefly examines Uganda’s two previous truth commissions to determine what should be avoided in a future process and what procedural and substantive steps could be taken to ensure a viable and successful transitional justice model combined with democratic reforms.


Uganda; transitional justice; democratic reforms; human rights; peace; stability

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