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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Belgian Lumumba Commission: A Comparison
Authors:Verdoolaege, Annelies
Kerstens, Paul
Periodical:Africa Today
Geographic terms:Belgium
South Africa
Subjects:offences against human rights
commissions of inquiry
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
History and Exploration
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/africa_today/v050/50.3verdoolaege.pdf
Abstract:One way a country can deal with a traumatic part of its history is by establishing an investigating commission. In South Africa in 1995, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established to deal with the truth of the apartheid regime. In Belgium in 1999, the Lumumba Commission was put into place to research the circumstances of the murder of Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the independent state of Congo. The authors compare these commissions. By hinting at differences and similarities they try to discover an overall framework. They conclude that though each commission was specific in its own context, it appears that initiatives developed in completely different situations resemble each other. This shows that even two completely different countries, with different histories and dealing with events in different periods in different parts of the world, can arrive at similar solutions when trying to deal with problematic pasts. However, it is easier for some countries than for others to deal with the past - because of a whole range of practical and contextual circumstances. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract, edited]