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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Traditional courts and the struggle against State impunity for civil wartime offences in Mozambique
Author:Igreja, VictorISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Law (ISSN 0021-8553)
Geographic term:Mozambique
war crimes
customary courts
civil wars
Abstract:In the Mozambican context of State amnesty for civil war crimes, war survivors have used their local ethics of reciprocity to create justice. This article analyses how survivors have attempted to persuade judges in traditional courts to adjudicate in serious wartime disputes. These judges, who have no official mandate to redress wartime offences, tried to preserve the conflicting interests of the litigants and the State. This positioning, coupled with the fact that the local ethics of reciprocity are embedded in uneven power and gender relations, resulted in some cases being adjudicated and others not, and in some disputes receiving no gender justice. Nevertheless, some of the interventions indicate that national and international institutions of justice are not the only ones engaged in the struggle against impunity for wartime crimes. In Mozambique, specific attention must be paid to the study of traditional justice mechanisms as fonts of redress for wartime crimes and for the long-term contribution they can make. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]