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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Truth under the avocado trees: local needs and Burundi's TRC: whither the truth?
Author:Taylor, David
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1063)
Geographic term:Burundi
Subjects:truth and reconciliation commissions
transitional justice
conflict resolution
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17531055.2013.770679
Abstract:Decades of cyclic violence have been met with a near total absence of meaningful redress in Burundi, which has led to a festering culture of impunity and entrenched divisions. Transitional justice has traditionally been a non-starter. A proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) intended to commence work in 2012 will constitute the country's first systematic attempt to deal with its past. In order to contextualize this development at the grassroots level, this article seeks to understand whether the objectives and the truth likely to emerge will be meaningful and relevant to ordinary people affected by violence. Using evidence from interviews conducted in Burundi, together with an analysis of the truth commissions in Sierra Leone and South Africa, key themes are introduced to offer a sobering and critical assessment of the likelihood that truth, reconciliation and the restoration of the dignity of victims will be realizable through the TRC. By questioning the truth likely to emerge, the analysis suggests that at present there is an acute risk that the TRC will repeat many shortcomings of the past and become disconnected from the communities it purports to serve. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]