Transitional Justice Initiative in North-East Nigeria (A Training Manual)

Restoring peace and rebuilding the communities ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency must include a justice component. When legitimate grievances are not redressed timely, justly, and fairly, then impunity and injustice can become formidable obstacles to restoring peace and rebuilding communities. In fact, unaddressed grievances have been identified as one of the major push factors towards violent extremism. Clearly, justice is an indispensable component of restoring and sustaining peace.

However, the scale of the atrocious crimes and violations of human rights committed in the context of the Boko Haram insurgency makes it very hard, if not totally impossible, to prosecute all the perpetrators through the already overburdened criminal justice system.

The duration that criminal cases take to be concluded, and the resources, expertise and personnel needed to prosecute thousands of criminal complaints are too daunting to contemplate. Furthermore, the evidence and the circumstances of each murder, and the identities of the murderer and the murdered are not all available because of the chaotic contexts of the insurgency in which the crimes were committed.

Even prosecuting the thousands of the alleged Boko Haram combatants already incarcerated may be too great a task. This reality dictates the need to explore the potential for transitional justice as a more appropriate and feasible alternative

The Center for Democracy and Development (CDD) has taken the initiative to develop the requirements that make transitional justice the appropriate mechanism for addressing the imperative of justice as an indispensable component of restoring and sustaining the peace in the communities devastated by the Boko Haram insurgency.

The Prospects for Transitional Justice Initiative in North-East Nigeria, a telescoping study conducted by CDD, has identified critical issues that appear prominent in public discourses on the complex challenges that
need to be addressed in the post-insurgency situation in the North-East of Nigeria.


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