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Nsia-Pepra’s article examines appropriate mechanism of accountability for War Crimes in Africa

Kofi Nsia-Pepra, assistant professor of political science, is author of an article published in The Air and Space Power Journal (ASPJ), the professional journal of the U.S. Air Force. (Vol. 4, No. 4, 4th Quarter, 2013)

Titled “Truth and Justice- Appropriate Mechanism of Accountability for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in Africa,” the article examines the debate and the dilemma of choice between truth commissions and tribunals. It evaluates the success of cases of both truth commissions and tribunals focusing on transitional justice goals of impartiality, accountability, reconciliation and deterrence and finds that neither truth commission nor trial was on its own adequate to hold violators of human rights accountable.

Nsia-Pepra recommends a hybrid model of truth commissions and tribunal as appropriate mechanism of accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Africa. He says, “An adequate model must consider that the operation of prosecution in tandem with truth commissions would satisfy both supporters of truth and trial leading to healing and reconciliation. Both truth and justice are not alternatives but integral parts of a holistic approach to reconciliation and peace. Together, both tribunal and truth commissions create a new paradigm for a society in transition from ravaged horrible past to peace to address systematic abuses of human rights. A true and lasting peace should comprise a mix of the truth, forgiveness and justice to bridge the gap between the tribunal and truth commissions.”