CSVR | CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF VIOLENCE AND RECONCILIATION

Truth commissions in Africa are increasingly addressing conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV), gender-based violence and gender inequality in their mandates, operations and recommendations. This database of country case studies provides summaries of the nature of the conflict and gendered violations in each African context, the societal factors that enabled CRSV, and the nature of the transition that resulted in the establishment of a truth commission. It then goes into detail about the provisions for CRSV made in each truth commission’s mandate, operations, final report and recommendations, as well as the extent to which the recommendations have been implemented.

The 2019 African Union Transitional Justice Policy states, “Given the gendered dimension of violence, criminal investigations and national and local processes for truth and reconciliation should give particular attention to sexual and gender-based violence as well as to patterns of gender inequality in the society that enable gender-based violence.” The country case studies in this database show the progress made in this regard and the long way left to go.

The database was created as part of the project “Sexual Violence and Truth: The Role of Truth Commissions in Addressing Conflict-related Sexual Violence in Africa and Latin America,” implemented by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation in partnership with the Chr. Michelsen Institute (Norway) and the Overseas Development Institute (UK). It was updated in 2023.

Burundi Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2014-present)

Burundi Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2014-present)

Interethnic conflicts were ongoing in Burundi from its independence from Belgium in 1962 until the signing of various peace agreements in 2008. This constant conflict was punctuated by sporadic but interconnected civil wars in 1965, 1972, 1988 and 1991, in addition to multiple coups (Ngaruko & Nkurunziza, 2005). The largest civil war, which lasted from ...
Central African Republic Truth, Justice, Reparation and Reconciliation Commission (2021-present)

Central African Republic Truth, Justice, Reparation and Reconciliation Commission (2021-present)

Since 2012, the Central African Republic (CAR) has been embroiled in a civil war between the government and rebel groups, specifically the coalition of rebel militias known as the Séléka and Anti-balaka. This civil war has seen the targeting of civilians, with sexual violence used as a tactic of war and considered to be performed ...
Chad Commission of Inquiry into the Crimes and Misappropriations Committed by Ex-President Habré, His Accomplices and/or Accessories (1990-1992)

Chad Commission of Inquiry into the Crimes and Misappropriations Committed by Ex-President Habré, His Accomplices and/or Accessories (1990-1992)

The Commission of Inquiry into the Crimes and Misappropriations Committed by Ex-President Habré, His Accomplices and/or Accessories (1990-1992) was established by President Idriss Déby Itno under Decree No. 014/P.CE/CJ to investigate former President Hissène Habré and his associates ...
Commission of Inquiry into the Disappearances of People in Uganda since January 25, 1971 (1974-1975)

Commission of Inquiry into the Disappearances of People in Uganda since January 25, 1971 (1974-1975)

On 30 June 1974, President Idi Amin passed Presidential Legal Notice No. 2., the Commission of Inquiry Act (Charter, 1974), to establish the Commission of Inquiry into the Disappearances of People in Uganda since January 25, 1971. It was alleged that a number of Ugandan citizens had disappeared in Uganda after the military coup that ...
Côte d’Ivoire Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2011-2014)

Côte d’Ivoire Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2011-2014)

The conflict in Côte d’Ivoire lasted from 2002 to 2011. During this period, the country essentially became divided in two: a largely Muslim north that supported one presidential candidate, Alassane Ouattara, and a largely Christian south in support of another, Laurent Gbagbo (Gumede, 2020). After over a decade of violence, with significant loss of life ...
Democratic Republic of the Congo Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2003-2007)

Democratic Republic of the Congo Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2003-2007)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) experienced political instability, armed conflict and humanitarian crises from its independence from Belgian colonial rule in 1960 to its political transition in 2006. Political power struggles and coups d’état resulted in periods of conflict escalation known as the Congo Wars, occurring in 1996 and again in 1998 (Lwanzo ...
Gambia Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (2017-2021)

Gambia Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (2017-2021)

The Gambian National Assembly passed the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Act on 13 December 2017 and the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) was established on 13 January 2018. The commission was mandated to investigate and establish an impartial historical record of the human rights violations committed from July 1994 to January 2017 under former ...
Ghana National Reconciliation Commission (2002-2004)

Ghana National Reconciliation Commission (2002-2004)

The National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) was created to promote national reconciliation among Ghanaians by establishing a record of past violations and making recommendations for redress of victims and institutional reforms (NRCA, 2002, p. 2). Established by the National Reconciliation Commission Act of 2002, the commission operated from 14 January 2003 to 14 October 2004 with ...
Kenya Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (2008-2013)

Kenya Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (2008-2013)

The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) was established in the wake of the 2007-2008 post-election violence in Kenya, with the mandate to investigate gross violations of human rights and economic rights over the period of 1963 to 2008. The commission operated from 2008 to 2013, its investigations spanning the colonial era and the independence ...
Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2005-2009)

Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2005-2009)

On 18 April 2003, former President and leader of the National Patriotic Front (NPF) of Liberia Charles Taylor and two rebel groups – Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL) – signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). This agreement signalled the end of a 14-year conflict that ...
Mauritius Truth and Justice Commission (2009-2011)

Mauritius Truth and Justice Commission (2009-2011)

On 1 February 2009, the Mauritius Truth and Justice Commission (TJC) was established by then President Sir Anerood Jugnauth. Mandated to operate for two years, with the possibility of a six-month extension, the commission was tasked to conduct an inquiry into the legacy of slavery and indentured labour abuses and its impact on contemporary Mauritius ...
Morocco Equity and Reconciliation Commission (2004-2005)

Morocco Equity and Reconciliation Commission (2004-2005)

In 1999, following the death of Moroccan President King Hassan II, his successor Mohammed VI created the Independent Arbitration Commission (IAC) as a mechanism for reparations to compensate victims/survivors of past political abuses, specific to arbitrary detention and forced disappearances. However, the IAC was largely criticised by victims/survivors and their relatives for not fully committing ...
Nigeria Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (1999-2002)

Nigeria Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (1999-2002)

The Nigerian Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission – later named the Judicial Commission for the Investigation of Human Rights Violations, and commonly known as the Oputa Panel after its head Chukwudifu Oputa – was inaugurated on 14 June 1999 by then President Olusegun Obasanjo and operated until 2001. The commission was mandated to investigate the ...
Seychelles Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission (2019-2022)

Seychelles Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission (2019-2022)

The Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission (TRNUC) was established by the Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission Act of 2018 under then President Danny Faure. The commission, which ran from 2018 to 2022, was mandated to investigate and create an accurate public record of human rights abuses related to the 1977 coup d’état and ...
Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2002-2004)

Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2002-2004)

From 1991 to 2002, a civil war raged between pro-government forces and rebel groups in Sierra Leone. Conflict-related sexual violence (CSVR) was pervasive during the war. Sierra Leonean women and girls were subjected to widespread and systematic sexual violence perpetrated by rebel groups and, to a lesser extent, pro-government and peacekeeping forces (HRW, 2003). From ...
South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission (1996-2002)

South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission (1996-2002)

Following a political stalemate in the 1980s and 1990s, which had seen growing unrest and ungovernability in South Africa, the National Party government, the African National Congress (ANC), the Inkatha Freedom Party and other political groups entered into negotiations to end apartheid and establish a democracy ...
Togo Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (2009-2012)

Togo Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (2009-2012)

For nearly five decades, Togo experienced an internal conflict that was characterised by clashes between political factions, state security forces and various other organisations. From 1958 to 2005, there were continuous attacks by these armed groups on civilians, communities, chiefs and other leaders (CVJR, 2012, p. 227), beginning with the rule of Sylvanus Olympico and ...
Tunisia Truth and Dignity Commission (2014-2019)

Tunisia Truth and Dignity Commission (2014-2019)

Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission (Instance Vérité et Dignité, or IVD) was formed on 17 December 2013. The commission was mandated to investigate gross violations of human rights from 1955 to the official start of its proceedings. This timeline included the authoritarian regimes of former prime ministers Habib Bourguiba (1957-1987) and Zine El Abidine Ben ...
Uganda Commission of Inquiry into Violations of Human Rights (1986)

Uganda Commission of Inquiry into Violations of Human Rights (1986)

Following the 1986 coup by the National Resistance Army (NRA), the group’s leader Yoweri Kaguta Museveni became president of Uganda. Museveni established the Commission of Inquiry into Violations of Human Rights (CIVHR) as his first action to address 24 years of gross human rights violations inflicted on Ugandan people by past regimes. The Commission of ...
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