Bujumbura (Burundi), 7 to 9 November 2005
Organized jointly by the Parliament of Burundi,
the Inter-Parliamentary Union and
the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)

While post-conflict transitions are often characterized by a wide array of economic, social and political challenges, one challenge in particular appears to have an unrivalled impact on the success or failure of reconciliation: How does a nation deal with a legacy of extensive human rights abuse, and thus with the moral, legal and political dilemmas most commonly associated with post-conflict transitions.

The seminar entitled The role of parliaments in the national reconciliation process in Africa made it possible for parliamentarians of African countries to exchange views on this subject. It fostered a better understanding of the role of parliaments in seeing through the reconciliation process, in particular through the use of transitional justice mechanisms, such as truth commissions and similar bodies, reparation programmes, justice reforms and trials.


Conclusions (PDF)
List of participants (PDF)
Convocation (PDF)
Registration form (PDF)
IPU/International IDEA handbook entitled Making reconciliation work: The role of parliaments
International IDEA (Official web Site)

Updated on 4 November 2005   
MONDAY, 7 November
8 - 10 a.m.Registration of participants and distribution of documents
10 - 10.30 a.m.Inaugural session
  • Mr. Anders B. Johnsson, Secretary General of the IPU
  • Mr. Goran Fejic, Head of Programme, Democracy Building and Conflict Management, International IDEA
  • Ms. Immaculée Nahayo, President of the National Assembly of Burundi
10.30 - 10.45 a.m.Procedural matters: Election of the President and Rapporteur of the Seminar, adoption of the agenda and the rules of procedure
10.45 - 11 a.m.Coffee break
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.Session I: The need to address the scars of the past
  • Reconciliation as a goal and a process, Mr. Goran Fejic
2.30 - 4 p.m.Session II: Parliament in the aftermath of conflict
  • The relationship between national parliaments and locally elected bodies, Mr. Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, Senator and former President of Burundi
  • Cooperation between parliament, civil society and the media in the promotion of reconciliation, Mr. Louis-Marie Nindorera, Global Rights, Burundi Programme Director
4 - 4.15 p.m.Coffee break
4.15 - 5.30 p.m.Continuation of Session II
6 p.m.Reception

TUESDAY, 8 November
9.30 - 11 a.m.Session III: Women and gender in post-conflict situations
  • Ensuring women's involvement in the full reconciliation process, Ms. Megan Bastick, Special Programmes Coordinator, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)
11 - 11.15 a.m.Coffee break
11.15 a.m. - 1 p.m.Session IV: Truth and Reconciliation Commissions
  • The role of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in the struggle against impunity: Presenting a realistic vision of what they can achieve, Mr. Jean-Marie Ngendahayo, Member of the National Assembly, Burundi
  • The importance of an inclusive and consultative approach to commissioner selection, and of ensuring follow-up to commission recommendations, Ms. H.C. Mgabadeli, Member of the National Assembly, South Africa
2.30 - 4 p.m.Session V: Trials
  • The functioning of the gacaca system and the experiences gained thus far, Mr. Augustin Iyamuremye, Senator, Rwanda, Vice-President of the Committee on Political Affairs and Good Governance
  • The International Criminal Court or the creation of hybrid national-international courts as an alternative, Judge Mandiaye Niang, Special Assistant to the Registrar at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)
4 - 4.15 p.m.Coffee break
4.15 - 6 p.m.Session VI: Justice versus amnesty
  • Amnesties as a last resort? Judge Mandiaye Niang
  • The issue of amnesties revisited: What has been their long term effect?, Ms. Hope Kivengere, Member of the Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies

WEDNESDAY, 9 November
9.30 - 11 a.m.Session VII: Reparations
  • Providing reparation: The Moroccan experience, Mr. Belhaj Dermoumi, Member of the House of councillors, Morocco
  • The challenge of determining appropriate compensation, Ms. Hope Kivengere
11 - 11.15 a.m.Coffee break
11.15 a.m. - 1 p.m.Session VIII: Institutional reforms
  • Ensuring an effective justice system, Mr. Didage Kiganahe, Second Vice-President of the National Assembly, Burundi, former Minister of Justice
  • Security sector reform and parliamentary oversight, Mr. Norbert Mao, Member of Parliament, Uganda, Chairman of the AMANI Forum - The Great Lakes Parliamentary Forum on Peace
2.30 - 4 p.m.Session IX: International initiatives in support of reconciliation
  • What role for the international community? Mr. Goran Fejic
  • The example of the AMANI Forum - The Great Lakes Parliamentary Forum on Peace, Mr. Norbert Mao
4 - 4.15 p.m.Coffee break
4.15 - 6 p.m.Concluding session
  • Summing-up by the Rapporteur
  • Mr. Goran Fejic
  • Mr. Gervais Rufyikiri, President of the Senate, Burundi
6 p.m.Reception

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