In the framework of the Italian funded Pro-Electoral Integrity Project, financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation through the Italian – African Peace Facility (IAPF) instrument, ECES supported the African Union Commission in the organisation of the 6th African Forum on Transitional Justice held in Lomé from 7th to 9th September 2022.
The Forum was chaired by the Togolese Minister for Human Rights Mr Triuma and the President of the National Reconciliation Commission (HCRRUN) and Ombudsperson of Togo Mrs Awa Nana-Daboya.
ECES provided technical and logistical support and is proud to have contributed to what was considered as a successful event by all participants.
The Forum is an annual multi-stakeholder platform aimed at reviewing the state of Transitional Justice (TJ) in Africa with the goal of strengthening TJ mechanisms and practices. At the heart of this review is the identification of emerging issues that present new opportunities for transitional justice theory, practice and policy interventions. The 2022 edition of the forum was an opportunity to address the interconnected concerns of development and justice as the majority of armed conflicts today occur in countries with low levels of development. Poverty, inequality, and underdevelopment may not in themselves cause armed conflict and human rights abuses, but they can be contributing or enabling factors. Moreover, armed conflict and authoritarianism, as well as disputed and violently contested electoral processes, and the humanitarian disasters and massive human rights abuses that may accompany them, can have an immensely negative and long-lasting impact on development. As a result, transitional justice is often pursued in a context of severely affected and underdeveloped economic and social institutions, widespread scarcity of resources – which strains social cohesion within and across social groups. Enhancing or reconstructing social cohesion is often mentioned as one of the aims of transitional justice in post-conflict settings. Consequently, the AU theme also offers an opportunity to bring to the fore the link between transitional justice and social cohesion and concretize the possible effects.
ECES team used this occasion to meet with the Head of the European Delegation in Lomé, Ambassador Joaquin Tasso de Vilallonga, and Anne-Charlotte Sallmann, in charge of Governance and Human Rights Portfolio.
ECES’ experts held a meeting with the Italian Ambassador to Ghana and Togo Ambassador Daniela D’Orlandi to exchange about this topic and other matters of common interest and took this opportunity to thank Italy for its important support from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Furthermore, a series of meetings were set up with electoral stakeholders and interested parties (the German Embassy, the CENI, the Commission Nationale des Droits de l’Homme, the ONG CACIT, the HCRRUN).
The objective was to have a first sense of the electoral environment and gather information about the political and electoral context and assess challenges and needs and potential avenues for intervention, on the run-up for the next regional elections which will be held in 2023.
ECES team was led by Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi, Vice President of ECES’ Strategic & Advisory Committee, Hamza Fassi-Fihri, Project Coordinator and Alessio Beltrami, Finance, Communication, and Project Officer.