Study tour of the Burundian Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Addressing a country’s past is one of the most delicate tasks with which a person can be entrusted. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Burundi in December 2014, has the important task of revisiting Burundi’s traumatic history so that it can become a starting point for a long process of reconciliation. According to its establishing Act, the TRC has a mandate to search for and establish the truth about the crimes committed in Burundi and to propose adequate measures of justice and reparations. The work of the Burundi TRC will cover a long period from 1962, the date of independence, to 2008, when the last rebel movement accepted the ceasefire conditions.
It is from this perspective that a study visit for Burundi TRC members was envisioned and planned by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in partnership with the American Friends Service Committee. South Africa has been targeted as the first country to visit because of the relative success of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission under the leadership of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. This has given Burundi the continuous desire to learn from the South African experience.