Adamawa State government has expressed readiness to support transitional justice in its drive to ensure an end to the decade long Boko Haram insurgency.
Making the disclosure during a two day training for media practitioners on transitional justice and reconciliation in the north east, the parmanent secretary ministry of reconstruction, rehabilitation, reintegration and humanitarian services in Adamawa State, Aishatu Bibi Umar Rilwanu noted that in order to achieve a lasting peace, communities affected by Boko Haram insurgency must embrace transitional justice.
The two day workshop was organized by the the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and European Union.
Transitional justice is a process which responds to massive human rights violations through judicial redress, political reforms and other measures in order to prevent the recurrence of the scourge in communities that recorded massive human rights violations.
Rilwanu thanked the NHRC for assembling media professionals in Adamawa State with the purpose of addressing the aftermath of the Boko Haram insurgency, adding that such move was in tandem with the state government’s drive to reintegrate the de-radicalised ex-combatants back into their communities for a lasting peace to prevail.
She however noted that the most important move is to ensure reconciliation between the victims and the perpetrators of the human rights abuses noting that without such vital move, reintegration may be difficult to achieve.
In his remark, the parmanent secretary ministry of justice and solicitor general of Adamawa State, Samuel Yaumande noted that transitional justice offers window of opportunities for reconciliation.
He said the process has two components, that is, the judicial and non judicial components noting however that the NHRC has chosen the non judicial component. He noted that regardless of the option adopted, communities must own and drive the process for optimal results adding that the victims of such attacks must be carried along.
Also speaking, the executive secretary NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, thanked Adamawa State government for its overwhelming support for the project aimed at bringing both the victim and the oppressor to a round table for amicable resolution and entrenchment of enduring peace.
Ojukwu who was represented by Hilary Ogbonna, senior human rights adviser, NHRC, noted that the process of ensuring resolution of the Boko Haram imbroglio involved community mobilization, reconciliation and reconstruction which transitional justice offer.
He noted that looking at the huge technical, material and monetary requirements needed to carry out comprehensive judicial processes, the transitional judicial option becomes necessary due to the fact that it is a better way of fast tracking reconciliation and reintegration especially considering that over 350,000 people have been killed and more that two million people have been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.
Ogbonna urged the media to be proactive in disseminating healthy stories about the transitional justice adding such process was instrumental to the peace recorded in South Africa after the end of the apartheid regime and the reconciliation achieved in Rwanda after the genocide.
He added that embracing the transitional justice will fast track the return of IDPs back to their ancestral land and will also ensure that ex-combatants are meted out the appropriate sanctions such as reparations and affirmative actions.
Ogbonna urged journalists to use their vantage positions to ensure that the project made its desired impact for a lasting peace to prevail in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States the three frontline states afflicted by Boko Haram insurgency.