Transitional Justice Options for Zimbabwe: A Guide to Key Concepts

"Post-conflict justice involves a delicate balance between peace, justice and reconciliation. Managing these issues is difficult and may take a very long time, especially within a highly divisive political context such as that of Zimbabwe. The situation is especially complex where addressing victims’ needs involves confronting political actors who are directly or indirectly responsible for past atrocities. Despite the tensions inherent in balancing competing goals, the failure to engage past atrocities can prevent citizens from feeling willing (or able) to build a truly reconciled society. Restoring peace and security in the aftermath of conflict requires a long-term commitment, but experience has shown that it is achievable if this commitment is based on careful planning and effective implementation of the kinds of approaches outlined in this document. Transitional justice does not have to be prescriptive: equipped with an understanding of the challenges that come with each mechanism, Zimbabweans can choose from those listed here and select a set of tools that has the potential to work in their context."