n African Human Rights Law Journal - Providing reparations in Uganda : substantive recommendations for implementing reparations in the aftermath of the conflicts that occurred over the last few decades

Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



Dealing with past human rights violations has become a common feature of societies that emerge from an atrocious past characterised by massive contraventions of human rights. Establishing a comprehensive version of the past is progressively being seen as vital, including dealing with issues of justice, truth, reconciliation, reparations and guarantees of nonrepetition. The article examines the issue of reparations in the context of Uganda. It considers the right to reparations in international law. Through an analysis of international law, it is argued that the responsibility for the provision of reparations rests on the state of Uganda, even if the state was not directly responsible for the atrocities committed, although other actors may, and possibly should, assist in the provision of reparations, including the United Kingdom as the former colonial power. The article examines what reparations are, the types of reparations that can be provided, and the types of reparations that ought to be provided to the many victims in Uganda. The article examines the component parts of reparations and makes recommendations on the types of reparations that ought to be given to victims and the manner in which such a programme ought to be delivered. The violations that occurred in Uganda over a long period are examined briefly to provide a context to the discussion on the issues relating to reparations. The article studies urgent or interim reparations, collective and individual, symbolic and material types of reparations as well as the various types of reparations that could be provided in Uganda, looking at other countries to see what has been done elsewhere. The article recommends that urgent or interim reparations are paid in the short term, a truth-seeking mechanism provides recommendations on reparations in the medium term, and a full and comprehensive reparations process, instituted with a diverse and wide set of parameters, is established in the medium to long term. A variety of other recommendations are made throughout the article.

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