This last year has been a trying time for international justice. Efforts to hold the perpetrators of international and transnational organised crimes to account have been obstructed and, at times, thwarted. Nevertheless, at the Wayamo Foundation, we have remained – and continue to remain – firmly committed to delivering on our mandate, by encouraging the investigation and prosecution of international crimes at all levels, and doing what we can to bend the arc of history towards justice.
We are proud of our many achievements over the course of 2018 but, inevitably, there are some that deserve special mention.
Wayamo has been engaged in capacity building efforts in East Africa for the better part of a decade. Over that time, we have built trust among key local actors and stakeholders. In 2018, our efforts culminated in the creation of the Network of Directors of Public Prosecutions and Criminal Investigations in the East African Region, whose founding members are Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. What makes this network unique and sets it apart from all other initiatives in the region is that it brings together the highest-level investigators and prosecutors from the member states, and addresses both international and transnational organised crimes as well as the linkages between them.
In line with their longstanding commitment to fostering constructive engagement and compromise, Wayamo and its partners in the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA) held a public conference in Cape Town in August 2018. Entitled “South Africa and International Justice – Charting the Way Forward”, this conference’s timeliness and importance was highlighted by the participation of South African Minister of Justice, Michael Masutha, eminent AGJA members, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, Navi Pillay and Richard Goldstone, and the Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), James Stewart. Interestingly, calls to leave the Court have since dissipated to a marked degree.
Needless to say, none of what we do would be possible without the generous support of our donors, partners and networks around the world. We should like to thank them again for their ongoing commitment to and trust in our work.
The road ahead in 2019 will not be easy. The realm of international justice is facing scrutiny and, in some instances, outright attack. Even so, we at Wayamo will strive to play our part in galvanising and achieving justice and accountability for international and transnational crimes, whenever and wherever the opportunity arises.
Thank you for your support and commitment to our shared mission. Happy New Year!
Bettina Ambach, Director.
Mark Kersten, Deputy Director.