“Beyond narrow interests – justice and accountability in East Africa”, Arusha, November 2018
The investigation and prosecution of complex, transnational and international crimes continues to be regularly undermined by parochial political interests and a narrow focus on crimes and perpetrators within national borders. What can be done to overcome myopic interests and insular approaches in order to further accountability for international and transnational organised crime? To address this question, the Wayamo Foundation and Africa Group for Justice and Accountability hosted a one-day symposium in Arusha, Tanzania.
The symposium, entitled “Beyond Narrow Interests –Justice and Accountability in East Africa”, was held on 27 November 2018 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel. Guest speakers sought to identify ways to shift accountability efforts away from narrow political interests and approaches to accountability. Topics explored included linkages between transnational organised crimes and international crimes, responses to emerging transnational criminality, as well as the role and impact of regional and domestic justice mechanisms in the fight against impunity.
The day’s proceedings were formally opened by a trio of dignitaries, made up of Tanzanian DPP, Biswalo Mganga, Rwandan Prosecutor-General, Jean-Bosco Mutangana, and Former Chief Justice of Tanzania and AGJA member, Mohamed Chande Othman. This traditional start was followed by a free-flowing conversation between Wayamo moderator Joseph Roberts-Mensah and two special guests, Ugandan and Kenyan DPPs, Mike Chibita and Noordin Haji respectively, who talked frankly about “The trials and tribulations of prosecuting in Uganda and Kenya”.
Other topics covered by the three panels during the morning and afternoon sessions were “Combating transnational organised crime and terrorism”, “Distributing justice: international, regional and domestic justice mechanisms” and “Judicial co-operation and the links between international criminal justice and transnational organised crime”. The panellists were drawn from Africa and around the world, and included: Nigerian prosecutor, Chika Nnanna; Kenyan Deputy DPP, Dorcas Oduor: Ugandans, Jane Okuo Kajuga, Senior Assistant DPP, and Nicholas Opiyo, human rights lawyer; former Ambassadors, Tuvako Manongi and Stephen Rapp; the President of the East African Court of Justice, Emmanuel Ugirashebuja; the ICC’s Philipp Ambach and William Rosato; Matevz Pezdirc from Eurojust in The Hague; and roving UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) Regional Advisor for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing in Central Africa, Gary Hyde.