On 4 March 2016, in Kayanza in the country’s north, Burundi’s President officially launched the operational phase of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and its popular awareness-raising campaign. Before a packed conference hall composed of the highest levels of government, senior party officials, ambassadors, and other invitees, the President – addressing his compatriots predominantly in his native Kirundi – invited all Burundians to participate in the process, orating the adage, there is no future without forgiveness.
In this Policy Brief we examine awareness-raising as a prelude to and form of victim participation at truth commissions, drawing upon preliminary findings from comparative research conducted in the communities of Bugendana, Itaba, Ruhororo, Kivyuka and Cibitoke. The findings offer timely insight into the importance of information as a basis for meaningful participation at Burundi’s TRC, with recommendations for the Commission, government and international community.
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