Tripoli, 19 September 2013:
Locals in Sebha and Brak have welcomed a weekend of transitional justice workshops held by international NGO No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) in the south of the country.
“One of the main things that came out of the workshops was that people in the south feel a bit neglected,” programme officer for NPWJ Rhiannon Smith told the Libya Herald. “They wanted to show the rest of Libya that they can start their own initiatives and set up a network of civil society organisations to promote transitional justice and be an example for Libya.”
NPWJ set up the workshops, which aimed to raise awareness of the concept of transitional justice and accountability, in response to a request from Libyan NGO Libya Ahrar. NPWJ arranged the trainers, which included a Libyan lawyer, and Libya Ahrar organised logistics and participants.
The first day attracted 20 people but word soon spread and on the second day there were 60. The workshops started a debate about what local people could usefully do to promote transitional justice and accountability, to see how this could then help achieve reconciliation.
Some of the recommendations participants from Brak came up with included strengthening the culture of transitional justice among tribal and religious leaders by organising custom-designed workshops, and supporting the role of women in spreading ideas and concepts.
Sebha attendees felt it was important to integrate victims and victims’ associations in the dialogue, as well exploiting modern means of communication, such as Facebook and Twitter, to spread ideas and information.
“With all its problems, the south could offer a solution in many ways, if it can find a way to deal with issues which will benefit the whole of Libya,” Smith said.
NPWJ, which campaigns for the protection and promotion of human rights, democracy, the Rule of Law and international justice, works directly with Libyan NGOs and government ministries in Libya. [/restrict]