This article analyses how state and non-state actors have tried to address the human rights violations and war crimes committed during the civil war in Mozambique (1976–92). While the political elite opted for amnesty laws, and urban civil society organisations remained largely on the side-lines, in rural areas, war survivors and the post-war generations have been actively engaged in dealing with the violent past through practices commonly referred to as local justice and healing. This analysis is based on parliamentary debates, interviews with state and non-state agents, and longitudinal field data from the rural areas of Gorongosa. It argues that while the state failed to institute accountability practices for wartime human rights violations, the ongoing vitality of local cultural practices of justice and healing have been crucial to attain accountability for certain serious wartime violations.

Elin Skaar

Senior Researcher, Coordinator: Rights and Legal Institutions

Appears in:

Special Issue: "Drivers of Justice"
Skaar, Elin and Astri Suhrke

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