Transitional justice under debate on 12 local radio stations in Mali

Workshop to launch the project  “Media and transitional justice in Mali”

From 9 to 12 September 2014

Selected due to their location in areas that were particularly hard it by the conflict in Mali, journalists from 12 local radio stations in Mali, especially those from the north will participate in a training session in presentation techniques for debates on the sensitive issue of transitional justice. Over four days, thanks to a project implemented by the Panos Institute West Africa, they will become familiar with this new theme and the techniques for the presentation of critical debates on the issue.

After a dark period in its history following the rebellion of Islamist groups in the north, marked by abuses and violations of all kinds, since its presidential elections Mali has been undergoing a phase of transition with a stated will to consider the harms done and bring reconciliation to the people of Mali. However, national reconciliation assumes that justice will be served for victims of human rights violations during the most acute phase of the conflict.

To do this, Mali must apply a system of transitional justice that consists of “judicial and non-judicial measures, put in place to redress the consequences of human rights violations”, similar to the experiences of other African countries such as post-apartheid South Africa; Sierra-Leone, after the civil war; and Togo and Ivory Coast, after its electoral troubles.

However, the process for the implement transitional justice remains unclear at the decision-making level. At the level of ordinary citizens, the notion is itself rarely known of or understood or known of and may be rejected in favour of blind revenge, even if a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission is established.

The media are thus decisive actors, simultaneously a) enabling citizens to understand what transitional justice is; b) contributing to better recognition of victims’ rights and raising their voices, as well as those working to advocate for transitional justice; c) to accelerate its implementation by the authorities, through the demands for transitional justice made by different civil society organisations. However, the media, like citizens, lack the skills to facilitate opening debates on this issue, and thus the need exists to build their capacities on the issue (transitional justice) as well as on techniques to host debates and produce magazines to open and deepen discussion on the issue.

The morning of the first day will be devoted to the official launch of the project in the presence of the authorities and actors interested in these issues. Following this will be a two-day themed part and a technical part devoted to the presentation of debates.

12 journalists from local radio stations, including 4 from the Bamako district and 8 from Kidal, Gao, Tombouctou and Mopti will be trained on the theme and on how to prepare and organise debates.

A debates production campaign will be organised over 3 months and each radio station will produce 3 debates or 36 productions in total.

This project is funded by Trust Africa and also aims to train media mainstream journalists in investigative journalism, as well as training civil society organisations in social media.

Libasse HANE, tel: 77 545 42 97