Forgiveness in the aftermath of atrocities: the case of north Uganda

“The majority of the perpetrators did not do that on their own volition. […] We never had the LRA run adverts, there was no recruitment center! The bulk of the forces of the LRA were forcefully abducted. For these victims, the responsibility for their crimes doesn’t lay with the abductees, it lays with the government who failed to protect their children.”

Forgiveness has played a vital role in low-level post-conflict reconciliation and peacebuilding in northern Uganda. This is evident from a research report titled “Forgiveness: Unveiling an Asset for Peacebuilding”. Mr Stephen Oola works as Programme Manager Conflict, Transitional Justice and Governance at the Refugee Law Project of Makerere University. He explains some of their most important findings, and reflects on the nature, power and limitations of forgiveness.

The interview was recorded in Kampala on December 3, 2015 at the office of the Refugee Law Project