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Africa / Reconciliation - 2002-04-09

As some African countries grapple with the issue of transition from war to reconciliation, former South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu says African countries in transition should strike a balance between what he called retributive justice and restorative justice. Archbishop Tutu says African countries should follow the great African traditional jurisprudence, which he says is aimed not so much at punishing the offender, but healing both the offender and the victim. Archbishop Tutu chaired the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission from 1995 to 1998. He says many people expected black and white South Africans to be killing each other after the end of apartheid. But he says if reconciliation could happen in South Africa, it can happen anywhere. Archbishop Tutu was in Washington, DC to speak at the first anniversary of the establishment of the International Center for Transitional Justice.