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“For example, there were particular massacres in Sierra Leone during which many people died or were mutilated, and scores more were emotionally scarred,” says Moore. “In many cases, years later the families of victims continue living and working alongside the families of perpetrators. How do they survive? How do they move on?”

To illustrate her premise, in the book’s final section, Moore focuses on three African countries, using them to spotlight the legal and social issues she explores. They are Uganda, Sierra Leone and Burundi, each of which has suffered extreme unrest in recent years.

For this last section, especially, she draws on her personal experience working with refugees. During her time with the United Nations, she worked with Sierra Leonean refugees, and in 2010, returned with her 17-year old daughter, Kyra, to visit with government officials and leaders of nongovernmental organizations. During her Ful- bright year in Tanzania, she worked with Burundian refugees, and during a March 2010 visit, she spent time in Burundi and Uganda, deepening her knowledge about international humanitarian law, criminal law, human rights law and com- munity-level reconciliation work.

“These studies will illustrate how important human rights education is in each country,” says Moore.


“In addition to hosting refugees from Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, the Sudan, Chad and Somalia, Uganda has ex- perienced more than 20 years of civil conflict between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan armed forces,” says Moore. “Five leaders of the LRA have been indicted in the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and while none are yet in custody, their prospective trials have resulted in a fascinating and sometimes fraught debate within Ugandan civil society re- garding whether and how international prosecutions deepen conflict, contribute to its resolution, or both.”

Sierra Leone

“Sierra Leone in West Africa has largely emerged from a 15-year civil war with fundamental links to the Liberian civil conflict. With some similarities to Uganda, the experience of Sierra Leone may suggest that the apparent opposition between justice and peace is a creative tension and not a zero-sum game.

“Sierra Leone’s nuanced peace accord has allowed for amnesty for some combatants, while insisting upon accountability for the commanders of rebel and pro-government forces alike, as well as political leaders, such as Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, for his systemic or- chestration of war crimes by the Revolutionary United Front insurgency in Sierra Leone,” says Moore.


“Burundi, is a Central African country in the process of national reconciliation. Throughout its 15-year civil war, Rwanda’s southern neighbor has not often received high-profile media attention. Other than a regional peace-keeping mission, the international community has mounted no large-scale military, economic or prosecutorial interventions.

“My exploration of Burundian efforts at national reconciliation is perhaps a fitting finale to this text, because it focuses our lens on the ways in which international law may be understood and creatively utilized by individual members of national communities at the grassroots level,” says Moore.

“While this text will strive to ground theory in practice, it will not shy away from the hopeful dimensions of international law. Through a deeper examination of the visionary aspects of international law, we may better judge which of these goals are most worthy of implementation and amenable to it,” she says.

Uganda Sierra Leone Burundi


Burundian and Somali women gather to attend a March 2010 peace conference in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi.

Professor Moore and her daughter, Kyra Ellis-Moore, with the staff of the Centre for Development and Peace Education in Sierra Leone.

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