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Amnesty for War Crimes in Angola: Principled for a Day?

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In April 2012, Angola celebrated ten years of a peace deal which contained an amnesty law. The Angolan government has over the past ten years demonstrated to be unwilling to prosecute perpetrators of war crimes. Potential war criminals currently (still) take important positions in the Angolan government or live as well known public figures in- and outside Angola. The author analyses that especially a lack of domestic interest in doing justice and third countries’ interests in Angola’s oil reserves might serve as an explanation why up to this moment no justice has been done. The Angolan case illustrates how international actors may react by taking a ‘one-day principled position’ when it comes to calling for prosecution. Potentially hampering fragile peace negotiations, critique on the blanket nature of the amnesty is before and immediately after the peace process voiced, not to be repeated anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

Affiliations: 1: Assistant professor in criminology, VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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