ATJLF Commits $2.68 Million Fund To Strengthen Transitional Justice Initiatives In West Africa

According to ATJLF, $1.555 million will be allocated to 15 civil society organisations in Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Mali, Northeast Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and The Gambia.

The Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund (ATJLF), a public charity, has announced a substantial commitment of $2.68 million in grants and legacy projects to support transitional justice efforts across six West African countries.

According to ATJLF, $1,555,000 will be allocated to 15 civil society organisations in Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Mali, Northeast Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and The Gambia. This funding is intended to advance transitional justice initiatives, strengthen the capacity of community-based partners, and prevent the recurrence of gross human rights violations.

In addition to this, “the sum of $750,000 has been earmarked for a set of legacy-worthy projects that include organisational capacity building support for ATJLF grantees, and an additional $375,000 has been set aside for collaboration with regional and continental bodies,” the fund said in a statement on Wednesday.

ATJLF, which awarded its first set of grants in February 2020, is set to conclude its operations by the end of 2026. Established in 2019 to support initiatives that address the aftermath of conflicts and human rights abuses in Africa, the Fund has been instrumental in advancing transitional justice across the continent

“In Guinea, the Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Northeastern Nigeria, ATJLF has supported interventions that put victims and survivors at the forefront of truth-seeking, reconciliation, and new forms of reparations at community levels,” the statement said. 

In Liberia, the fund’s support has been pivotal in laying the groundwork for a War Crimes Court and ensuring accountability for human rights violations. In The Gambia, ATJLF-funded initiatives have led to the establishment of a Hybrid Court, blending domestic and international legal frameworks to address human rights violations. It also facilitated the passing of the Victims Reparations Bill into law in Sierra Leone. 

In 2020, HumAngle, along with 24 other African organisations, received grants from the Fund to advance transitional justice in the West African region. With the backing, HumAngle published scores of stories focusing on the issues of displacement, reintegration, human rights violations, accountability, and trauma in northeastern Nigeria against the backdrop of the ongoing Boko Haram conflict. The media organisation also built the capacity of displaced women under the umbrella of the Knifar organisation to document and draw attention to their experiences.

The investment in these West African countries is part of ATJLF’s latest $2.68 million commitment for sub-grants and legacy projects. The funding aims to enhance the capacity of local partners to implement justice initiatives that are contextually relevant and sustainable. By prioritising interventions that align with the African Union Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP), ATJLF ensures that these initiatives are grounded in established frameworks that promote accountability, reconciliation, and the prevention of future human rights violations.

The expected outcomes of this funding are manifold. First, it will empower local communities and organisations to lead in addressing past injustices and promoting healing and reconciliation. Substantial financial and technical support provided through two-year grants will enable these organisations to develop and implement more effective and impactful programs. Moreover, the focus on building the capacity of community-based partners will ensure that these efforts are sustainable, with the potential to create lasting change in the region. 

Looking ahead, ATJLF aims to deepen its collaboration with key regional and continental bodies, including the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). By working closely with these organisations, ATJLF seeks to ensure that its funded initiatives are not only impactful at the community level but also integrated into broader regional strategies that promote peace, justice, and reconciliation.

“In this Legacy Phase, ATJLF made the decision to support fewer partners with more substantial financial and technical support through two-year grants, as opposed to smaller one-year grants in previous funding cycles,” the statement said. “This is designed to deepen ATJLF’s commitment, maximise the prospect to amplify impact, and curate organisational strengthening as a key component of sustaining the important quest for transitional justice in the longer term.”

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