5 Traditional African Justice Systems More Humane than the Prison Industrial Complex

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Photo: lider-ci.org
Photo: lider-ci.org

Councils of Elders

Elders hold a special meaning in African communities. They are repositories of history and are considered to be wise altruists who hold the community together.

When conflict arises, elders are seen as respected counsel, trusted to subdue discord.

In Somaliland, the Guurti people are the reconciliation practitioners who maintain the peace.

Hajj Abdi Hussein Yusuf, one of the oldest well-known traditional elders in Somaliland says, “Somaliland kept its own traditional conflict management mechanisms in place and these values and norms [have not been] disrupted. These have ultimately enabled us to reconcile our people and have nurtured mutual trust and dialogue.”

Similarly the people of Ethiopia observe Madda, as their counsel of elders, and the people of Uganda, Akiriket.

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