Iraqis in SA to look at justice and reconciliation

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From 8-9 March, ACCORD will host a high level delegation of visiting parliamentarians from Iraq who are on a study tour of South Africa. The tour is being arranged by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq and the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation, which is based in Cape Town. The tour will take place from 6-11 March and will included meetings in Cape Town, Durban and Gauteng.

 The South African Foreign Ministry is supporting and facilitating the visit.


The visiting Iraqi delegation with Dr Meshack Radebe (Chairperson of Committees in the KwaZulu Natal Legislature), Ambassador Frank Mdlalose (Former Premier of KwaZulu Natal and former South African Ambassador to Egypt) and Dr Sipho Mlaba (Councilor of Mpumalanga, eThekwini Metro Council).


The Honourable Sbu Ndebele, Premier of KwaZulu Natal, Sheik Humam Hammoudi (Chief of the Constitutional Drafting Commission), Dr. Mowaffak Al Rubaie (National Security Advisor to the Iraqi Government) and Mr. Vasu Gounden (Founder and Executive Director, ACCORD)


Panel discussion on Diversity, Struggle and Inclusivity in the Experience of the Indian Community, ACCORD House, 09 March 2006: L-R Vasu Gounden (Founder and Executive Director, ACCORD); with Professor Hassim Seedat (Member of Satyagraha Management Committee), Ms Ela Gandhi (Secretary of Gandhi Development Trust and Granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi) and Commissioner Pravin Gordhan (South African Revenue Services)

The purpose of the tour is to learn lessons from the way South Africa has handled transitional justice and national reconciliation. While Iraq’s transition from minority rule has been more violent and chaotic than South Africa’s transition, there are still many relevant similarities between the countries. The Iraqi delegation includes representatives of all the major parties and sects, including some very high profile officials, such as Sheikh Hammoudi, who chaired the Constitutional Drafting Committee last year and Saleh Mutlaq, who was the most vocal critic of the constitutional process.

It is hoped that the tour will be an opportunity for the Iraqis to apply some of the ideas they encounter in South Africa to their situation.


Vasu Gounden (Founder and Executive Director, ACCORD); His Worship Mayor Obed Mlaba (eThekwini Municipality) and Dr. Mowaffak Al Rubaie (National Security Advisor to the Iraqi Government), ACCORD House, 09 March


Sheik Humam Hammoudi (Chief of the Constitutional Drafting Commission), Vasu Gounden (Founder and Executive Director, ACCORD) and Dr. Mowaffak Al Rubaie (National Security Advisor to the Iraqi Government)

ACCORD has hosted a number of visiting delegations over the years, including Burundian and Sri Lankan parliamentarians. ACCORD also conducts ongoing trainings for the SADC Parliamentarian Forum on maNaging election-related conflicts.