1ª Conferência Nacional sobre o “Direito à Verdade e à Memória Colectiva como Direitos Humanos na Construção do Estado Democrático de Direito”

1st Conference on "The Right to Truth and Collective Memory and Human Rights in the construction of the democratic rule of law"


The civil society organizations, inter alia, the Association of Justice, Peace and democracy (AJPD) and the Association Building Communities (ACC) in partnership with the OSISA-Angola, conducted the 1st Conference on the right toTruth and collective memory as human rights in building the democratic State of law "on 14, 15 and April 16, 2015, in Luanda, with the following objectives:

  • Promote a public space, open and inclusive for analysis of the right to truth and collective memory in the post-conflict context in Angola;
  • Identify problems that might endanger peace and that require intervention of several professionals and medicines for healing of traumas as well as promote a space of mutual acceptance and forgiveness;
  • Propose measures to mitigate existing and potential conflicts resulting from acts of intolerance, violence and political repression, especially from institutional police.
  • Start building a common agenda of Collective Memories that strengthen a restorative justice and contribute to history of Angola.

With this Conference was intended to achieve the following results:

  • Proposed mechanisms of recovery of collective memory based on truth, justice, and healing the traumas of the past of conflict;
  • Created a platform or national observatory for peace, justice and reconciliation in Angola;
  • Created institutional mechanisms to resolve and/or the acts of political intolerance.

During the three days, participants analyzed the following topics in six panels:

  • The right to truth and memory as Human Rights;
  • Transition to independence in Angola in the light of the Alvor agreements: what is as it was. What are the future lessons?
  • The right to truth and Memory in the light of the various peace agreements: Gbadolite, Bicesse in 1991 in 1989, Lusaka in 1994, Luena in 2002 and Namibe in 2006;
  • Experiences of intolerance, violence and the right to truth and collective memory: Testimony about the events of the May 27, 1977, burning of "Witches" at Jamba, the Bloody Friday in Luanda and on the right to truth and Justice in the case of violence against women in the period of the dictatorship in Brazil.
  • Transitional justice in post-conflict countries and the construction of truth and collective memory: Regional Experience.
  • The right to truth and memory in biblical context/Christian Theology.
  • Memory and Truth in the context of Peace: the Human Rights and citizenship as a space for affirmation of national reconciliation and democracy.
  • Roundtable: Human Rights, Justice, memory and Truth in the context of political, Social and Economic Transition. What model for Angola?

At the end of the presentation of the topics and discussions, the participants came to the following conclusions and recommendations:

It was concluded that:

  • The human right to truth and memory is one that an individual has to talk about what you remember, lived, feels and thinks about the past brutal repressive or without, therefore, be pursued, coerced or eliminated;
  • The Alvor agreement had as its essence the transfer of power from the Portuguese to Angolans and their main weakness was the lack of a national agenda that unites the liberation movements for independence of Angola;
  • The peace agreements of Gbadolite and Bicesse Accords had the merit of awakening to the need for dialogue and that dialogue is a fundamental perspective to ensure the truth and memory in a democratic society;
  • The rigidity of the liberation movements (constituted subsequent to political parties) and the culture of fear made the interreligious dialogue and intra-partidário and that, not contributed to the development of the culture of dialogue and even the exercise of full citizenship;
  • The various agreements signed also failed because of foreign interference and referred, in particular, the military component, taking their materialization been very dependent on the accommodation of the interests of the parties;
  • None of the three national liberation movements, political parties, today is free of half-truths, omissions or liability with regard to the pictures presented on various moments in the history of Angola;
  • Still be told of misreported the facts that occurred in the history of Angola, which may prevent the establishment of a consensual version about such facts, reason, still constitutes a real challenge to achieve a sustained and inclusive debate on collective memories and true throughout the country;
  • It is necessary to search and document the living testimonies of the release process, the agreements and the various processes of repression and human rights violations, especially the events of May 27, 1977, the "burning of witches in Jamba and bloody Friday, under penalty of losing significant parts and fundamental to the construction of collective memory and the history of Angola;
  • Despite women being present and suffered the atrocities of repression and war, are not yet referenced and disclosed its participation and activism in liberation movements with proper justice and dignity;
  • Are still not created the conditions for writing the true story or consensual version of the history of Angola because, so far, have not yet obtained a common agenda for an inclusive debate, despartidarizado, participatory and plural on the truth of the facts;
  • The events of 27 May 1977, the "burning of Witches" and the Bloody Friday in 1993, by its magnitude and historical mark, should not be understood as internal problems of political parties, but the public interest;
  • The biblical and theological perspective presents the right to memory and the truth and the need to make this a moment of history that must strengthen us in terms of references and inspire us for the future;
  • The abuse of human rights and the partisan nature of the important public institutions constitutes an impediment to national reconciliation and the full exercise of citizenship;
  • Fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens laid down in the Constitution of the Republic of Angola continue to be disrespected and remains the frequent use of an intimidating speech that the claim of the human rights and citizenship are a threat to democracy and peace so hard conquered;

It is recommended that:

  • The right to the truth and to be promoted in the framework of the construction of a democratic State of law in Angola, as a human right;
  • The selection of subjects and the creation of an index of topics related to the moments of the history of Angola to collective memory, especially since the creation of the liberation movements, signed peace agreements and the processes of repression must appear in curriculum Since the basic education school;
  • The creation of a transitional justice mechanism that best suits the Angolan context for consolidating the process of building a State of law and to avoid a repetition of the violence experienced in the past;
  • Conferences, seminars or workshops on the right to memory and truth in the various provinces of the country as mechanisms for ensuring the reconstruction of the history of Angola, the preservation of the right to truth and memory, the consolidation of the process of national reconciliation and the maintenance of peace;
  • If advocates in order to fulfill what is still possible under the signed peace agreements, especially concerning the reduction of economic and social exclusion in order to allow greater transparency, as well as contributing to the pacification of the spirits of the political and social actors;
  • The creation of an observatory which can register the causes of violence in the Angolan conflict, its truths and memories, which promotes human rights and culture of peace in order to avoid repeating the mistakes and violence of the past;
  • In the process of national reconciliation and deepening of democracy be strengthened inter dialogue spaces and intra-partidário, including the participation of civil society, the scholars in order to arrive at solutions more worthy for the politico-military issues, socio-cultural and economic of Angola;
  • If you stimulate the development and implementation of research for documentation and preservation of memories, including the compilation of themes and approach talks at this Conference, academic studies, collection of statements, with a view to contributing to the opening of the public debate on the right to truth and memory, as well as to the historical records of the collective memory;
  • The various countries discussed with the dilemma of post-conflict and transitional justice serve as reference to Angola, in order to examine whether we are in the right moments and with the conditions created to talk of the right to truth and memory, forgiveness and healing the traumas of conflict and of the processes of repression and violence;
  • Respect, promote and guarantee human rights, as well as whether despartidarize public institutions as a condition for effective national reconciliation, peace-keeping and deepening of democracy;
  • Public and governmental authorities do not look as civil society organizations, civic activists or human rights defenders as enemies of peace, but as anti-government groups and citizens who, in the context of participatory democracy, want to contribute to the construction of a just society, democratic and social progress.


Luanda, to April 16, 2015.

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