As the 21st century began, Algeria, Morocco, and North Sudan launched some much-publicised “reconciliation” policies, or, in the case of North Sudan, “pacification” policies. Algeria, following its Clemency policy (1995) and Civil Concord Law (1999), held a referendum in 2005 and subsequently implemented the measures of its Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation. This charter is Algeria’s latest policy aimed at settling the accounts of a murderous decade (1990s) between the state and armed Islamic groups. In Morocco, an arbitration committee was set up in 1999, followed by the Equity and Reconciliation Commission in 2004, to turn the page on the “Years of Lead”—a period during the rule of King Hassan II in which numerous state crimes such as torture, imprisonment, and murder were committed. Finally, in Sudan (North Sudan since 2011), peace negotiations were held in 1989 and a peace process has been ongoing since 2005, aiming to resolve violent conflicts and war crimes that are shaking Darfur and North Kordofan. At the centre of all these reconciliation and pacification mechanisms lies a practice that has been scarcely studied: (monetary) compensation for the crimes committed.
Yazid Ben Hounet is a social anthropologist, research fellow at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, member of the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale (CNRS – Collège de France – EHESS). His main books are L’Algérie des tribus (2009), Parenté et anthropologie sociale (2009), Law and Property in Algeria: anthropological perspectives (ed. 2018), Crime and compensation in North Africa. A Social Anthropology Essay (2021). He is currently working on law (crime) and parenthood issues.
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Meeting-ID: 985 6623 2779