New Assembly Term Must Deliver to Victims of the Conflict

Last week’s elections have been decided. They have been analysed, dissected and reflected upon.

Now the challenges that have perhaps been put on the long finger must be addressed.

For Relatives for Justice and our members these challenges include how victims of the conflict’s needs will be supported in the long term. These are not short term needs they are long term and are experienced by many generations within families. They are also deep complex needs including economic, physical and psychological impact from violent bereavement and injury.

Their effects are felt throughout our communities and should never be dismissed or disregarded.

The two main parties have consistently pledged their support to victims of our conflict. RFJ and its members will be working with all relevant partners to ensure that these needs are best met in the interests of the individuals worst affected by our conflict.

There are also the outstanding needs for truth and justice. For many families these are outstanding issues placing a barrier to healing and recovery. Piecemeal efforts and investigations have thus far proven inadequate. The next four years must see the tackling of these issues comprehensively and on a cross-jurisdictional basis.

All actors, both governments and civic society must determine to be courageous and build victim centered processes and services that strategically deliver.

This will enhance our peace, provide lessons and learning to ensure that the conditions which created and sustained our conflict can never again reoccur.