Barney Afako

Barney Afako is a Ugandan lawyer with vast experience in conflict mediation. In June 2018, he was selected as the inaugural IFIT Alex Boraine Fellow: a fellowship established in honour of IFIT’s first Board president, Dr Boraine, who passed away in 2018.

Afako has worked in the fields of human rights, refugee law, criminal justice and transition issues in several countries. He is a part-time tribunal judge in the United Kingdom and he spent several years as a member of the UN Mediation Support Unit Standby Team.

Between 2006 and 2008, Afako was the Chief Legal Advisor to the Southern Sudanese mediation in the Juba Peace Talks between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army. In that capacity, he developed and drafted the Final Peace Agreement, with particular responsibility for the Agreement on Reconciliation and Accountability. These were the first efforts where transitional justice issues were addressed in a context in which the International Criminal Court was already active. 

In 2009, he advised the African Union Panel on Darfur (AUPD), chaired by former South African president, Thabo Mbeki, and was responsible for drafting the justice recommendations of the AUPD’s report.  From 2010, he has been an adviser to the African Union High Level Implementation Panel on Sudan and South Sudan, which was responsible for facilitating negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan on secession issues and continues to work with both states on a range of issues.

Afako has provided advice to other peace processes on addressing the past. In Uganda, he has advised the Government and particularly the Amnesty Commission on issues of peacebuilding and reconciliation. 

He is the author of several publications on justice and peace issues. He is a regular commentator in the international media – including print, radio and television – on political and international justice developments in Africa.