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Search Keyword: Tag: Reconciliation & Social Reconstruction.....................

Center for Democratic Development, CDD Ghana, and Coexistence International

“Reflections: What We Have Learned from Working Together at the Intersection of Transitional Justice and Coexistence”, Transitional Justice Monitor, Vol.1 (2), July 2008.

(CDD Ghana) and Coexistence International (CI) are almost 2 years into a joint project exploring the relationships and linkages between coexistence and transitional justice in the West Africa sub-region. The project, designed by CDD Ghana and supported by CI, seeks to (1) create opportunities for more coexistence-sensitive transitional justice processes and (2) further catalyze a transitional justice network of West African state and non-state actors by building capacity and sharing information and best practices about the nexus of justice and peacebuilding. Reflecting on the last 2 years while at the same time looking forward to next steps, the partners are positive about the activities and learnings to date, and also very much aware of the need for this pressing work to continue.This edition explores the broader, as well as nuanced, connections between transitional justice as a field of study and the practice of peaceful coexistence, and enumerates the activities of CDD Ghana and other groups in this regards.

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Hopwood, J.

“With or without Peace: Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration in Northern Uganda” JRP Special Issue with Quaker Peace and Social Witness, Field Notes No. 6, Justice and Reconciliation Project, 2008.

From July to October 2007, Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW) and the Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP) conducted qualitative research with ex-LRA fighters on the subject of peer support and reintegration in northern Uganda. These in-depth discussions revealed a number of pressing insights on how to conduct a peaceful and successful DDR process. With or without a concluded peace agreement in Juba, ex-LRA soldiers predict that further violence and unrest may continue in the region if longstanding grievances are not addressed. This fact highlights what is at stake in Juba today: with or without peace, an effective DDR strategy is needed.

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Gready, P.

“Culture, Testimony, and the Toolbox of Transitional Justice”. Peace Review, Vol. 20 (1), Spring 2008, pp. 41-48.

The article discusses transitional justice in nations emerging from oppression and injustice, highlighting the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and its effort to bring justice to those who had been wronged while working toward avoiding future conflict. It is noted that the post-apartheid literature of South Africa is largely concerned with the past and not the future of the nation.

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Human Rights Center

“When the War Ends: A Population Based Survey on Attitudes about Peace, Justice, and Social Reconstruction in Northern Uganda” Tulane’s University Center for International Development, Human Rights Centre, University of California, Berkeley and ICTJ; December 2007

This report, based on a mid-2007 population-based survey of 8 districts of northern Uganda, assesses and informs on the atmosphere of violence, attitudes of IDPs and resettled persons to concepts of peace, justice, reconciliation, social acceptance and reconstruction, with specific recommendations to the Government of Uganda, NGOs, peace negotiators, and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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Colvin, C.

“Civil Society and Reconciliation in Southern Africa.”Development in Practice; Vol. 17 (3), June 2007: pp. 322-337.

This article presents some of the key findings of the Southern African Reconciliation Project (SARP). The SARP was a collaborative research project involving five Southern African NGOs in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. It examined how the concept of reconciliation was understood in political and community contexts in Southern Africa and investigated the ways in which national government policies and civil-society participation in reconciliation initiatives have opened up and/or foreclosed on opportunities for reconciliation, transitional justice, and the promotion of a culture of human rights. The author summarises the historical context of reconciliation in Southern Africa, outlines the reconciliation initiatives in each country, and identifies emerging debates around principles of reconciliation that have surfaced in the work of civil-society organisations (CSOs) in the region.

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Quinn, J.

“Social Reconstruction in Uganda: The Role of Customary Mechanisms in Transitional Justice.” Human Rights Review; Vol. 8 (4), Summer 2007: pp. 389-407.

In the aftermath of prolonged civil conflict, social repair is essential. Countries like Uganda, various parts of which have been at war since 1962, are in need of healing and renewal. This paper explores the use of customary mechanisms, instead of trials and truth commissions, to bring about societal acknowledgement of what has happened, and it offers ideas as to how these traditional practices might augment the rebuilding process in Uganda.

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Miller, Z.

“Constructing Sustainable Reconciliation: Land, Power, and Transitional Justice in Post-Genocide Rwanda” Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, 2007.

This paper explores the linkages between economic development and transitional justice within the context of post-genocide Rwanda. It argues that transitional justice institutions offer not merely a set of neutral instruments for the achievement of the goals of justice, truth and reconciliation. Rather, such mechanisms serve to narrate conflict and peace, victimhood and violence, voice and silence, "tolerable" structural violence and definitively intolerable physical atrocity.  Although a government may separately pursue development options, the redistribution of land, or other plans for economic change, one argument made here is that the divorce of those programmes from transitional justice mechanisms allows a myth to be formed that the origins of conflict are political or ethnic rather than economic or resource-based, that inequality is a question of time or development rather than the entrenched ideology of elites, or that the need to memorialize the past does not require the narration of past economic oppression.  The paper begins with the assumption that post-conflict reconstruction must also be viewed in the terms of conflict prevention.  The author argues that—for engaged internationals in particular—a new paradigm must be advanced that takes economic factors into account as reconciliation questions and which moves reconciliation mechanisms beyond the rhetoric of the conflict and into new discursive and practical realms.

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“Seven Round: South Africa Reconciliation Barometer Survey 2007” Survey Report, IJR, 2007.

This document contains some of the key findings of the seventh round of the South African Reconciliation Barometer (SARB) Survey, a nationally representative survey conducted annually by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. This particular survey was conducted in March and April 2007. As in previous years, it has enquired about the issue of race relations and interaction between South Africa’s historically defined racial categories – typically those aspects that first come to mind when we hear the word “reconciliation”. If racial interaction were indeed the only indicator that we used to measure the extent to which South Africans are starting to find each other in the wake of apartheid, the prognosis for national reconciliation in 2007 would be very positive. Although 48 per cent of respondents indicated that they never interact socially with anybody from a different racial group, this figure represents a significant year-on-year decrease of eight percentage points. This in itself is a positive finding.

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Warshauer F., Déo Kambanda, S., Beth, L., Mugisha, S., Mukama, I., Mutabaruka, J., Weinstein, H., and Longman, T.

“Confronting the Past in Rwandan Schools” in My Neighbor, My Enemy: Justice and Community in the Aftermath of Mass Atrocity,  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2005

This chapter relies on data collected by interviews with teachers, students, school administrators, and parents on the role of education in the teaching of past history, ethnicity, and reconciliation.  The chapter explores the question of whether a better understanding of the hopes and fears of those most immediately affected by education would provide greater insight into the complexity of educational reform and aid in the formulation of more democratic means with which to pursue a reform agenda.

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Urusaro, A., Nshimiyimana, A. and Mutamba, B.

“Localizing Justice: Gacaca courts in post-genocide Rwanda” Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2005 .

This chapter builds on previous research and interviews conducted by the Center for Conflict Management at the National University of Rwanda.  The research captures the voices of Rwandans who have themselves experienced the trauma of genocide and war.  The purpose is to see how the understanding of national and international leaders has coincided with the expectations and views of the Rwandan population.

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Oduro, F.

“National Reconciliation Initiative in Ghana” The International Journal of Human Rights, Vol.9 (33), 2005: pp. 327 – 347.

This article examines the field of transitional justice, focusing on Ghana’s approach to dealing with past violations of human rights. The article traces the growing world focus on human rights following the trials and conviction of World War II war criminals. It highlights mechanisms available to address human rights violations during transitions. It further discusses the rationale behind Ghana’s choice of transitional justice model. The article argues and concludes that it was necessary for the newly democratic regime in Ghana to embark on such a process, and that Ghana’s attempt to wipe the slate clean by addressing such existing acrimony and mistrust is necessary for nation building and for progress towards democratic consolidation.

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Longman, T., Phuong, P. and Weinstein, H.

“Connecting Justice to Human Experience: Attitudes toward accountability and reconciliation in Rwanda” in My Neighbor, My Enemy: Justice and Community in the Aftermath of Mass Atrocity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005

This chapter is the result of a 2002 public opinion study conducted in Rwanda to assess how Rwandans understood the concepts of justice and reconciliation and whether they believed that the judicial initiatives underway in their country would contribute to the process of reconciliation and national unity.  The survey is based on four communities and uses a random sample.

Gibson, J.

“Does Truth Lead to Reconciliation - Testing the Causal Assumptions of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Process?” American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 48 (2), April 2004:  pp. 201-217.

Throughout the world, truth commissions have been created under the assumption that getting people to understand the past will somehow contribute to reconciliation between those who were enemies under the ancient regime. In South Africa, the truth and reconciliation process is explicitly based on the hypothesis that knowledge of the past will lead to acceptance, tolerance, and reconciliation in the future. The author tests that hypothesis, based on data collected in a 2001 survey of over 3,700 South Africans. The most important finding of the article is that those who accept the “truth” about the country’s apartheid past are more likely to hold reconciled racial attitudes. Racial reconciliation also depends to a considerable degree on interracial contact, evidence that adds weight to the “contact hypothesis” investigated by western social scientists. Ultimately, these findings are hopeful for South Africa’s democratic transition, since racial attitudes seem not to be intransigent.

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Harvey M., L, Timothy. P, Weinstein, H. and Longman, T.

“Trauma and PTSD Symptoms in Rwanda: Implications for Attitudes toward Justice and Reconciliation” Journal of the American Medical Association Vol. 292 (5), 2004: pp. 602-612.

The 1994 genocide in Rwanda led to the loss of at least 10% of the country's 7.7 million inhabitants, the destruction of much of the country's infrastructure, and the displacement of nearly 4 million people. In seeking to rebuild societies such as Rwanda, it is important to understand how traumatic experience may shape the ability of individuals and groups to respond to judicial and other reconciliation initiatives.

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Graybill, L. S.

“Pardon, Punishment, and Amnesia: Three African Post-conflict Methods”Third World Quarterly Vol. 25 (6), 2004, pp. 1117-1130.

Three post-conflict approaches have emerged on the African continent during the past decade. 'Pardon', 'punishment' and 'amnesia' represent different routes followed by South Africa, Rwanda and Mozambique in the aftermath of conflict. What pragmatic considerations and cultural resources predisposed each to pursue the path it did? This paper looks at the reasons for the choice to hold a truth commission, to prosecute through trials or to forget the past. It assesses the models' effectiveness, and concludes with an observation that they are not as distinct from each other as they first appear. South Africa, Rwanda (after 2002) and Mozambique have all opted for approaches that emphasized the priority of reintegrating perpetrators back into the community. This goal may be served best by methods other than trials.

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Lombard, K.

“Revisiting Reconciliation: The People’s View: Research Report of the Reconciliation Barometer Exploratory Survey” Research Report of the Reconciliation Barometer Exploratory Survey, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. Rondebosch: Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. 15 March 2003.

Welcomed by some, rejected by others, reconciliation has been a notion few South Africans could ignore. Based on a recently undertaken survey of a nationally representative sample of South Africans, this report examines the meanings and associations South Africans attribute to the concept of reconciliation, as well as where and how South Africans conceptualize the location and nature of the process. This is followed by an investigation of South Africans’ evaluations of how the nation’s leaders and the country as a whole are handling the process of reconciliation. Lastly, the report also documents public opinion on South Africa’s attempt to deal with the unfinished business of its past.

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Lykes, B., Terre-Blanche, M., and Hamber, B. “Narrating Survival and Change in Guatemala and South Africa: the Politics of Representation and a Liberatory Community Psychology.” American Journal of Community Psychology. Vol. 31(1-2), March 2003: pp. 79-90.

Peace accords and international interventions have contributed to the suspension of armed conflict and the censuring of repressive regimes in many parts of the world. Some governments and their opposition parties have agreed to the establishment of commissions or other bodies designed to create historical records of the violations of human rights and foster conditions that facilitate reparatory and reconciliatory processes. This paper explores selected roles that community psychologists have played in this process of remembering the past and constructing new identities towards creating a more just future. With reference to two community groups (in Guatemala and South Africa) it shows how efforts to "speak out" about one's own experiences of political and military repression involve complex representational politics that go beyond the simple binary opposition of silencing versus giving voice.

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Payne, L. A.

“Confessional Performances: Perpetrators' Testimonies to the South African TRC”Paper presented at the Centre for African Studies Seminar Series, UCT, 2002.

Perpetrators’ confessions are more than mere political talk. They not only say something, they do something. They interpret the past. And through that interpretation they advance a political project for democracy. The political meaning behind the confession generates conflict as others – victims and survivors – challenge perpetrators’ interpretations. The ensuing political drama transcends personal stakes in the past and adopts the meaning of the past for contemporary political life. This chapter begins with a discussion of the theatrical elements of confessional performances and concludes with a discussion of their relationship to contentious coexistence.

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Gibson, J.

“Truth, Justice & Reconciliation: Judging Amnesty in South Africa” American Journal of Political Science Vol. 46 (3), 2002

Based on a representative survey of the South African public, the paper investigates how desires for justice affect judgments of the amnesty component of the truth and reconciliation process. The experiment manipulates four kinds of justice - distributive, procedural, retributive, and restorative - in an effort to determine whether any of these factors can compensate for the failure to receive ordinary retribution for atrocities committed during the struggle over apartheid.

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Wilson, R.

“Reconciliation & Revenge in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Rethinking Legal Pluralism and Human Rights” American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Vol. 41(1), Feb. 2000: pp. 75-98.

Human rights are a central element in the new governmental project in the new South Africa, and this article traces some of the specific forms of connection and disconnection between notions of justice found in townships of the Vaal and rights discourses as articulated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The introduction of human rights in post-apartheid South Africa has had varied social effects. Religious values and human rights discourse have converged on the notion of reconciliation on the basis of shared value orientations and institutional structures. There are clear divergences, however, between human rights ideas and the notions of justice expressed in local lekgotla, or township courts, which emphasize punishment and retribution. The article concludes that the plurality of legal orders in South Africa results not from systemic relations between law and society but from multiple forms of social action seeking to alter the direction of social change in the area of justice within the context of the nation-building project of the post-apartheid state.

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