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Does one size fit all?: the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission revisited
The Nordic Africa Institute.
2007 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Societies emerging from protracted conflict and violence face numerous challenges at the individual, community and national levels. Accordingly, a variety of strategies have been suggested for "healing" the wounds of the past and coping with the future, thereby facilitating national reconciliation and peace buildings. One of these approaches is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, TRC, believed to provide a veritable platform for victims and perpetrators alike, to have a voice that would enable them to come to terms with the horrifying past. In Africa, TRCs as strategies for coming to terms with the past in Africa came into prominence following the example of South Africa after the end of apartheid in 1994. Since then, TRCs have been set up in Rwanda and Sierra Leone, while one has been proposed for Liberia. From such a standpoint it is tempting to argue that there has emerged what we can call  a  "one size fits all" syndrome, that is, if the TRC "worked" for South Africa, a position that is the subject of intense debate within and outside that country, then it is "good" for Sierra Leone, Liberia or any other African society that is emerging from protracted violent conflict. The main purpose of this study, therefore, is to draw attention to the TRC phenomenon in Sierra Leone, to stimulate discussion on the diverse questions surrounding its rationale, processes and outcomes, especially its impacts on post conflict reconciliation in the country. Another goal of the project is to document the multiple and conflicting perceptions among various groups in the TRC processes, and how such perceptions were reflected in the Commission's work and recommendations. Finally, it is expected that the study would form the basis for future empirically grounded research and policy analysis, more extensive research and perhaps even collaboration, between the author and those working on innovative but home-grown mechanisms for promoting reconciliation in post war Sierra Leone and elsewhere.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet , 2007. , 56 p.
Series
Discussion Paper, ISSN 1104-8417 ; 36
Keyword [en]
Civil war, Conflicts, Violence, Reconciliation, Post-conflict reconstruction, Peace building, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Sierra Leone
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nai:diva-139ISBN: 978-91-7106-595-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nai-139DiVA: diva2:240853
Note
CONTENTS -- Introduction -- Objectives of the study -- Scope of the study -- Methodology -- Civil war and paradise lost -- TRCs and post conflict reconciliation: A synoptic review of the literature -- The Sierra Leone TRC: Matters arising -- Challenging assumptions of TRCs and post conflict reconciliation in Sierra Leone -- Perceptions of TRC processes in Sierra Leone -- Conclusion: Ownership, capacity and long-term utility of a truth commissionAvailable from: 2009-09-30 Created: 2009-09-29 Last updated: 2009-09-30Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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More styles
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  • Other locale
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