Justice, Reconciliation and Peacebuilding Seen Through Africa Eyes

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Between 1980 and 2003, the three northern regions of Ghana experienced 26 violent conflicts. The worst was in 1994. That conflict is not very well known because it was in the wake of the Rwandan genocide. In 2000 the Catholic Diocese of Damongo in collaboration with the Catholic Relief Services started a peace project to build local capacity for justice-building, reconciliation and peace-building.

In the course of my work I had to deal with the issue of the relevance of a Western style peace-building in African conflicts. Why not use the African traditional systems of conflict resolution?  Implicit in these statements is the assumption that the Western style is foreign and in effective. African traditional systems work better in an African setting. African conflicts, African solutions. At the international level, indigenous and traditional practices of peace-building are regarded as unaccountable, opague and contradictory to the “enlightened” intentions of Western form of peace-building (liberal Peace) and internationally sponsored post war reconstruction efforts.

By Rev.  Clement Aapenguo

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