IPSS Theses and Dissertations

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    The Challenges of Post-conflict Peace Building in Africa (With Focus on Rwanda)
    (Addis Ababa University, 2009-06-01) Dechasa Gurmu; Marcel Leroy
    In 1992, the former UN Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros Ghali, introduced the concept of Post-conflict Peace Building in his document known as 'An Agenda for Peace'. The new concept of post-conflict peace building which encompasses multi-faceted programs that are geared towards sustainable peace and development is a result of this document. Africa has been the victim of confl icts first due to the colonial wars and later on due to civil wars between rival political parties and ethnic groups. On top of this, the peace agreements that arc made are often violated and conflict relapse takes place. This problem is the focus of this research. The research explores why post-conflict African states often fail to achieve sustainable peace. It follows that exploring the challenges to post-conflict peace bui lding becomes the objective of the research. It is mainly a quaJitative research of secondary data in which African conflicts and their impacts as well as the post-confl ict peace building chaJlenges were reviewed. Reference was made to books, journaJs, papers and websites that focus on these issues. The research is focused mainly on the conflict in Rwanda that includes the horrific events of the genocide and its aftennath of post-conflict peace building efforts. Alongside the investigation of the conflict and post-conflict peace building activities in Rwanda, a brief overview of the conflicts and post-conflict situations of Mozambique and Angola were taken for the sake of comparing the progress of confl icts and peace building opportunities and constraints in different socio-economic, cultural, politica1, and country specific situations. Moreover, key-informant data from a few Rwandese and a Burundian residents in Addis were collected and used for the purpose of complementing and enriching the secondary data. The informants possess a rich knowledge of the conflicts in tbe Great Lakes Region in general and that of Rwanda in particular. This primary data though limited to Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region, has also served as a counter-checking mechanism for the various secondary data sources. The study indicates that the major challenges to postconflict peace building are: security, functional law and order, socio-economic reconstruction, governance and participation, and the resettlement of refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs), in that order of priority. Finally, it has been found that the success of a sustainable post-conflict peace building depends on a coordinated, coherent, holistic. and country-specific approach that focuses on local ownership and participation.