The Rwandan process of unity and reconciliation : its potential for building sustainable peace.
This study is an evaluation of the Rwandan unity and reconciliation process and was undertaken to assess whether it possesses the potential for building sustainable peace in the country. The study used an analytical method to measure the key activities of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, the national body that oversees the efforts aimed at promoting unity and reconciliation among Rwandans. Before properly analysing the process, the study outlined a number of conditions that are necessary for true reconciliation and sustainable peace to be achieved. The analysis allowed a comparison of these conditions to the context in which the unity and reconciliation process is being conducted in Rwanda. This required the exploration of the entire situation at political, economic and social levels. Particular attention has been paid to the situation after the 1994 genocide to examine developments from then until to the present. It became evident during the study that decisive structural changes have been undertaken to prepare a supportive environment for unity, reconciliation and peace. Appropriate structures' reform occurs in the domains of good governance, economic planning and justice. It also became evident, however, that some important obstacles to unity and peace persist, specifically poverty, reluctance to cooperate with 'Gacaca' traditional courts, corruption and opportunistic political leaders. Appropriate measures have to be taken in addressing these issues for sustainable peace to be a new way of life for all Rwandans. Generally, the study showed that the process of unity and reconciliation in Rwanda has the potential to succeed since high governing leaders are engaged to restore unity and reconciliation in the country. Political will, the study revea led, is an essential ingredient for sustainable peace. The study also listed a number of encouraging results of the process and proposed some measures to strengthen unity, reconciliation and peace.
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