Post conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding in Africa’s Great Lakes Region : the role of transitional justice.
Shabangu, Promise Thembelihle.
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Peacebuilding has become a bridging tool through the use of justice processes in order to reconstruct peaceful societies. Increasingly the international community within the last five decades has also become rigorous in its approaches to build global peace and to harness reconciliation. Peacebuilding is formulated in response to a given state’s post genocidal or post-conflict situation it incorporates short, medium and long-term goals that will enable the society to emerge from the conflict and further sustain peace while also spurring development. The contemporary international system is characterized by intra-state conflict, as such post conflict reconstruction should be formulated in such a way that reconciliation is achieved, national identities are created and peace is sustained. Increasingly in an attempt to address the above, the international community has taken into using transitional justice as a means not only of reconciliation, but also to address the impunity which accompanies most intra-state conflicts as well as the spill over effects of conflicting parties to other states within a region. The Great Lakes region in Africa has been a region prone to conflict for well over four decades. The region is made up of countries that have Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria passing within their territories, they are: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Republic of Tanzania and Rwanda. It is evident that the efforts of achieving sustainable peace for each states in that region has been compromised by factors external to their territory therefore regional factors. With violence rampant in the region during 1990 to early 2000’s with inter-state conflict and inter-state violent conflict raging particularly in Rwanda the DRC and Burundi and Uganda sustainable peace seemed to be a distant goal for these states. Peacebuilding supposes sustainable peace by emphasizing the need to address conflict in a manner that will prevent a recurrence of conflict. With the advent of globalisation and the increased interdependence among states, sustainable peace has itself become an international priority and as such global peace is kept and advocated for by organisations such the United Nations. Sustainable peace is therefore no longer just limited to a state and its territories but also essential for global peace and regional cooperation.