Distribution of Power within Post-Conflict Reconstruction Concept (Liberian Case) “AFRICA: 1960 – 2010 – 2060 A Century (Re)visited: What next?” University of Pécs, 27 – 29 May 2010 Kantarína Bajzíková, African Center of Slovakia email@example.com
Structure: • 1 Introduction • 2 Post-conflict Reconstruction (PCR) • 2.1 Liberian Post-Conflict Reconstruction Efforts • 2.2 Reconciliation: TRC, Power-sharing Agreements • 3 Distribution of Power within PCR • 4 Assessments and conclusions
1Introduction • Concept of post-conflict reconstruction: - ”new addition to post-war vocabulary, it does not have exact meaning and is used vaguely for everything that helps reinstate the “good times”” (Williams, 2005, p.546 In Ismail, 2008) - interchangeably used as a synonym to nation-, state- or peace-building (in this presentation: I consider the post-conflict reconstruction as a part of the more general peace-building process, not as its synonym)
Phases of PCR: 3 phases (emergency, transition, development; stabilisation, transition, consolidation; initial response, transformation, fostering sustainability) • Agenda of PCR: - Security, Justice and Reconciliation, Socioeconomic Development, Political Participation, Good Governance and Rule of Law, Basic Infrastructure Restoration, Gender Equality …) • Criticism of PCR: - Time framework, Institutional approach/Capacities building, Contents agenda,Value orientation
2 Post-conflict Reconstruction • 2.1 Liberian Post-conflict Reconstruction Efforts • From 80s of 20th century – focus of subregional/regional destabilization until forced resignation of Charles Taylor in 2003 • Elections in 2005 beginning of the complex process of stabilization • Strategic documents: 150 Day Action Plan, interim Poverty Reduction Strategy (iPRS), PRS – „Lift Liberia“ (in force from April 2008 until June 2011), maintaining four pillar thematic structure as follows: 1. Stabilizing Peace and Security, 2. Revitalizing the Economy, 3. Strengtheing Governance and Rule of Law, 4. Rehabilitating Infrastructure and Delivering Basic Services • Four pillar agenda is more complex, including various actors with their own concepts of programs, which sometimes compete with each other (e.i.: AFRICOM and ECOWAS) • Transfomation of society – missing crucial aspect within the reconstruction process (Not to limit only on matters like who will control the state, but also provide real change within society „cause in rural Africa the national political society is really an incomprehensible abstraction“ – Claude, Ake)
2.2 Reconciliation – TRC, Power-sharing Agreements • Reconciliation is definitely one of the basic requirements of peaceful coexistenceafterviolentconflicts. • J. Galtung defines three most important processesthrough which a war-struck society ultimately has to go. These are:reconstruction, reconciliation, and conflictresolution. • Reconciliation – buildingrelationshipbetweenantagonists, “to addresss, integrate and embrace the painful past and the necessary shared future as a means ofdealing with present” (Lederach, 1997, p.34-35) • TRC - aim “to provide a forum that will address issues of impunity, as well as an opportunity for both the victims and perpetrators of human rights violations to share their experiences, in order to get a clear picture of the past to facilitate genuine healing and reconciliation.” Comprehensive Peace Agreement…,2003, p.14). - The Commission has an important input to building a culture of responsibility for mass human rights violations which need to be a requirement for the reconciliation. - Public hearings (January 2008 – June 2009), no judicialpower, evolving Liberian diaspora in USA, Ghana, reconstruct war crimes of 1979- 2003, ending with National Reconciliation Conference and by release of Final Report on 1 July 2009.
Traditional mechanisms of conflict resolutions used in Liberia, there are e.g.: Palava Hut (so called roundtable), sharing the kola nut (providing compensation, compensatory damage), and sassywood (so called ‘ordeal’). • The concept of TRC could in practice work as a bridge between both legal systems (traditional customary law and written law). The traditional mechanism of Palava Hut contains similar principles as Truth and Reconciliation Commission supported by international community; i.e. dimension of truth-telling, reconciliation, and substitution. • Head of the TRC, J. Verdier, confirmed similarity of the mechanisms and directed attention to new challenges which reveal huge human rights violations and other crimes from the civil war. Liberian society does not have experience with such settlements which on the other hand creates a new dynamic. • Power-sharing Agreements - due to huge number of broken Peace agreements – need for inclusive model to increase potential for lasting peace. - critical lines: grand instable, inefficient coalition/ weak opposition, avoiding sensitive issues, marginalisation of certain groups in order to achieve overall results sooner.
FINAL REMARKS on RECONCILIATION • - scheme for a process, through which society needs to go through after it experienced a violent conflict: reconstruction of the past using attestations of victims and violators, reconciliation and compensation, recovery and reintegration • sensitive issues – reparation – recovery of material losses, reintegration (length of human life, difficult to maintain individual approach => community based project as solution in reparation process, victims/ excombattants integration)
3 Distribution of Power within PCR • 3 phases of PCR: 1. emergency (2006) - creation of secure environment and humanitarian recovery. Involvement of external actors is in this phase substantial. According to NEPAD, this phase usually lasts between 90 days to one year (African Post-Conflict Reconstruction Policy Framework, 2005, p.7). 2. transition (2006 – 2008) - strengthens legitimacy and capacity of reconstructed societies. This phase initiates recovery of basic social services, economy, judicial system, creation of system of governance, and reconciliation of society. Usually, a transitional government is appointed for one to three years to create the best conditions for elections. Closer cooperation between local and external actors is expected. 3. development (2008 – 2011) - to sustain previously achieved accomplishments. External actors support local recovery, development initiatives, and provide much needed help, especially in form of technical expertise. The phase should last between four to ten years. Strategies and programs of this phase try to point the country in direction of sustainable security and development.
UNMIL withdrawn – within 3 phases according to CIMIC UNMIL, the first phase, military phase, aims at securing general security and should gradually involve civil administration components in order to create stable managing capacities of a public character. After the public administration is strengthened, the focus should shift to local bodies – Liberian government and Liberian civil society (Holshek, 2008, p.14). - Secretary-General’s plan counts with decreasing military personnel bysome 2000 to number 8202 (15000) men till May 2010 (including 7952 troops in Liberia and 250 at the Special Court for Sierra Leone) until presidential and parliamentary elections in 2011, the size of the UN police force (1318 policemen) will remain the same. The subjected proposal was created based on the evaluation of the UN’s technical team which visited Liberia in May and June 2009. • Inclusivness of representatives from Taylor’s regime • Dialogue between ruling Americo-Liberian minority and indigenous population – question of governance (transformation of traditional concepts)
4 Assessments and Conclusions • Post-conflict reconstruction programs arestill predominantly externally financed. (false African ownership, decision – making or values). • Even though scholarly community and the UN System offer several agendas of state-building in order to create in a post-conflict country a technical state apparatus of Western type, in essence this concept does not deal with causes of society division which led to the violent conflict. In this sense it is difficult to talk about complex reconstruction model but rather we can underline its technical, i.e. institutional, variant. • No international intervention represents a sustainable solution without local participation, decision-making, and ownership. => the technical projects need a “local spirit” (finances from local budget, institution building also on county level - 2nd wave) .
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