Essay: Post conflict reconstruction and development in Africa and Rwanda

Essay details:

  • Subject area(s): International Relations
  • Reading time: 16 minutes
  • Price: Free download
  • Published on: January 30, 2016
  • File format: Text
  • Number of pages: 2
  • Post conflict reconstruction and development in Africa and Rwanda
    0.0 rating based on 12,345 ratings
    Overall rating: 0 out of 5 based on 0 reviews.

Text preview of this essay:

This page of the essay has 4699 words. Download the full version above.

1.1 Literature Review
1.1.1 Introduction
This section will be based on scholarly literature on post conflict reconstruction and development in Africa and also literature on the post conflict reconstruction and development in Rwanda. This section is deemed necessary for it will determine the justification of the research project. Post conflict reconstruction and development is not a new concept because it can be interrelated to the Marshall Plan after the Second World War. However, each country transitioning from conflict to peace should be well-versed on the causes of the particular conflict. Each specific post conflict reconstruction system develops in response to that conflict systems’ specific set of grievances and it will be unique in its arrangement, organization, timing and prioritization. The post conflict reconstruction systems have recurring stages, scopes, and procedures that are familiar.
Since the end of the cold war, the nature of disputes transformed; new independent states in Africa were slowly developing but at the same time intra state conflicts were also on the rise. Post conflict reconstruction and development is deemed necessary because weak nations lack the capability for autonomous recovery. Unlike traditional conflict reconstruction and development processes which focused on avoiding a resumption of conflict, state rebuilding focuses on reestablishing the states domination over the means of force. Other objectives include the re-establishment of political foundations, the advancement of political contribution and human rights, the provision of social amenities and financial salvage.
1.1.2 Conflict Transformation
John Paul Lederach came up with this approach in the 1980,s since conflict resolution and management was not satisfactory in that they provided rapid resolutions to profound social-political difficulties which would not transform things in any substantial way. He further argues that peace is rooted in integrity, the construction of factual relations and societal arrangements through an essential respect for human rights, and peacefulness as reality. The accuracy of conflict transformation is based on the core of his work which involved engaging himself in positive change enterprises that comprised and surpassed the solution of particular problems.
Conflict transformation can be defined as an approach to conflicts that goes past the resolution of specific difficulties and seeks to address the very nature of the relationship of individuals or parties in conflict. It involves the following aspects; Personal dimension, the relational dimension, the structural dimension and the ethnic dimension.
Personal dimension emphasizes on the variations caused and preferred by the party. It comprises of the intellectual, demonstrative and divine aspects of human practice over the reason of disputes. Relational dimension looks at the variations affected and anticipated for the head-on interactions. Concerns of sentiments, control, interdependency, and the cooperating aspects of disputes are vital. Structural dimension looks at the fundamental sources of conflict, and insists on the ways in which communities, administrations, and institutions are constructed, sustained, and transformed by disputes. It is about the ways individuals construct and establish social, economic, and official interactions that will provide basic human wants and deliver contact to resources and decision-making. Lastly, the cultural dimension states that disputes transform the behaviors of a certain group and also the ways that cultural values affect the improvement of procedures that handle and react to dispute.
1.1.3 Definition of Post conflict reconstruction
The post conflict reconstruction framework is guarded by four key factors; security; justice and reconciliation; social and economic prosperity; and governance or participation. Security comprehends the setting up of mutual and individual safety, and is the requirement for attaining positive results in the other key factors of post conflict reconstruction. Critically, it involves securing the lives of noncombatants from direct violence and the re-establishment of regional integrity. Justice and Reconciliation emphasizes on the necessity of a responsible legitimate system which will handle cases of past abuses. For example; the formation of a lawful society, a transparent judicial system, just laws, humane prisons, and formal and informal guideliness for resolving grievances.
Social and Economic security discourses important societal and financial desires; for instance the setting up of an disaster relief, re-establishment of vital facilities to the people, laying the base for a feasible economy, and the beginning of a comprehensive, justifiable development framework. Leadership and Contribution discourses the need for legitimate, operational political and administrative establishments and participatory procedures. For example; the establishment of an effective constitutional arrangement, reinforcing the public sector administration and guaranteeing an active and transparent participation of the civil societies in the construction of a new government and its strategies.
1.1.4 Post Conflict Reconstruction in Rwanda
In the case of Rwanda, it began with the signing of the Arusha agreement in 1994 which did not mark the end of the conflict in Rwanda. The genocide began and the conflict spread to Rwanda’s neighboring States, immediate action needed to be taken. The post crisis period left Rwanda with a lot to deal with especially after the following results of the Genocide attack; 12% of the entire population was wiped out, the majority of the population that remained were left with physical and mental traumas to deal with, women were infected with HIV/AIDS as a result of rape cases and majority of the children were also mentally affected as they witnessed the entire carnage. Not to mention that infrastructure was destroyed and the entire population relied on relief or donated basic needs.
Rwanda needed more than just a reconstruction policy to rebuild. Rwanda saw the need to focus on the following issues so as to ensure total post conflict reconstruction and development; concentrate on ensuring both internal and external security, proper practice of democracy where there was responsible governance and citizens participation, ensure that the people who took part in the genocide crimes are apprehended hence promote repairable, reconcilable justice, promotion of human rights and fight impunity, rely on humanitarian aid for social and economic development, mobilize all types of resources and strengthen socio-economic policies regarding women.
As a result, in the year 1994, the RPF made efforts to create a coalition government which was based loosely on the power sharing arrangements that were part of the mandate of the 1993 Arusha Accords. In the state of tension government posts were circulated amongst the RPF and opposition parties though not including the MRND and other radical groups. Some of the major changes included; Hutu leader of the Movement Démocratique Républicain, (MDR), Faustin Twagiramungu became the prime minister; and Pasteur Bizimungu, a Hutu supporter of the RPF, became president, the current President Paul Kagame became vice president and the minister of defense, and he is widely accredited for having been the government’s de facto leader at that time.
When Paul Kagame became the Prime Minister, majority of the leaders were unsatisfied with the new government, some Hutu leaders chose to resign after claiming to have been marginalized. Due to the growing tensions and poor leadership skills in the government majority of the leaders resigned in the year 2000, after allegations of corruption among others. Kagame succeeded Bizimungu as president in March 2000, with elections scheduled for 2003. His adversary, Tswagirimungu came back to vie against him unfortunately for him his MDR party was banned and excluded from elections, for having been suspected of attempting to divide the people of Rwanda. MDR followers were arrested and taken to prison. Due to lack of an opposition party, Kagame was nominated in 2003 to a presidential term that was seven years, having gathered 95.5 percent of the vote.
Rwanda has been able to develop an effective security and intelligence apparatus which has been able to efficiently control the misbehavior of opposition parties, for example; during elections Rwanda was able to deal with internal opposition especially those who were on a mission to divide the state and re start the animosity of tribes all over again. However the vulnerability still remains with the allowance of the multiparty system in Rwanda, where ethnic extremists may rise again, and hence giving little room for competitive democracy. Free press is also another factor that has been greatly scrutinized by the government; the policy has ensured specific limits within the press as it was the main instigator of the Rwandan Genocide.
The memories; the rivalry against Tutsi and vice versa, that was incited by both the media and political leadership, and the unpredictability of the oncoming catastrophe of the genocide cannot be easily forgotten. Alusala argues that Disarmament is one key issue that Rwanda could not ignore, since one of the main goals was to obtain justice for the Genocide victims. The fact that weapons were and still are readily available threatens the wellbeing of the citizens as genocide could be sparked at any moment.
Goose and Smyth argued and predicted that arms race in Rwanda was on the way because other states assisted in fueling the Rwandan war; both the conflicting parties took part in purchasing weaponry through private sources within the open market. The Rwandan government experienced bankruptcy in its economy due to payments for these armaments. Former Warsaw Pact Countries also played a part in supplying both sides with weaponry after they saw an opportunity in Rwanda after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
However, Rwanda has not focused on disarmament internally and was not considered as a component of peace building. The government argues that disarmament is not the States priority at the moment. The Rwanda government claimed that the forces linked with the former Rwandan army (EX-FAR) and interhamwe militias are the ones who supported and took part in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and blamed for destabilizing the region. Therefore, Rwandan government argues that those who need the disbarment process are the EX-FAR and the interhamwe militia.
After the genocide Rwanda showed immense efforts in rebuilding the State in that the foreign ministers together with President Kagame gathered to review efforts of improving peace and security in the region in February 2005. These efforts included combating the proliferation and disarmament of combatants including the Hutu rebels functioning in DRC as they were the main reason of the spillover effect of wars within Africa’s great lakes region.
As a result, the United Nations advised the Rwanda government to focus on creating a secure environment for disarmament, this is important because it would enable disarmament programmes to operate effectively so as to avoid another relapse of conflict. Both the conflicting parties; Hutus and Tutsis; should be involved in the disarmament process and all levels of policy formulation. Rwandan Citizens should have their confidence in safety within their own boundaries rebuild. The improvement of post disarmament mechanisms such as small arms deliberate collection or the development of weapons for development programmes is also important because it would enable the collection of weapons that have not yet been surrendered. Lastly, to ensure that the weapons are completely destroyed or properly stored so that they cannot land into wrong hands again.
Rwanda’s strive for true justice and reconciliation can be seen through the development of the Gacaca courts, this was one of a kind because it involved a blend of the Rwandan culture and the laws put in place. According to the Rwandan tradition the word Gacaca means justice on the grass. Throughout the colonial era, Rwanda practiced the Western kind of legitimate system but the Gacaca practice kept on functioning as a traditional conflict resolution framework for the local population. After the Genocide attack Rwanda sort ways on how to bring Justice to the victims and through international intervention the option of using Gacaca arose immediately the genocide attacks began. Gacaca conducted its traditional role so as to get rid of the ordinary courts being over burdened with cases. These traditional courts also were also overburdened with cases of accused of genocide and the prisons were also getting over populated. However, during President Bizimungu Regime, the Gacaca courts were not effective because of corruption and biasness hence justice was not served effectively.
The notion of restorative settlement or ‘curative’ justice that is linked to the Gacaca law court came up much later, and the Urugwiro gatherings were the foundation for its introduction within the public domain. The Gacaca court system was developed within a surrounding where matters of answerability were of much importance. Gacaca now is set up by the state with procedures installed by the government, whereas the traditional Gacaca was direct in its operations and goals. The indication was to integrate people, discuss the issues or challenges so as to reestablish peaceful relationships, and avoid animosity within the society. The nature of the old Gacaca put procedures were mostly figurative and restorative where verdicts took the form of compensation for the damage caused, whereas the existing Gacaca punishes individuals through prison verdicts.
Despite the various problems facing Gacaca, it is vital to recognize that Rwanda is also facing enormous difficulties in its post-conflict reconstruction initiatives. Even though Rwanda has greatly improved after the Genocide, massacre, it still stands threatened with the existence of Hutu militias in DRC Congo, who threaten to invade Rwanda. On a positive note, Rwanda has laid emphasis on internal safety and economic development. However, there is a concern on refugees in neighboring states and the fact that some may not have experienced peace and reconciliation.
The stability of each state in any region is connected to its neighbors. The instant security situation in the area therefore is determined by the effectiveness of the mechanisms used to guarantee an inclusive strategy that will promote peace and reconciliation in Rwanda. Rwanda cannot deal with this progression without the efforts of the neighboring states and the international society.
1.2 Justification of the Study
It has been over twenty years since Rwanda experienced any conflict. After the conflict, Rwanda strived to ensure repairable, reconcilable justice, promotion of human rights and the fight against genocide. Rwanda has risen in both its economy and political stability. So far Rwanda has managed to construct the nation and its social capital, developed a credible State effectively governed by the rule of law and development of entrepreneurship of the private zone.
Clearly Rwanda has greatly recovered from the Genocide and it is quite unlikely for the conflict to re occur again due to the peace building policies put in place. Africa needs to critically look at Rwanda and borrow some of the lessons that they have learnt during their post conflict reconstruction and development. This will help African States in dealing with escalating conflicts and also assist them in the creation of early warning systems that will help in dealing with conflicts before they go out of hand hence causing the spillover effects to other neighboring countries.
In academic terms, the above explanation shows the importance of carrying out an assessment of the post conflict peace building in Rwanda so as to find out their achievements and challenges during the process, this will assist scholars and practitioners to come up with appropriate measures that will help in enhancing the process of peace building within African states today.
1.3 Theoretical Framework
It is difficult to find a specific theory that explains the rise of internal conflicts in Africa and conflict management efforts, simply because most theories explain the conflicts that have risen in the Western entities rather than the African states which have continuously experienced intrastate conflicts. In this regard, we must keep in mind that African states are still ‘young’ and are learning to embrace the concept of liberal peace and liberal democracies. This research project will encompass two theories that will explain the conflict in Rwanda and the post conflict peace building efforts within the state.
In the African context most conflicts are regarded as synchronic, and so are the theory and practice of conflicts. The fact that every population has an obligation to maintain its own livelihood, every individual has to satisfy its own basic needs. The conflict is then inevitable in the sense that any generation may through its own behavior compromise the livelihood of succeeding generations.
Peace building and conflict deterrence is guided by the concept of “liberal peace” which emerges from the practice of Western liberal concept and tradition. The theory of liberal peace sights governmental and financial liberalization as direct solutions to intense wars. Hence, advancement of individual rights, social equality, elections, constitutionalism, justice, assets rights, moral authority, and neo-liberal economics are essential to the international peace building strategy.
The nature of Liberal internationalism is interventional as it goes beyond supporting specific countries evolving from conflict to promoting a normative plan. Peace building ultimately needs the formation of a peaceful political authority which can lawfully guide a state’s post-conflict reconstruction. Immanuel Kant argues that peace is a result of the collaboration of states with a democrat form of rule. He further argues that the democrat constitution “gives a favorable prospect for the desired consequence, i.e., perpetual peace. Hence, if the consent of the citizens is required in order to decide that war should be declared nothing is more natural than that they should be very cautious in commencing such a poor game, decreeing for them all the calamities of war.”
Legitimization of relationships has been at the fore front in solving the Rwandan conflict and restoring peace. Rwanda focused on manipulating the environment through economic development, justice for victims and reconciliation, hence giving no room for tribal or ethnic clashes. This helped in promoting unity.
Rwanda’s ethnic division and lack of enough resources and equal distribution of land, food, led to the creation of ethnic animosity amongst the Rwandan people. Rwanda’s leaders at that time chose to respond to these conditions by performing a tribal cleansing of the Tutsi population of as well as their Hutu political rivals. They purchased and distributed weapons of indoctrination and at the same time incited the Hutu population that the strategy was justified. They did not recognize that demographic and economic policies would have addressed their issues in a peaceful and more effective way.
2.0 Introduction
Peace building is a broad term and has no precise definition; however various scholars have attempted to define this concept. Experts, scholars, international and regional organizations, and countries have struggled to categorize what institutionalizes peace after a conflict and what the important elements and stages likely to advance peace are. John Galtung argues that there is need for the creation of peace building structures for the promotion of maintainable peace by dealing with the deep causes of violent disputes and assisting the local institutions for peace management and conflict resolution. John Galtung further noted that there are three approaches to peace; peace keeping, peace-making and peace building.
Initially the formation of the United Nations was a peace building initiative, where states formed an International Community with the idea of promoting peace and reducing conflict. The League of Nations acted as a platform during World War one whose main aim was to prevent the second world war from occurring, but due to failure in providing for effective post conflict peace building frameworks the operationalization of the League of Nations failed hence leading to the formation of the United Nations.
Peace Building has quite a number of definitions from various scholars, from these definitions one can deduce the following; peace building involves external involvements that are intended to prevent the outbreak or reoccurrence of conflict, initiatives that are directed to limit the threat of lapsing or relapsing of disputes by reinforcing national institutions for the management of conflicts and providing a platform for maintainable peace and the growth of peace. Features of peace building include: National ownership, National Capability and common action plan. These three key strategies evolve around national capacity improvement which must be essential to all international peace building determinations and an agreed common strategy which should be nationally owned, based on an assessment of the countries situation.
The concept of peace building is considered to be very essential because conflicts have been on the rise hence there is need to recognize institutions which will reinforce peace in order to prevent the re occurrence of conflicts. The post conflict period in most countries can be categorized as a period of insecurity and political uncertainty. The peace processes often face regression depending on the political arrangements of states because essentially the success of peace building mechanisms depends on the political decisions.
The post conflict period in most countries can be categorized as a period of insecurity and political uncertainty. The peace processes often face regression depending on the political arrangements of states because the success of any peace building mechanisms often depends on the political decisions. Some of the important features of peace building include; National ownership, national capacity and a common action plan which should be nationally maintained, based on an assessment of a countries situation.
It still remains unclear the relationship between peace building, conflict prevention, peace-making, peace keeping, humanitarian and development assistance. The United Nations Charter states that the mandate of the United Nations is to participate in peace building so as to sustain international peace and security, to take effective collective actions for the prevention and removal of conflicts. Peace building is more of ‘how’ than ‘what’. There is need to have a more conflict sensitive approach because conflicts do not only leave physical destructions and institutional disorder but also a torn society branded by suspicion, fear and massive difficulties in even picturing the probability of functioning together towards common objectives. Some of the common challenges of peace building include; Financial challenges, coordination amongst state and non-state actors, the communication challenge which majorly involves media.
The Brahimi Report tried to explain and redefine peace building to be; actions that are meant to reconstruct the fundamentals of peace and providing the resources for constructing on those structures something that means more than just lack of war. However, the report emphasises on how peace building comes after conflict, and how it applies to conflict prevention, due to the above circumstances the role of peace keeping operations needed to be reviewed.
2.1 Principles of Peace Building
Developing any peace building framework requires specific distinct principles that are to be considered. These principles determine the success of the peace building initiatives put in place. These principles aim to shift the state of a population from being extremely vulnerable and dependent to one that is independent and prodperous. To achieve this, one can deduce the following principles;
2.1.1 Strategy
Strategy can be described as setting precise actions or countering issues pro- actively so as to meeting direct and specific concerns and wants. The design of peace building strategies should be linked with direct wants and desired concepts for effective change.
2.1.2 Interdependency
Peace building cannot succeed on its own; it needs a diversification of institutions involvement and roles, interrelated individuals, structures and undertakings. The mentioned are symbiotic. People are forced to value peace building; therefore peace building is strictly associated with the nature and value of interactions. It shapes relationships and maintains them as long as they are geared towards the objective of the peace building initiatives.
2.1.3 Inclusiveness
Inclusiveness means all rounded or comprehensiveness which is having the capability to understand the whole scenario so as to influence change. Long term peace can be attained by dealing with the multiple causes of conflict. This means recognizing the desires of those involved, coming up with an idea of what should be done, generating strategies that lead to attaining the objective, and creating a strategy that works as a guide. For this to be a success one has to refrain from being narrow minded and place the strategies within an extensive form of implementation.
2.1.4 Setup
This involves the infrastructure and groundwork logistical mechanisms, shared space and organizations that sustain the peace building processes. The setup of peace building structures is the foundation of the peace building strategies. In order for these structures to be effective; the interaction of the people is also important in that they need to change from violence to mutual respect and interdependence, improved participation and the recognition of individual accountability for peace building.
2.1.5 Sustainable Peace
Peace building takes a long period of time. Conflicts also take a long period of time especially if the issues are not addressed; they also evolve in terms of violence. In order to attain sustainable peace, has to understand the scope, dimension and the origin of the conflict. This requires intellectual and critical thinking and analysis of the situation so as to provide for effective reactions to issues, creation of on going capabilities within the framework of transforming periodic phases of conflict. This means recognizing and reinforcing resources that will help in dealing with the conflict.
2.2 Process of Peace Building
The process of peace building is divided into three key stages; stability formation, re-establishment of state institutions, and dealing with the socioeconomic scopes of conflict. Stability creation involves the aspiration to strengthen peace and discourage the soldiers from returning to conflict. A good example is the peace keeping operations serve the purpose of maintaining the cessation of hostilities and bring stability.
The second dimension involves the reestablishment of state institutions that have the capability to produce basic public goods and are guided by law. States emerging from conflict find it difficult to produce public goods due to the damaged commercial infrastructure and lack of enough capital for re-establishment, hence it is the role of the peace building actors to collaborate with other state or non-state actors to re-establish basic institutions such as civic administration, law societies, transportation and communication networks, re eastablish health institutions and schools.
Lastly, the third dimension involves the effort to reconstruct the states and the peoples’ capability to solve conflicts peacefully and come up with a socio economic foundation for effective economic development. This involves dealing with psychological shock, justice and reconciliation, harmony, reinforcing civil society groups, advocating for human rights awareness, confronting ecological issues, encouraging entrepreneurship skills and promoting gender equality.
2.3 Peace building in Africa
The African continent consists of developing states; some newly democratized and liberalized, these states consists of various ethnic groups who have learnt how to accommodate each other within the same boundary. The constant rise of conflicts in Africa has been as a result of various reasons; common reasons being scarcity of resources and lack of democracy. African conflicts have been considered to be unique in nature hence finding peace building mechanisms has been a challenge. African conflicts often begin as political conflicts then later evolve to be ethnical conflicts which are a major concern to peace building efforts. Africa needs to develop peace building mechanisms that will complement the functions of peace keeping and peace-making organizations.
Even though Africa has faced continuous conflicts over the last decade, we cannot ignore the fact that there has been enormous progress in the promotion of peace and security. This has been effective through the development of various institutions locally, regionally and in the international level. The African Union in particular has undergone significant institutional advancement by expanding its normative influence and ground level operations within the continent. For example; the important peace and security strategy of rejecting unconstitutional changes in government and acknowledge the need for humanitarian intervention in certain exceptional situations.
Some of the hindrances that prevent the progress of the peace building mechanisms include; the struggle in the improvement of the peace and security architecture because many of its members are still players in some of Africa’s most persistent conflicts that is Libya, Zimbabwe, Chad and Equatorial Guinea who have had continuous discord and are relied upon on decision making matters. The Africa Union also has on going internal disputes regarding what values and principles the organization should prioritize. There is also the need to clarify the strategic intentions of the partnerships between the United Nations and the African Union. There is also the aspect of domestic governance challenges through transnational crimes and corruption.
This Chapter paves way for some of the peace building initiatives implemented during the post conflict period in Rwanda. This Chapter will also complement Chapter three and four in the lessons that Africa can learn in dealing with conflicts

About Essay Sauce

Essay Sauce is the free student essay website for college and university students. We've got thousands of real essay examples for you to use as inspiration for your own work, all free to access and download.

...(download the rest of the essay above)

About this essay:

This essay was submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies.

If you use part of this page in your own work, you need to provide a citation, as follows:

Essay Sauce, Post conflict reconstruction and development in Africa and Rwanda. Available from:<> [Accessed 12-08-20].

Review this essay:

Please note that the above text is only a preview of this essay.

Review Title
Review Content

Latest reviews: