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Sierra Leone`s post-conflict reconstruction: a study of the challenges for building long term peace

By P. Christine Cubitt

Abstract

The main purpose of this research was to understand the civil war in Sierra Leone and its antecedents, and to analyse the package of reconstruction reforms which came along in the post-war era and their relevance for and impact on the local challenges for longer term peace. Continued corruption among the political class, the persistent disenfranchisement of important social groups, and emerging tensions along political party lines suggested that, ten years on from the Lomé Peace Accord, there may have been a malaise in the peacebuilding plan.\ud To investigate the complex issues, and to support the hypothesis that the model for reconstruction was not best suited to local conditions and local priorities, the work first made a deep interrogation of the historic political, cultural and economic factors which led to the violent conflict. This scrutiny of the local experience allowed the conceptualisation of a germane ¿framework for peace` which represented the most pressing priorities of the local community and the central challenges for peace. The framework reflected the main concerns of the local populace and was used as an analytical tool to better understand the relevance of the model for reconstruction vis-à-vis the local context. Through a critical analysis of the post-war reforms and their impact on the social dimensions of recovery, in particular macro-economic reforms and the promotion of democracy, conclusions were drawn about the appropriateness and efficacy of the model of reconstruction experienced in Sierra Leone and how it supported local priorities for peace.\ud The enquiry found that, in general, the model for reconstruction was not best suited to the local context because of its inflexibility to support the local peacebuilding and its many challenges. In some ways the model for reconstruction heightened residual tensions from the conflict because it failed to address key issues for reform such as governance and social justice.Economic and Social Research Counci

Topics: Peacebuilding, Post-conflict reconstruction, Democratisation, Liberal peace, Structural reform, Sierra Leone
Publisher: Department of Peace Studies
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:bradscholars.brad.ac.uk:10454/4859
Provided by: Bradford Scholars

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