Organization for Regional and Inter-regional StudiesWaseda University

Project Research Institutes

African Research Unit

Culture of reconciliation in Africa

Research Unit Outline

United Nations decided to commemorate the year 2009 as “Year of the International Reconciliation year”. But did the status of subsequent world change after this commemoration? What is the specific consequence of this diplomatic press release? The way to achieve the peace is still long and steep.
Since 1990’s, Many African countries are facing with the challenge of the crucial problem: how to reestablish the social order and national reconciliation after the huge devastation caused by conflict. Especially in Africa large scale of civil war and regional conflict frequently happened in the in the 1990s and produced a huge number of refugees and IDPs.
In order to deal with this issue International community utilized the valuable elements of both hard and soft powers. As a hard power, they promoted military contribution to preserve the cease-fire or peace agreement, as a soft power they advocated the cooperation to institution-building efforts in post-conflict period or the support to civil society, NGOs and so forth. However, these approaches did not work efficiently in order to achieve the complete settlement of the reconciliation in the devastated and divided country in Africa.
Taking into account the context of African traditional culture, examples of national reconciliation case in Africa (South Africa, Mozambique, Benin, Rwanda, Somalia, Ivory Coast, etc.) we would like to make a profound analyze. In particular we would like to reevaluate the role played by “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” in South Africa, which paved the way to the historic settlement between perpetrator and victim.
Actually Central-Africa, Mali, DRC, the Northern Part of Nigeria and South Sudan, are still ongoing in terms of the Armed Conflicts. So this study of “reconciliation” within the Political Science is very timely.

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