Reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction processes

The reconciliation and normalisation sought following violent conflicts cannot be artificially imposed by one of the sides without prior agreement and dialogue. Experience shows that proceeding otherwise runs the risk of “false closure”, a situation potentially leading to new violent outbursts or to scenarios of confrontation similar to those existing at the start of the conflict. Also, if the instability and injustice of political, social, power, legal and economic structures remain in place, it will be difficult for these processes to have a successful outcome.

There are different complementary approaches to conciliation processes. Some operate from “top to bottom”: this is the case of Algeria, where, in 1999, the State, with its “national harmony” policy, offered amnesty to Islamists with no violent crimes to their names. But an amnesty of this kind is incomplete, since the “repentants” are unable to find their place in a society that does not accept them. Other approaches, from “bottom to top”, encourage involved participation in the communities of the people affected by a conflict and work to reconstruct inter-personal and group relations.

Film: El taaib / Le repenti

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