Title page for ETD etd-09102012-181350

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Wanki, Justin Ngambu
URN etd-09102012-181350
Document Title Conflict resolution in post-conflict DRC, Rwanda and Sierra Leone : towards a synergy of the rights-based and interest-based approaches to conflict resolution
Degree LLM
Department Centre for Human Rights
Advisor Name Title
Prof F Viljoen Supervisor
  • rights-based
  • interest-based
  • conflict
  • post-conflict
Date 2012-04-11
Availability unrestricted
This mini-dissertation relates to the post-conflict period in the DRC, Rwanda and Sierra Leone, juxtaposing the rights-based and interest-based approaches to conflict management and resolution.

The study is premised on the lack of significant collaboration between the two approaches, notwithstanding the already existing collaboration. The rights-based approach posits that there exist some crimes of international dimension that should not be left unprosecuted for whatever reason. The approach sees the compliance with international norms on the respect of human rights as more important than coming to a final resolution of conflict. This paradigm therefore postulates that transgressors of international norms cannot take part in peace agreements and must be held individually responsible for the atrocities they have committed. The approach considers justice as a prerequisite to peace.

The interest-based approach frowns at the idea of laying blame on persons as being responsible for committing horrendous breaches and rather seeks to be neutral and not blaming any party. The approach encourages more dialogue and cooperation between the two parties which could culminate in a settled agreement. The approach gives more room to inclusiveness, participation and conflict resolution. Peace here is accepted to be a conditio sine qua non to justice and the resolution of conflict thereafter. As a result of this juxtaposition of approaches, proponents of the two approaches have been perpetually suspicious of each other’s approach. This impasse has therefore retarded collaboration in the two paradigms to a sufficient degree.

This study therefore argues for a third stand, which is the synergy of the approaches to collaborate to a degree which will enhance sustainability in peace agreements to guarantee durable and long lasting peace in the DRC, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. This third stand depicts that integrating the approaches, insights and knowledge from one approach strengthen and benefit the other. Conflict resolvers will understand how rights denial have the potential of igniting conflict, and human rights actors will enhance their negotiation skills in conflict resolution especially in areas where the access to rebel occupied zones and even to political prisoners is difficult.

Finally, the study has also depicted how traditional African methods and concepts like Gacaca and Ubuntu can be enhanced within the broad usage of the two paradigms and not as competitive paradigms. Gacaca is a traditional mechanism in Rwanda whose primordial aim is the settlement and reconciliation of the victim with his perpetrators. Ubuntu seeks to reiterate the connectivity existing between Africans. Conflicts will not exist if we all love one another due to our connectivity. ‘We’ is given more consideration than ‘I’. This is the understanding from the perspective of Ubuntu.

Copyright © 2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Wanki, JN 2011, Conflict resolution in post-conflict DRC, Rwanda and Sierra Leone : towards a synergy of the rights-based and interest-based approaches to conflict resolution, LLM dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-09102012-181350/ >


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