Truth and Reconciliation: A Necessity for Trauma Healing in Post Conflict Restructuring

Author(s)

Sam Olatunji Ajiye ,

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Volume 12 - February 2023 (02)

Abstract

This paper contributes to the existing knowledge on the role played by truth, confession, and reconciliation as necessary ingredients for trauma healing in post-conflict restructuring. The article discussion shows to what extent these concepts are interconnected, and share a complex relationship with truth and reconciliation. It argues that the knowledge about past violence is hardly a canonical truth. It is at best a negotiated truth. This knowledge is inevitably a combination of facts and interpretations. This knowledge is sought and used for understanding past violence but also for paving the way toward the reconstruction of post-conflict societies. The article argues that confession offers a twofold opportunity; it provides knowledge of past violence, and acknowledgment of victims’ pain through perpetrators’ expression of remorse, although in a limited manner. Forgiveness is also discussed in relation to its essential meaning, the actors involved, and its purposes. Finally, reconciliation is built on two pillars, firstly, the proclamation of a seemingly achieved reconciliation; and secondly, the experiencing of reconciliation in everyday interaction between perpetrators and victims

Keywords

Truth, Reconciliation, Trauma. Forgiveness, Post-conflict restructuring

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