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Community reconciliation: Reconstructing self & others in harmony. A reintegration training package for ex-combatants & the war-affected.

Stauffer, Carl
June 4, 2015

Source: (-0001) Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.

The training manual you have in your hands is intended to be an innovative tool for both
facilitators and participants, who are interested in the re-integration process of persons
affected by war violence – whether combatants or civilians, women or children. It aims at
making a contribution to ‘filling the gap’ that exists in post-war societies between
national-level ‘justice’ processes and community-level interpersonal and relational
healing. South Africa (like many other post-war situations in Africa) has struggled to find
ways to build a ‘bridge’ between the high level political solutions imposed by government
structures, and the need to discover how to reconstruct new social identities and
harmonies that will foster living together in peace on the ground – in community.
While South Africa has gone through a Demobilisation, Demilitarisation and
Reintegration (DDR) process, as well as a Truth and Reconciliation Commission
exercise at a national level, it is still quite evident that there is great need for local,
community-based efforts at trauma recovery, restorative justice, and the implementation
of sustainable reconciliation for the decades to come. Layers of social fragmentation are
very evident in the South African context – whether we are looking at issues of poverty,
unemployment, domestic violence, HIV-AIDS, or serious violent crime, trauma is still too
high in the civilian population and the ex-combatant community still suffers too high a
percentage of these social ills. (excerpt)


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