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Just Reconciliation

The Practice and Morality of Making Peace


Edited By John R. Elford

Most people desire peace but understand that military intervention is sometimes required as a last resort. This book argues that more attention must therefore be given to the study and practice of post-conflict reconciliation. The essays collected here look at the work of figures such as Marc Ellis, Donald Reeves, Justin Welby and the ‘Vicar of Baghdad’ Andrew White, and examines how these individuals portray the different successes and failures of reconciliation in dangerous situations. Other chapters examine the contributions made to reconciliation activity by psychology, aid distribution, commissions and peace treaties. The countries and regions under discussion include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, the Middle East, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. The contributions reflect both religious and secular views on reconciliation.
The central debate takes place in the context of the changing role of the military in the modern world. The essays in the volume argue that issues relating to reconciliation and the post-conflict reconstruction of civil society should be considered a part of the moral assessment of military action and that the theory of just war needs to be developed to include considerations of this kind.


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Justin Welby - Reconciliation in Nigeria 65


Justin Welby Reconciliation in Nigeria Introduction In November 2002, serious rioting broke out in Kaduna in the middle belt of Nigeria. Two advisers from what was then called the Coventry International Centre for Reconciliation (ICR) went at the end of the rioting, which killed several thousand people in three days and left more than 25,000 homeless. Though apparently a religious conf lict, as will be described later, the reality was far more complex. A return visit in Janu- ary by the Coventry team involved a conference for Anglican clergy in the Diocese of Kaduna on the subject of reconciliation. It was bitter and dif ficult, with many of the clergy very hurt by the events in which they had seen. Churches had been burnt, parishioners killed and injured, they were seeking revenge not reconciliation. The work of the conference centred around the book of Jonah. Key to the book is Jonah’s anger with God in Chapter 4, because of God’s forgive- ness of the people of Nineveh. Essentially Jonah is saying to God ‘I did not refuse to go to Nineveh in the first place because I was afraid, but because I knew you were the kind of God that would forgive and I wanted them to suf fer’. Exploring this theme with the clergy, one of whom was encouraging parishioners to arm themselves and be ready to strike back, brought out many deeply painful feelings. At the end of the conference it was unclear to what extent emotions...

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