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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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Donald Reeves - Peace Building Is not for Wimps: Reflections on Progress towards Reconciliation in the Balkans 173


Donald Reeves Peace Building Is Not for Wimps: Ref lections on Progress towards Reconciliation in the Balkans Monasteries As my colleague Peter Pelz and I approached the monastery an armed soldier emerged from a camouf laged bunker. He introduced himself as a captain in the Italian army, his soldiers from NATO guarding the monastery 24/7. ‘Are you carrying weapons?’ he asked. ‘No,’ I replied, acknowledging the possibility I might be concealing a gun under my cassock. He waved us on to the next check point, and as we stopped again an armoured personnel carrier roared up to the bunker. After more questions and waiting as they checked our passports we were allowed to drive to the monastery, along another wall, to another bunker and eventually we entered a gate into a spacious courtyard and at last saw the great church itself. We had arrived at Pec, the ancient seat of the Serbian Orthodox Patri- archate in Kosovo. The thirteenth-century monastery with three adjacent churches sumptuously decorated with frescoes stands at the entrance to the Rugova valley. Mountains rear up beyond, their tops capped with snow even in high summer. Pec, the second largest city in Kosovo, after the capital Pristina, is now mostly Kosovo Albanian: the Serb population a greatly diminished minority after the conf lict in 1999. We saw the elderly abbess in a black wimple covering a crown leaving the church after morning service, following the twenty nuns who make up the community of Pec. She...

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