Policy & Practice Briefs

The Policy & Practice Brief series forms part of ACCORD's knowledge production work to inform peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. They aim to provide succinct, rigorous and accessible recommendations to policy makers and practitioners and to stimulate informed and relevant debate to promote dialogue as a way to peacefully resolve conflict. Each issue draws on field research or the outcomes of thematic events, with analysis underpinned by rigorous research, academic theory and methods. 

The road to reconciliation

A case study of Liberia’s reconciliation roadmap

Policy & Practice Brief 30

Years after the August 2003 signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which brought to an end Liberia’s bloody civil war, there was realisation by the Government of Liberia that the reconciliation process had stalled. To correct this, and keep the country on the path of peace, the government embarked on a series of initiatives aimed at reigniting the reconciliation process...

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One of these was the 2013 Strategic Roadmap for National Healing, Peacebuilding and Reconciliation in Liberia (2013–30) which was developed by the government’s Peacebuilding Office (PBO), located within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, with support from the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (UN PBC). This roadmap provides the basis for all planned future interventions by the state and relevant stakeholders. It is framed within 12 thematic components, which are arranged in programmes and strategies under three categories: (i) accounting for the past, (ii) managing the present, and (iii) planning for the future. A year after the roadmap was launched, however, there has been little progress in its implementation. Challenges include inadequacy of leadership among those responsible for rolling it out, lack of general public support for the plan, financial constraints, and a disjuncture between what reconciliation means in theory and what Liberians want and need in practice. This Policy & Practice Brief (PPB) examines the various challenges affecting effective implementation of the roadmap and makes recommendations aimed at local and international actors involved in the operationalisation of the plan. It uses the Liberian reconciliation process as a case study to unpack what reconciliation means in theory, and how the process has been approached and implemented in practice.