Identity and Peace: Reconfiguring Conflict Resolution in Africa
The emergence of intra-state wars based on identity requires a reconﬁguring of existing conﬂict resolution mechanisms. The article recognises the limitations of liberal peace models originally conﬁgured to deal with inter-state conﬂicts, but increasingly applied to inter-ethnic conﬂicts with limited success and often disastrous effects. The article argues for the reconceptualisation of identities as building blocks of sustainable peace, justice and reconciliation. The article also calls for the recognition of the role of regional peace and security mechanisms in conﬂict resolution, as far as possible the use of traditional justice mechanisms, especially in the context of increasing state failure on the continent. The article cautions against enthusiastic embrace of international justice mechanisms that may sometimes create stumbling blocks to peace and reconciliation. Rather the article suggests nuanced interventions in identity-based conﬂicts that reconcile democracy and justice, guaranteeing the rights of both majority and minority groups.