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Truth and Reconciliation
Alex Steffen, 14 May 04

Oppression scars not only the oppressed, but the oppressor. Places recovering from dictatorship, civil war, genocide or occupation need mechanisms not only to see justice done, but to reconcile those who have harmed with those who have been harmed -- for both's sake.

The gold standard in this sort of process thus far is South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. More on the Commission's work can be heard on this NPR talk of the nation show (For more on the lasting legacy of efforts to recover from Apartheid, Zaid's piece on democracy ten years after is a must-read.)

Reconciliation and tools for achieving it are essential components of any workable future.

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Comments

I'd also recommend that people read Antjie Krog's "Country of My Skull" which is a beautiful and haunting account of the TRC.

I noticed it seems to be in a lot of bookstores in the Boston area :-) So it shouldn't be hard to get.


Posted by: Zaid Hassan on 14 May 04



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