This article analyses why the UN’s members delegate resources to the UN Secretariat in the sensitive field of peacekeeping. It argues that the Secretariat can carry out planning and implementation functions more efficiently, but that the states remain wary of potential sovereignty loss. Through a mixed methods approach, this article provides evidence for such a functional logic of delegation, but shows that it only applies from the late-1990s on. The change in approach of states towards delegation can be explained by feedback from the dramatic failures of peacekeeping in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda and Somalia.
Truth telling has come to play a pivotal role in postconflict reconciliation processes around the world. A common claim is that truth telling is healing and will lead to reconciliation. The present study applies recent psychological research to this issue by examining whether witnessing in the gacaca, the Rwandan village tribunals for truth and reconciliation after the 1994 genocide, was beneficial for psychological health. The results from the multistage, stratified cluster random survey of 1,200 Rwandans demonstrate that gacaca witnesses suffer from higher levels of depression and PTSD than do nonwitnesses, also when controlling for important predictors of psychological ill health. Furthermore, longer exposure to truth telling has not lowered the levels of psychological ill health, nor has the prevalence of depression and PTSD decreased over time. This study strongly challenges the claim that truth telling is healing and presents a novel understanding of the complexity of truth-telling processes in postconflict peace building.
This article explores the relationship between the UK and Rwanda, using the lens of the UK Department for International Development’s integrated approach to state building and peace building in fragile and conflict-affected states. It identifies a number of priorities for UK aid under such a framework, but shows that in the case of Rwanda these have not been foregrounded in the bilateral aid relationship. The article suggests a number of reasons for this, arguing that, by refusing to acknowledge or address Rwanda’s deviations from what was considered a positive development trajectory, the UK is becoming internationally isolated in its support for the rpf regime. It concludes that, while this bilateral relationship may support achievement of stability and relative security in Rwanda, promoting such a narrow form of state building is detrimental to more holistic peace building, both nationally and regionally.