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Back to the Future? Confronting the Role(s) of Natural Resources in Armed Conflict Through the Lenses of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions

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image of International Community Law Review

Natural resources are critical factors in the transition from conflict to peace. Whether they contributed to, financed or fuelled armed conflict, failure to integrate natural resources into post-conflict strategies may endanger the chances of a long-lasting and sustainable peace. This article explores how Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRCs), as transitional justice institutions, can contribute to addressing the multifaceted role of natural resources in armed conflict. Drawing insights from the practice of the Sierra Leonean and Liberian TRCs in this area, the article identifies several ways in which truth-seeking bodies may reinforce post-conflict accountability and avoid the future reoccurrence of abuses and conflict by actively engaging with the natural resource-conflict link. As it is often the case with other transitional justice initiatives, TRCs’ engagement with the role of natural resources in armed conflict brings along opportunities and challenges, which are contextual and influenced by domestic and international factors.

Affiliations: 1: National University of Singapore


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