Publication Date

2009

First Advisor

Tatsushi (Tats) Arai

Abstract

The National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) of Ghana came into being more than eight years after the nation’s return to constitutional rule with perceived levels of polarization. This study investigates questions surrounding responses to the effectiveness of the NRC, such as: to what extent was the initiation and activities of the NRC polarizing or uniting; what degree was public opinion divided over the appointment and acceptability of members of the NRC; and how significant of a role religious leaders should play in healing, forgiveness and reconciliation towards national unity as in the NRC. It argues: that the initiation and activities of the NRC was strongly polarizing with public opinion somehow divided over the appointment and general suitability of members while Religious leaders were strongly encouraged to play significant roles towards National Unity . The controversy can be attributed to the perception of a potential threat of witch-hunt by the ruling government and the possibility of making the National Democratic Congress, the immediate past government unpopular. The study again contends that the strongly polarized nature of the activities of the NRC could have been minimized or avoided if consultations have been more broad, processes carefully considered, integrity of commissioners given critical attention and a bi-partisan parliamentary involvement more pronounced. The methodology used in this study includes surveys and in-depth interviews involving people familiar with reconciliation in post-conflict societies and whose views are perceived to represent the greater society. It is hoped that this study emerges as an informative document on commissions and the role of religious leaders in helping reconstruct a nation that has gone through misrule and unconstitutional governance.

Disciplines

Peace and Conflict Studies

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