Forgiveness : its role in the healing and reconciliation process between Eritrea and Ethiopia

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Karen Blanchard


This capstone research paper is a report on a study designed to examine the role of forgiveness in healing and reconciliation. I wanted to know particularly if forgiveness is a crucial part in the healing and reconciliation process between the Eritrean and Ethiopian nations who have fought bitter wars with a devastating effect. To answer my question, I interviewed eight people. Four of them, three Americans and one British, made an extensive study on forgiveness. Out of these four, three authored books on peace and forgiveness, the fourth is in the process of writing. They also had opportunities to work for peace and witnessed healing, peace, and reconciliation with forgiveness as one of the crucial elements in the peace process. The two Eritrean and two Ethiopian interviewees are all highly involved in peace activities. At the height of the war between these two countries, despite the propaganda of hate and viciousness, they had the will and the courage to call for peace talks and pleaded to both governments to stop the carnage. All of them believe that without forgiveness, healing does not come easily and without healing it is difficult for peace and reconciliation to endure. I interviewed one in person and two by way of e-mail, the rest were by telephone. I taped and transcribed their answers. The interviews lasted from 45 minutes to one hour and 15 minutes. I have attached the interview questions and the transcripts as Appendixes I and II. I asked the same questions to each one. My conclusion for this study is that indeed forgiveness could play a crucial role in the healing and reconciliation process of Eritrea and Ethiopia, however, it would be much more effective if the leaders of the two countries would demonstrate forgiveness. In today's world, wars, strife, and conflicts are rampant. It is my ardent belief that those who are seeking to be agents of peace in their communities, countries, and the globe would benefit from my research.

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