Conflict refers to the state of opposition, disagreement or incompatibility between two or more people which is sometimes characterized by physical violence. Conflict occur in different forms such as boundary and territorial conflicts, civil wars and internal conflicts having international repercussions, succession conflicts in territories decolonized and political ideological conflicts. In the other hand post conflict is the situation in which open warfare has come to an end. Such situation remains tense for years and can easily relapse into large scale violence. Peace building describes interventions that are designed to prevent the start of violent conflict by creating sustainable peace. This start before conflict starts or it ends. Post conflict peace building means action to identify and support structures which will tend to strengthen and solidify peace in order to avoid relapse into conflict. Peace building process takes different dimensions according to scholars. According to Barnett et al. post peace building process follows three dimensions that is stabilizing post conflict zone; restoring state institutions and dealing with social and economic issues. Stabilizing post conflict; Peace building activities directly attempt to reduce the means available, and the incentives, for actors to return to conflict.
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They include disarmament (taking away weapons), demobilization, reintegration programs (re-integrating former combatants into civil society), security sector reform, and arms control for light and heavy weapons systems. The first three activities (Disarmament, Demobilization, Re-integrating or DDR) are comprehensive process at the core of peace building as DDR is uses as preventive intervention that is the core component of peace agreement. Practitioners should be cautioned in using DDR approach because it does not provide panacea and it must be understood that just as situations vary, so do possible solutions differ. Restoring state institutions; this dimension tends to reinforce building state capacity to provide basic public goods and increase state legitimacy. Activities involved in this dimension involving rebuilding basic facilities, transportation and communication network, utilities; building health and education infrastructure. But because international actors do not envisage playing state-like functions long into the future, they also provide some degree of technical and capacity building assistance for state
institutions—even as they support parallel NGO’s or private sector structures that may operate outside of or duplicate state functions.
For instance, international financial institutions typically provide technical assistance so that state institutions can develop the capacity to build, monitor, and regulate basic economic and financial activities. Dealing with social and economic issues, programs in this context attempt to build not only the state’s but also society’s ability to manage conflict peacefully and develop the socioeconomic infrastructure necessary to underpin economic development. Activities include trauma counseling; transitional justice and restoration; community dialogue; building bridges between communities; increasing peace adherence of human rights; gender empowerment; raising environmental awareness; promoting economic development and developing a civil society and private sector that can represent diverse interests and challenges the state peacefully (Barnett,2007). In general, it takes time to address fragility and building peace and it is done best from the bottom up especially through civil society and local government but many post conflict countries have weak local structures which require support.
Sri Lanka is an example of the critical country that government has in a post-conflict situation and where it needs to work in partnership with national agencies, commonwealth and international partners. These institutions may function to restore local infrastructure, provide new houses, ensure basic services and encourage local economic development. Major organizations that work worldwide UN Peace-building Commission (PBC), UN Peace-building Fund (PBF), World Bank, International Monetary Fund and European Commission. In the same line of thought the supports provided by particular organizations are not enough as they are undertaking supply driven than the demand driven that is they provide peace building service in which their organizations specializes, not necessary that the recipient most needs.
Barnett, M., Kim, H., O’Donnell, M. and Sitea, L. (2007). “Peace building: What is in a name?”. Global governance. 13:35-38 Muggah, R. (2006). “Managing post conflict zones: DDR and weapons reduction.” In small arms survey year book 2005: weapons at war (small arms survey), 21 Schirch, L. (2013). Conflict Assessment & Peacebuilding Planning. CO: Lynn Reinner
Press. UN General assembly (n.d). Disarmament, Demobilization and Re-intergration. para 9-10 Wright, C. Peace-building in post-conflict states. London, 2013