Post Conflict Reconstruction
In conflicts with a significant natural resource dimension, the economic interests of parties can threaten stability long after the signing of a peace agreement. As the experience of Liberia shows, ex-combatants often continue illicit resource exploitation after the fighting has ended, particularly if there are no alternative sources of employment.
In post-conflict countries corrupt management of natural resources is often entrenched by international peacebuilding efforts that focus on ‘kick-starting’ the economy via the extractive industries and relegate natural resource governance reforms down their list of priorities. This can open the door to military and political leaders capturing valuable state assets and harnessing them to their own agendas.
A main focus of peace building and post-conflict reconstruction should be ensuring transparent and accountable management of natural resources. This should involve assessments of what natural resources the country has and their best possible usage; creating laws and regulations that require transparency and accountability; and building institutional capacity to manage natural resources wisely and enforce the law effectively.
Effective independent monitoring mechanisms and the engagement of local civil society are both critical to ensure accountability and sustainable, transparent resource governance that prolongs peace and promotes development.
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