Cambodia Reconciliation: A Reflection on Justice and Reconciliation Issues and Challenges for the past 25 Years Post War – Peace and Reconciliation

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Author: Soth Plai Ngarm

Published by: CPCS

Publication Date: March 2017


This reflection paper highlights issues related to reconciliation in Cambodia, making the case that holistic reconciliation needs to address different levels of reconciliation – political, social and emotional. The paper serves to raise questions for further inquiry and discussion on what holistic reconciliation could look like in Cambodia, and the factors that need to be considered. While Cambodia has experienced political reconciliation, there has been no national process for healing or social reconciliation. This paper explores the different influencing factors and dynamics that are entwined with attitudes about reconciliation in Cambodia, including the roles of war-peace leaders in driving reconciliation, and the tensions between political ideologies and varying visions for a peaceful Cambodia. It also examines the role of judicial mechanisms, namely the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), in offering reconciliation at the social or emotional levels.