Recent emphasis on development initiatives in conflict regions, often called “post-conflict reconstruction”, gives the erroneous impression that the conflict is over, and rebuilding is the priority. In fact, most conflict regions are divided by many issues that are confronted and resolved at frequent intervals.
The term “post-conflict” is used most often to refer to the end of a military operation mounted by outsiders who seek to force an end to hostilities. Unfortunately, such wars rarely deal with the original indigenous conflict. The presence of foreign troops can maintain a cease-fire, during which some reconstruction can occur, but development projects undertaken under the “Post-Conflict “ label have not resolved any conflicts, nor do they promise long-term stability once foreign troops are removed. The short-term economic booms they generate cater disproportionately to those sectors serving the foreign presence. Attempts to foster local initiatives through civil society also have created an artificially-sustained sector dependent on donors instead of community support.
There are successful development strategies for conflict regions, but they are not included in post-conflict programs as popularly practiced, where the focus is on rebuilding the most recent destruction.