Abstract

1 This article presents findings from a qualitative case study assessment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Sierra Leone. It contributes to the empirical evidence concerning the psychologically healing effects of postwar truth telling processes and adds significantly to the specificity of such findings. The article distinguishes between the experiences of truth telling among the educated elite minority and the majority of local residents, and shows that these divergent experiences are related to different levels of access to the benefits, and incorporation of the international discourses, of postwar healing. It concludes with a word on the ability of the TRC to catalyze healing in the local context of Sierra Leone and the benefits of the ethnographic approach for the assessment of transitional justice mechanisms.

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