Amarachi Iheke is a PhD Candidate in the Department of War Studies. Her research interests lie in African post-colonial nationbuilding, post-conflict reconciliation and arts-based transitional justice. Her thesis project applies such themes within the context of post-civil war Nigeria. She holds a BA in International Relations (2018) and African Studies, from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
Amarachi’s research is funded by the Economic Social Research Council, through the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS DTP).
- Transitional Justice
- Post-conflict reconciliation
- African post-colonial nationbuilding
- Race and Empire
Thesis title and abstract:
Reconciliation and Transitional Justice in post-civil war Nigeria
Supervisor: Prof. Rachel Kerr (1st); Dr. Nicola Palmer (2nd)
This research project addresses the importance of transitional justice in the 1967 - 1970 Nigeria-Biafra war. It critically explores the role of memory and latent post-conflict trauma in creating various narratives of the conflict and the effect of such narratives on an already splintered ‘Nigerian’ national identity. Following the theme of memory and trauma, the project also considers various marginalised experiences of the conflict, particularly those of women and minoritised ethnic groups in the seceding south-eastern ‘Biafran’ region, in a bid to articulate complexities in persecution discourses.
At the heart of this project are policy-based recommendations for implementing a national transitional justice programme. Centering the experiences of disaffected communities and regions, the project proposes necessary measures to validate victims' experiences and commence a process of national healing. These recommendations are also rooted in analyses of other national approaches to reconciliation and transitional justice, such as South-Africa’s ‘truth and reconciliation commission’ and Rwanda's ‘gacaca’ courts. Transitional justice is consequently presented in this paper, as a three-pronged approach, consisting of ‘understanding, acceptance and memorialisation’, with particular focus on arts-based approaches to national healing.
Moving Beyond Semantics: Examining the ‘Biafran’ genocide claim