un site de ressources pour la paix

Iréné est un site de ressources documentaires destiné à favoriser l’échange de connaissances et de savoir faire au service de la construction d’un art de la paix.
Ce site est porté par l’association
Modus Operandi

En librairie

Transformation de conflit, de Karine Gatelier, Claske Dijkema et Herrick Mouafo

Aux Éditions Charles Léopold Mayer (ECLM)


Brussels, novembre 2007

The role and potential of civilian peace services: character, goals, activities, outcomes and impact

Using the European Network for Civil Peace Services as a example for examining the work and effectiveness of CPS

Character and goals

As mentioned before, Civil Peace Services is not a straightforward category that is clearly distinct from peace teams on the one hand, and other volunteer services on the other. Lacking a more specific definition, for the purpose of this study, all those volunteer and training organisations that are members of the European Network for Civil Peace Services (see below) will be called Civil Peace Services (CPS). Some of them are closely related to other, older versions of volunteer services that were founded after World War I or World War II.(1)

The 1990’s saw a new wave of interest in nonviolent intervention by peace teams and peace services in conflict situations. Several volunteer projects, which used volunteers from abroad as well as recruited local volunteers, were created alone in the area of what was Yugoslavia until 1991. Many of the projects concentrated on refugee camps, offering social activities to the refugees and the displaced. Probably the largest of these initiatives was Sunflower (Suncokret) in Croatia, which became a Croatian humanitarian organisation that is still active today. Its founder, a Dutch activist, has meanwhile set up a follow-up project for refugees from Kosovo (Balkan Sunflower). Several projects engaged in what they called “social reconstruction work” (see below), combining physical reconstruction aid with social activities in divided towns. The first of these was a project in Pakrac in Western Slavonia that then was copied or adapted for several places both in Bosnia and Kosovo. Typically these projects work with short-term and middle-term volunteers who are usually young people, and who go with only little preparation (a weekend course or something comparable). Their goals are generally to give support to children, young people, elderly or other needy groups by offering them social activities, and thereby helping them overcome the traumas of war, and find a safe space for reconnecting with each other across conflict lines.(2)

The conceptualisation of what is called Civil Peace Services in (predominantly Western) Europe is a special development of the 1990s. The impetus was probably a reaction to the war in former Yugoslavia, plus in a renewed (related) interest in developing alternatives to the military. Conceptually, the projects vary widely between different countries, and also sometimes have seen different developmental stages within one country. Since 1997, there has been a European Network of Civil Peace Services (called EN.CPS) - a network of participants and co-operating groups with which they are in contact.

The main countries where Civil Peace Services can be found today are Germany, Austria, France, the Netherlands, Britain and - as a somewhat special case - Italy. There are a few other initiatives in Europe that do not, or only partially, participate in Civil Peace Service efforts, especially in Sweden (Swedish Peace Team Forum) and Belgium (Field Diplomacy Initiative); also in Spain there are COs doing work abroad that has some similarity to the Italian White Helmet approach. In Germany there are at least two other organisations that provide training of several weeks and months as well as send people into projects, which do not count themselves among Civil Peace Services, but which are more comparable to them than to other volunteer projects.(3) And, to make things even more complicated, development services in Germany have started to send people abroad under a budget line in the Ministry of Development called Civil Peace Service.

Some of the CPS projects concentrate solely on training, leaving the question of deployment aside (the Netherlands, Britain). In Austria and Italy the CPS is based primarily on Conscientious Objectors doing their alternative service in the CPS. (4) Others use paid staff called peace experts, or aim at training such experts (Germany, the Netherlands, Britain)(5). Some of the projects explicitly plan for conflict transformation work in their home country as well as abroad. In practical terms, almost all projects that have been implemented are cross-border projects, the majority of them in the European “near abroad”, the countries of former Yugoslavia.(6)

At least some of the CPS groups started out as projects of large-scale intervention. This is specifically true of the German CPS, and to earlier discussions in the Netherlands. In the period between the first conceptualisations and their realisation, they all became small-scale, sending out teams or even individuals. (If not, they started to change their focus to education and training volunteers.)

The lists of goals of the different CPSs today greatly resemble each other. Generally, they aim at violence prevention, the search for possibilities for ending violent conflicts, and for sustainable solutions for all parties in conflict, (re)constitution of peaceful situations (material and social reconstruction, a functioning community and society, reconciliation), and support of civil society or for those groups which work toward these goals at the place of conflict.(7) Some also mention human rights protection as one of their goals.

In regard to principles to be found within the CPS organisations, many people in Europe nowadays prefer to use the term civil conflict transformation rather than nonviolent conflict transformation. As far as I know, none of the volunteer or CPS projects claims that its work constitutes an alternative to military missions. If the issue is raised at all, then the expectation is expressed that CPS and civil conflict transformation in general will become the dominant way of dealing with conflict in future, and by means of well timed preventive work, will make military conflict interventions unnecessary. Primarily, but not only, in the case of the Italian “White Helmets” there is usually (8) some co-operation on the practical level with international military forces in those countries where military interventions took place. The people in the field make use of their facilities and prerogatives (passes, communication services), put themselves on evacuation lists of the UN/NATO forces, and generally accept being part of the complex, multi-facetted reconstruction missions led by the UN in Bosnia and Kosovo (see 2.5 for a discussion of the role of civilians in complex missions). For example, one organisation working in Bosnia said clearly in the interview that they want to make a contribution to the implementation of the Dayton agreement.

With regard to non-partisanship and working with local partners, the picture is not very homogeneous. While the principle of non-partisanship is highly held by some organisations - specifically the more professional Civil Peace Services - others like Austrian Peace Services place their volunteers with local groups with the mandate to support their work. Ethnic tensions in the region was the reason given in two cases for the decision not to have a real local partner: In the absence of multiethnic local partners, choosing a local partner would mean aligning oneself with one side of the conflict (in Bosnia), the interview partner from Pax Christi Germany emphasised. One other project in Bosnia, the Centre for Antiwar Action, resolved the issue by choosing its staff from all three ethnic backgrounds, thereby maintaining an all-partisan stance.

In recent years, in some European countries a distinction has been made between learning services mainly for young people, with an emphasis on personal growth of the participants of the service, and expert services having their emphasis on the outcome of the service work for third parties.(9) The voluntary services mentioned above are such learning services. This is considered, at least in the German debate, as being also true for some long-term services in the South.(10) There is the category of “Learning Services in Solidarity”(11) as, for example, Eirene offers. Their goal is to further contacts between people and initiatives in the North and the South. The volunteers have to be supported by a local group at home, and work with a grassroots’ organisation abroad, thereby creating ties between the two groups which continue after the service of the individual volunteers ends.(12)

Peace Expert Service (13) is used to describe the conflict transformation work of professionals (both in the meaning of being paid rather then being volunteers, and having specific qualifications) working with NGOs in conflict regions, be it in one’s own country or abroad.(14) In some countries, peace expert service is seen as the element typical of Civil Peace Services, and those countries - particularly the Germans - try to push this element. But it seems that this view is not shared by many of the other associations involved in Civil Peace Services today.

Activities of Civil Peace Services

There are not many Civil Peace Services that have already sent people to the field, and only a few of them have more than two years’ experience (Austria, Germany).

Depending on the character of the services, the number of people sent to the field varies when the volunteer project of the Swiss group and the Italian White Helmets are included, but most organisations (all German organisations and Austrian Peace Services) usually have only one to three people in one project at the same time.(15)

One remarkable speciality of the German CPS is that there are a few local peace experts trained, placed or financed in addition to international ones, or even as the only ones in a project. The Austrian Peace Services co-operate with the Centre for Nonviolence in Osijek, which provides them with international volunteers for their otherwise Croatian-staffed project.

On the basis of 15 (16)projects that have people in the field, the following list of activities has emerged in regard to dealing with conflict. In addition, there were other activities reported, such as PR work and reporting back to their organisation or funders, but this was done only in an internal, organisational context. (None of the organisations interviewed uses public reporting as a tactic to influence the conflict, as some peace teams do.)

Peacekeeping activities

  • 1. Monitoring, presence, and accompaniment:

Some activities in the realm of monitoring and presence, as well as the occasional accompaniment, can be found specifically in several projects both in Croatia and Bosnia:


    • Maintaining a presence: Having an international person in the office of a local (Croatian) human rights organisation, and going with the activists or alone to visit villagers are reported to have a protective function both for the Serbian minority and the activists.(17)

    • Monitoring is reportedly used mainly in the context of evacuating occupied houses that are in the process of being returned to their original (usually Serbian) owners. “When you are present, it is calmer”, one bailiff reportedly said to a team member in Bosnia.

    • Accompaniment might occur occasionally in the context of support for returnees (for example, going with a refugee to her house that is to be evacuated), but has not been developed into a tactic as PBI or WFP have done.

  • 2. Protesting with local or international authorities, or generally alerting international attention, also documentation and reporting:

These activities may have a protective function as well, depending on the issue of the protests. Several organisations working in Bosnia and Kosovo regularly or occasionally address local authorities as well as international organisations and authorities (UNHCR, OSCE, OHR, IPTF) in order to alert them to issues, mainly those concerning the return of refugees and the displaced. Pax Christi Banja Luka (Serbian Republic in Bosnia), for example, collected information on 600 homeless displaced persons, and gave that information to OSCE and IPTF with the request that they should act on it. Their sister team in Benkovac in Croatia alerted international organisations both in Croatia and internationally to threats and attacks committed by radical groups in that area.

Peacemaking activities:

Peacemaking activities, meaning bringing individuals or groups together in dialogue, usually occur, if at all, at the local level. Civil Peace Services generally profess the objective of working at the grassroots and middle level, and not attempting mediation etc. at the level of political leaders. In the examples studied, there have been few cases of such activities, and almost all of them could also be considered to fall into the category of peacebuilding without stretching either concept too far:

  • Supporting dialogue: One of the Pax Christi teams (Benkovac) has been supporting dialogue between the Lutheran and Orthodox Churches.(18)

  • Examples of mediation described were activities at the micro level, e.g. mediation between a returning displaced family and people currently living in their house(19), or between two youth groups in a divided town.

  • Offering meeting space, be it the flat/house where the volunteers live or the Youth Centre they have helped to create, is a function that seems to be common to almost all projects.

  • Opening doors to authorities and international agencies:(20) Networking and linking functions between NGOs and internationals, accompanying activists or regular citizens to such bodies, and being an advocate for local groups are important functions played by many CPS projects. Specifically in those areas of former Yugoslavia where a large number of international actors are present, local NGOs often have found it difficult to be accepted as equal partners, or even to be listened to at all. International volunteers setting up meetings with such international organisations, or insisting in the participation of local NGOs in co-ordination forums (e.g. what the ForumCPS team did in Prizren), play an important role for these local groups. CPS volunteers have also served the same function from time to time in communication with local authorities. For example, Pax Christi Benkovac managed to get their local partner organisation in contact with their mayor who had previously chosen to ignore that group.

Peacebuilding activities:

Several categories of peacebuilding activities were found:

  • 1. Multi-ethnic or multi-communal social work

This term is used in a thesis written by a German social worker, Ruben Kurschat(21), who worked as a CPS volunteer in Jaice/Bosnia. He describes a multitude of activities that are typical activities of social workers but have the implicit function of bringing people together across ethnic or other perceived lines of conflict. This kind of social work creates a neutral space or protected area in which people, independent of their ethnic or religious identities, come together and do things together, such as attending a computer course or playing football. The objective of furthering reconciliation is rarely made explicit because of the fear that work concentrating on the ethnic lines of conflict might strengthen those lines and thereby deepen the conflict.(22) The social worker or peace expert might insist on participation from all sides and would try to stop all attempts to close one project or activity (e.g. language course) to members of the other groups. But rather then making “the conflict” the issue to meet about, the activities are used to reflect on group processes and one’s own behaviour, and thereby deal with the conflict indirectly.

In detail, such activities might be:


    • Found and run youth centres

    • Organise social activities for different groups, for example courses and circles (knitting and senior groups) in refugee camps

    • Organise community-building projects: Pax Christi Benkovac (Croatia) has been interviewing citizens in order to find out their interests and special resources, thus encouraging the consequent formation of groups according to purpose, not ethnicity.

    • Organise youth camps: Several organisations have occasionally organised international youth camps in addition to their daily work, in order to give children and young people a chance to leave their daily life behind for a while.

    • Organise/facilitate cultural activities: Several local groups that are partners of Austrian Peace Service organise cultural activities, from theatre plays to rave parties, with the support of the Austrian volunteers.

    • Offer meeting space: This function sometimes develops almost without planning when the flat or house of the volunteers becomes a protected meeting space. Youth centres, of course, fulfil the same function.

    • Visit citizens: This is an activity reported by most CPS projects. It is both a by-product of other activities and a conscious effort to support isolated people in the countryside.

  • 2. Support for local groups and civil society development

Supporting local groups and civil society development is one of the objectives of most CPSs, and one for which many related activities can be found:


    • Advising: The Austrian Peace Services placed volunteers with an Albanian Education Development Project where they gave advice on where to get materials, did some budget writing, edited a project newsletter, and generally were responsible for co-ordination and evaluation. Pax Christi Benkovac helped a humanitarian women’s association establish itself as an NGO, and also initiated biweekly meetings of village representatives to discuss upcoming issues and problems in village development.

    • Supporting local activists in their activities: Volunteers provide translations, facilitate meetings, serve in the office, take care of administrative and organisational tasks, drive people around, produce project newsletters and engage in other similar activities specifically in projects where volunteers were placed with local NGOs (as specifically the Austrians do). Of special importance here seems to be fund-raising support that the German ForumCPS team in Kosovo offered to a local group.

    • Networking activities: Most projects are involved in networking in one way or another, for example by furnishing international contacts and/or by bringing the partner organisation in contact with other local groups.

    • Co-organising public activities: Some CPSs have been doing this, for example Pax Christi Benkovac together with Balkan Peace Team helped several local humanitarian and human rights groups organise a Croatian-Bosnian Round Table on the return of refugees from Bosnia to Croatia.

  • 3. Training and education in conflict-related skills

Although they belong to the realm of civil society building, training and education in areas such as conflict transformation, dealing with violence, and democratic decision-making skills should be considered in a category of their own because of their predominance in some projects. There is even one project supported under the German CPS scheme that concentrates solely on training: A Yugoslav expatriate who had worked with a German training organisation, together with (by now) six other trainers from all parts of former Yugoslavia set up a training centre (Centre for Nonviolent Action) in Sarajevo/Bosnia. There they offer training in conflict transformation and civil society building for all parts of Bosnia.

The research survey showed that NGOs, young people and women, teachers, police and OSCE staff are the primary target groups for workshops and training.

  • 4. Psycho-social support

Psycho-social support for war victims and otherwise traumatised target groups has become an important activity in the realm of peacebuilding in many parts of the world, not only in former Yugoslavia.(23) The Civil Peace Services surveyed have displayed two kinds of activities in this field:


    • Active listening (Austrian Peace Services);

    • Trauma counselling with groups (ForumCPS and Pax Christi Benkovac), and self-help groups for those with chronic illnesses (ForumCPS in Vojvodina).

  • 5. “Social Reconstruction” projects

Social Reconstruction describes a concept that is closely related to multi-communal social but combines physical reconstruction, rather than social work, with peace work in a broader sense. The first project of this type in the area of former Yugoslavia was a reconstruction project in a divided town (Pakrac) in Western Slavonia. The project was started by a Croatian organisation (Anti-war Campaign) in co-operation with the UN Office in Vienna (UNOV), and used short-term and middle-term volunteers from abroad. The international volunteers came to help with the physical reconstruction of houses, and on the side joined or organised social activities. While the Croatian and international volunteers could work only on the Croatian side of the town, UNOV together with Austrian Peace Services ran a parallel project for some time. Its Austrian members had UN passes and were therefore allowed to work on both sides of the border.

A project started recently by the group Switzerland Without an Army in Kosovo is based on the same concept.

  • 6. Emergency and rehabilitation aid

Material aid of this sort has been more a by-product than a central purpose of the CPS projects in the survey (with the exception of the above-mentioned projects of social reconstruction). There has been both direct distribution of humanitarian aid and financing of projects (for building houses for needy families in Bosnia by Pax Christi), and indirect aid by linking needy persons to other humanitarian agencies that would then support them. In one case, volunteers took over advertising and selling products refugees had produced in their camps (Austrian Peace Services).

Outcomes and impact of Civil Peace Services

The CPS projects are too young to have undergone an impact assessment.(24) It should also be remembered that peacebuilding - the peace strategy most commonly used by CPS so far - is the most under-researched aspect of conflict transformation, and that, as Large points out, “grass-roots peacebuilding will not have immediate dramatic effects on conflict situations”.(25) An additional difficulty in judging impact is that most CPS projects are placed in the area of former Yugoslavia where a multitude of players has been working on the conflict since the beginning of the war in 1991: Starting with local and international grassroots groups, media support projects, mediation trainers, humanitarian and development organisations with their own conflict-related programs (Oxfam, for example, has been organising dialogue meetings, supporting women’s groups etc.), and ending with the different intergovernmental bodies, European Union, OSCE and United Nations. Attribution of outcomes and impact on the conflict to one specific intervenor would only be possible if all intervenors in one town, for example, were researched at the same time.

Therefore, lacking independent sources, the only indicators for positive outcomes and impact are what the projects themselves report on their activities. Judging from their reports and the interviews, it seems that especially the training work and the social work approach described above - an approach also used by other kinds of intervening agencies, specifically development organisations - find positive resonance with their clients. But it is an open question under which conditions this approach of “contact plus superordinate goal,” which Ryan (26) already describes in his book on dealing with ethnic conflict, will have a positive impact in the long run. The same is of course true for the different kinds of training offered. Currently (May/June 2001) in Macedonia it has become obvious once more that even groups and organisations working for multi-ethnic understanding might be split apart along ethnic lines when the ethnic conflict escalates. However, experience in Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo has shown that links once formed between activists may be taken up later again in spite of the conflict. Although this is knowledge with which everyone conversant with this conflict would probably agree, there is a lack of quotable research data confirming these impressions of the validity of peacebuilding approaches under circumstances of war.

Concerning the two other categories, support of local groups and psycho-social work, it may be assumed that both are of immediate use to the groups and individuals with the privilege of having such international helpers around or being able to attend such group therapy sessions.(27) But again, the question of long-term impact remains open.

With regard to peacekeeping, it seems that presence and monitoring are considered to be useful and important by local groups and individual citizens that profit from the support of CPS volunteers. It has been reported that the number of attacks on ethnic minorities as well as threats against human rights activists (and the CPS team itself) in Benkovac, Croatia, was reduced due to the presence of the CPS team and its ability to mobilise international pressure through influential organisations in Germany and Croatia. Pax Christi in Banja Luka, in co-operation with local and international authorities (IPTF), has been successful in helping displaced persons and refugees return home.

It should be noted for future reference that in the area of former Yugoslavia these protective functions are carried out in a different way than PBI or Witness for Peace practice them in other parts of the world. Protection as a function of presence rather than of individual accompaniment is a tactic that has not been used much, if at all, and certainly has not become as refined a tactic as it has with PBI. It seems much more important that internationals are able to open doors and serve as intermediaries between local groups and citizens and the powerful international community.

With regard to peacemaking activities, it already has been mentioned that this is something Civil Peace Services have undertaken only at the very local level, often as the necessity arises during the course of their peacebuilding work. (For example, a CPS volunteer working in a youth club in West Mostar needs equipment for a party, and convinces the youth club on the other side of the town to lend that equipment to them, and then also drives a few young people from that youth club in her/his car over to attend the party.)


  • (1) : World War I was probably the first war during which there were people in most of the involved countries who refused to take part in the war (Brock/Young 1999:17-70). The demand for a civil alternative to military service (which was non-existent at that time) led to the foundation of the first peace service, the Service Civile International (SCI), which still exists today (Brock/Young 1999:105, Büttner 1995:17f, Petry 1996:17). The Swiss Quakers, Pierre Ceresole and Hélène Monastier, founded it in 1920. It was intended to be a prototype for alternative national civilian service, although soon after, its largest section, the British one, tried to dissociate SCI from any relationship with the state and conscription. In practical terms, SCI’s main activity is shorter-term volunteer services (usually work camps) doing manual labour - reconstruction, building etc. In addition, it offers some places for longer-term volunteers (6 months to two years) in development projects, intercultural encounters and other similar projects. SCI today has branches in more than 25 countries.

While SCI remained the only service of this type (the two large pacifist and antimilitarist umbrella groups founded in this era, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation and War Resisters’ International, did not engage in this kind of work at that time) in Europe and North America between the wars, there was a wave of probably dozens of comparable organisations starting up in the first twenty years after the second World War, most of them under the umbrella of Christian churches. As they were created when the impressions of fascism and genocide were still fresh, their objective has been more to contribute to reconciliation and further the understanding between peoples than to be an alternative for military service, although in some countries legal provision has been made for conscientious objectors wanting to do their alternative service abroad. Many thousands of young people perform such volunteer services every year. The number of volunteers performing the services organised within one Protestant German umbrella organisation alone was more than 4,100 in 1992 (Frey 1994:26).

Peace Services typically work between a few weeks and a few months in the maintenance of anti-fascist sites (former concentration camps turned to museums) or in Israeli Kibbutzim. They also perform social/educational work in another country with children, seniors, the disabled and refugees (see Ruez 1994). Before 1989 they worked on encounters and projects between East and West. There are also a large number of projects in the realm of human rights work, peace and reconciliation, for example, international encounters between young people from (former) enemy states. Petry, who evaluated four peace services in 1996 (Aktion Sühnezeichen, Brethren Service, SCI and Eirene), found that almost one third of the total projects were such ‘political’ projects, as she calls them (Petry 1996:35). Other volunteer services, like Eirene (founded in 1957) and the US Peace Corps (founded 1961), usually offer longer-term deployments and are active in development work. Eirene is a special case because it combines development work in Africa and Latin America, peace services in Europe and the US, and information work in the countries where it is based. Eirene was founded by a coalition of Mennonites, Brethren and IFOR (Petry 1996:14). The US Peace Corps combined, in the words of Evers (1997:58) “the appeal to idealism of young people with economic development optimism and a missionary anti-communism which did not shy away from being used by secret services.” Nevertheless, it was the model for similar organisations founded in Germany and Norway in the early 60s (Büttner 1995:27f)

  • (2) : In addition, two peace team projects have been founded specifically for the conflict in the Balkans: the international Balkan Peace Team and the Croatian-based Osijek Peace Teams.

  • (3) : Oekumenischer Dienst im Konziliaren Prozess (Ecumenical Service in the Conciliatory Process), a Christian-based initiative, offers several months’ training and accompanies the participants in later deployments in projects at home or abroad. ‘Kurve Wustrow’, a training institute that, among other projects, set up a CPS project in Bosnia staffed with local nonviolence trainers, is going to send another person to Macedonia. It has also helped to set up a more independent volunteer project with a small war resisters’ organisation in Izmir, Turkey, where two ‘peace experts’ are placed for two-year terms to help with networking, offer training, and generally provide an international presence.

  • (4) : In Germany, there was a heated debate on the relationship between CPS and conscription. Some people originally wanting to include CPS in a general conscription system in which young people of both genders might choose between CPS and military service, but in the end the decision was made to build up a professional service rather then a mass service. (However, there are provisions for COs doing alternative service abroad, for example with development organisations like Eirene.)

  • (5) : Although there is a tendency to professionalise peace work abroad going with the movement for CPS, in my eyes the groups are far from agreeing on a professional service as the distinctive criterion.

  • (6) : Related work also goes on in Sweden, where a coalition of peace, humanitarian and development groups calling themselves ‘Swedish Peace Team Forum’ co-operates in doing international work. One of their major projects was finding and sending people as monitors to the first free elections in South Africa - a mission that will be described in more detail in 2.4.

  • (7) : This list is taken from an Austrian program paper (“Ziviler Friedendienst”). The German and French ones are very similar.

  • (8) : Balkan Peace Team tried to avoid this in Croatia.

  • (9) : The first ‘professional’ services were the development services that currently do not distinguish themselves from other development aid organisations. There are now also services that consider themselves professional or expert peace services and concentrate on conflict resolution work.

  • (10) : Petry 1996:2.

  • (11) : “Solidarische Lerndienste” in German.

  • (12) : Freise 1994:51.

  • (13) : ‘Friedensfachdienst’ in German. As far as I am able to determine, the term is mainly used in the German language area, but is a useful term to categorise the work done by different peace services and peace teams.

  • (14) : For a definition, see Brinkmann 2000:41.

  • (15) : Pax Christi Zenica: 1 expert plus 1-2 long-term volunteers; Pax Christi Banja Luka: 2 experts; Living Without Armament in Vojvodina and Belgrade: 1 each; ForumCPS in Kosovo: 2, in Hercegovina: 2, in Belgrade and in the future in Montenegro: 1 each. The Austrians usually send individuals, but there are also a few projects with 2-3 volunteers in each.

  • (16) : ÖFD: Mostar, Independent Zenica, Schools in Albania, Osijek, Gorski Kotar, Novi Sad, Refugee Camps in Croatia; Centar za nenasilnu akciju (CNA) in Sarajevo; Pax Christi in Benkovac (HR), in Zenica (BiH) and Banja Luka (BiH); Friedenskreis Halle in Jaice (BiH); Living Without Armament in Vojvodina and Belgrade; GSoA in Vushtrri (Kosovo). Sources used: Interviews with representatives of Pax Christi Germany, ForumCPS Germany, and Austrian Peace Services; and the following publications: FriedensDienste 98/99, Rüssmann 1999 a, b and c, Meyer 2000, Kurschat 1998 and 2000; PR material of the organisations; more informal talks and reports at the meeting of EN.CPS in May 2001 and at a conference of the European Platform for Conflict Prevention in Sarajevo in April 2001.

  • (17) : The Serbian minority that remained in Croatia after the re-occupation of Serbian-controlled Krajina has been faced with much harassment both by neighbours and the authorities. In the first two years after the re-occupation by Croatia in 1995, arson and murder also occurred, usually going unpunished by disinterested - or allegedly even involved - police. By now, it is mainly returning Serbs who are in danger of their houses being mined or set on fire before, or even after, their return. Though the violence has de-escalated quite drastically, there is still a feeling of being unsafe and threatened, mainly on the side of the returnees. Activists might have received anonymous threats, but there have been no recent cases of violent attacks. Unlike Latin America and other places, in former Yugoslavia activists have almost never been victims of ‘disappearances’ or murder, Kosovo being the only exception.

  • (18) : Pax Christi Germany is generally involved in interreligious dialogue in the area of former Yugoslavia.

  • (19) : In one case (Pax Christi Benkovac) the solution found was that both share the house for the time being.

  • (20) : Large (1996:75) considers this to be an activity in the realm of mediation.

  • (21) : Kurschat 1998 and 2000.

  • (22) : Kurschat 2000:59.

  • (23) : For a general overview, see van der Merwe/Vienings 2001.

  • (24) : Impact Assessment is a recent tool, developed originally for development organisations (Oxfam and Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit). Reychler (2001) has introduced “Conflict Impact Assessment” to assess the positive and/or negative impact of different kinds of intervention on the dynamics of the conflict over time. See also the related Do-no-Harm-Approach Mary B. Anderson developed.

The German Ministry for Development plans such an assessment as a second step in its evaluation (Ministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit 2001).

  • (25) : Large 1996:151.

  • (26) : Ryan 1985:131.

  • (27) : Unfortunately, in the area of former Yugoslavia there has been little done yet to help whole societies overcome the traumas of war - neither on the symbolic level of recognising guilt, nor nationally initiated truth and justice approaches. The International War Crime Tribunal in The Hague seems to be the only body currently offering that kind of collective healing.