West Virginia University Political Science professor Cyanne E. Loyle recently returned from a six-week trip to Uganda where she interviewed military and government personnel and members of the militant movement the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Her trip was part of her continued examination of transitional justice and was made possible by a more than $109,000 grant from the U.S. Institute of Peace.

The grant supports Loyle’s research on the justice processes used by governments during civil wars. She tallies the various solutions, including amnesty offers and reparations made to victims’ families.

“Our goal is to understand what countries that are in conflicts now are doing to address issues of justice,” Loyle said. “We believe that institutions, not violence can stop conflicts.”

“It may not be possible but that is the end goal.”

Loyle is creating a global, cross-national database on transitional justice, which includes the processes that happen during war and after. The database will be shared with policymakers and practitioners.

The justice processes used during internal armed conflicts, when they are pursued and their likely outcomes are key to her research. The international community, particularly the United States, Loyle said, can support the necessary measures.

Uganda has been embroiled in conflict for decades and suffers from civil unrest that has spilled over into the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Sudan.

Loyle’s work can outline for government agencies what justice measures could successfully bring about the end of conflicts, the core mission of the U.S. Institute of Peace.

The country’s global conflict management center, the U.S, Institute of Peace was created by Congress to prevent, mitigate and resolve international conflict through nonviolent means.

Most knowledge of transitional justice processes comes from studies of post-conflict environments, but little is known about justice processes that governments use during civil wars.

The organization devotes a significant portion of its budget to grant making in the fields of peace building and conflict management. For more than 20 years, the institute’s grant program has awarded more than 2,200 grants in 47 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and in 87 foreign countries. The grant program increases the breadth and depth of the institute’s work by supporting peace building projects managed by non-profit organizations including educational institutions, research institutions and civil society organizations.

For more information, contact Cyanne Loyle by email at cyanne.loyle@mail.wvu.edu or by phone at 304-293-9600.



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