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apt won't put config files back

after failing to get my roundcube dovecot installations to work again, as a last resort I apt removed dovecot and also /etc/dovecot.
Thinking "that's OK apt will put them back."
"Not replacing deleted config file /etc/dovecot/conf.d/20-managesieve.conf"
for all the conf files which is not very helpful.
Is there a way to persuade apt to put the config files back ?