What is DDR?
The objective of the DDR process is to contribute to security and stability in post-conflict environments so that recovery and development can begin. Through a process of removing weapons from the hands of combatants, taking the combatants out of military structures and helping them to integrate socially and economically into society, DDR seeks to support ex-combatants so that they can become active participants in the peace process.
In this regard, DDR lays the groundwork for safeguarding and sustaining the communities in which these individuals can live as law-abiding citizens, while building national capacity for long-term peace, security and development.
Disarmament refers to the collection, documentation, control and disposal of small arms, ammunition, explosives and light and heavy weapons of combatants, and often also of the civilian population. Disarmament should also include the development of responsible national arms management programmes.
Demobilization is the formal and controlled discharge of active combatants from armed forces or other armed groups. The first stage of demobilization may comprise the processing of individual combatants in temporary centres to the massing of troops in camps designated for this purpose (cantonment sites, encampments, assembly areas or barracks). The second stage of demobilization encompasses the support package provided to the demobilized, which is called reinsertion.
Reinsertion is the final step of demobilization and aims to help provide the combatant with support until they are able to enter a formal reintegration programme. Reinsertion is the assistance offered to ex-combatants during demobilization but prior to the longer-term process of reintegration. Reinsertion is a form of transitional assistance to help cover the basic needs of ex-combatants and their families and can include transitional safety allowances, food, clothes, shelter, medical services, short-term education, training, employment and tools. While reintegration is a long-term, continuous social and economic process of development, reinsertion is a short-term material and/or financial assistance to meet immediate needs, and can last up to one year.
Reintegration is the process by which ex-combatants acquire civilian status and gain sustainable employment and income. Reintegration is essentially a social and economic process with an open time frame, primarily taking place in communities at the local level. It is part of the general development of a country and a national responsibility, and often necessitates long-term external assistance.
Who participate in DDR process?
While the peace agreement will generally state or otherwise indicate which armed forces and groups will participate in DDR, the development of detailed and transparent eligibility criteria for individual combatants to enter into the programme is a priority in the initial assessment and planning phase. These criteria should avoid allowing persons to enter the programme simply because they have surrendered weapons or ammunition. Rather, the criteria should be based on tests to determine an individual’s membership of an armed force or group. All those who are found to be members of an armed force or group, whether they were involved in active combat or in support roles (such as cooks, porters, messengers, administrators, sex slaves and ‘war wives’), shall be considered part of the armed force or group and therefore shall be included in the DDR programme.
Frequent Asked Questions
1) What are the benefits of the DDR programme?
Amongst the many benefits of the programme, the key benefits are;
- Consolidation of prospects for peace-building, security and reconciliation at national and local levels;
- Reduction in the levels violence and insecurity through creation of alternative livelihoods and a reduction in availability of weapons.
- Create an enabling environment for socioeconomic recovery and longer-term sustainable development;
- The programme entails the surrender of weapons to the designated institution;
- The collected weapons are registered and catalogued;
- Combatants are registered and issued certificates indicating that they have passed through the disarmament process;
- The eligible candidates as per list are demobilized and issued with DDR ID card, they are also provided with basic social counselling, basic medical screening, HIV/AIDS awareness, and reinsertion package.
- Candidates are advised on the steps and processes on how to receive their reintegration opportunities.
3) Will I get money if I enrolled for the DDR programme?
The programme is not designed to give any direct cash incentives to participants for the surrender of weapons. Participants can benefits in Skills training programme, Education for Child-ex-combatants, short-term labour intensive programme for reconstruction and rehabilitation of small infrastructures, agricultural programme and other income generating activities.
4) Who is responsible for the implementation of the Darfur DDR programme?
The Sudan DDR Commission is responsible for overall planning and implementation of DDR programme in Darfur.
5) How can we deal with Communities awash with weapons?
The Sudan DDR Commission with the assistance and support of UNDP and UNAMID has developed Community Security and Arms Control (CSAC) strategy to address communities that are awash with small arms.