UNAMID participates in demobilizing more than 700 former combatants in East Darfur
From 27 November to 19 December 2016, UNAMID’s Community Stabilization Section (CSS), in collaboration with East Darfur stakeholders, including the Sudan Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (SDDRC), UN Development Programme (UNDP) and World Food Programme (WFP), conducted the first demobilization exercise in El Daein, East Darfur, as part of ongoing efforts to reintegrate former combatants of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) and the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) signatory movements into Darfuri society.
The exercise, initially targeting 800 ex-combatants, demobilized and provided reinsertion packages to 750 ex-combatants, among them 48 women, drawn from various armed groups—201 from Sudan Liberation Army - Free Will (SLA-FW); 193 from the Sudan Liberation Army - Peace Wing (SLA-PW); 222 from the Sudan Liberation Army - Mustafa Teirab (SLA-MT); and 134 from the Justice and Equality Movement - Peace Wing (JEM-PW).
In the course of the demobilization exercise, ex-combatants were jointly verified by the Ceasefire Commission (CFC) and SDDRC military representatives. Additionally, they were provided an administrative and reintegration briefing, medical checks, registered into the SDDRC database and subsequently provided a reinsertion package which included dry rations for three months, pending their eventual reintegration.
Alsaied Adam, Commissioner, East Darfur SDDRC, commended the exercise and noted that to encourage more combatants to disarm, there should be an established government policy that guarantees former combatants’ livelihood opportunities and activities supported by the Government of Sudan as part of the reintegration package on offer. Mr. Adam also commended UNAMID for its continuous commitment, coordination and support in ensuring a successful demobilization exercise.
When asked about future plans regarding his impending reintegration into society, Musa Mohammed, a 20-year-old former member SLA-FW, said he intends to further his education while supporting his siblings in graduating from secondary school and aspires to establish a school for Islamic studies in El Daein.
Hamdi Abdulrahman, 35, married with seven children and a former fighter of JEM-PW, intends to invest in real estate and enroll his children in school. “I am an experienced trader,” said Mr. Abdulrahman. “With the support from this exercise, I will be supplying goods from Khartoum to El Daein,” he added.
“I own agricultural land around El Daein which I plan to cultivate,” revealed Alsadiq Elsharif, 62, a former SLA-MT fighter. Mr. Elsharif, recalling childhood experiences, stated that he will also engage in livestock production.
UNAMID has supported similar demobilization exercises that have taken place in the other four states of Darfur since 2011.