Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration

Authored by: Alpaslan Özerdem

Routledge Handbook of Peacebuilding

Print publication date:  January  2013
Online publication date:  February  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415690195
eBook ISBN: 9780203068175
Adobe ISBN: 9781135082130


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The focus of this chapter is the process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants, which has been an integral part of the liberal peace responses around the world since the end of the Cold War (Kingma 2004; Leff 2008). According to the Escola de Cultura de Pau (ECP) (2009), in 2008 for example, 15 countries (Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Indonesia, Liberia, Nepal, Rwanda, Sudan, the Central African Republic, the DR Congo, and Uganda) were undertaking various DDR programmes. There were variations among them as to whether the DDR programmes were unilateral, bilateral or multilateral undertakings; or the process was part of a wider Security Sector Reform (SSR) process or not; or they were being undertaken after a complete cessation of conflict or there was a continued armed conflict; or they included the entire DDR process or just a particular phase; or they targeted armed opposition groups or distinguished between militias and paramilitary groups; or the caseload included a large number of child soldiers and female combatants; or the process was undertaken on the basis of strict eligibility criteria of disarmament or not. Any of these factors would be critical to the way DDR programmes are planned and implemented and such different typologies would all be helpful to understand the experience from the field. However, the approach in this chapter will be more at a conceptual level and the above-mentioned typologies and their applications will be referred to, if and when needed.

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