Looking back to 2012 and Forward to 2013

By

Mr. Majur Mayor Machar
Deputy Chairperson
National DDR Commission

Looking Back on 2012

The National DDR Commission followed through its constitutional mandate to design and implement a national DDR Programme for the Republic of South Sudan in support of the national security sector reform. We, at the DDR Commission, remain acutely aware that disarmed and demobilized ex-combatants must find alternative meaningful and sustainable civilian livelihoods or gainful employment for the stability, peace and prosperity of our new born Nation. This indeed remains a prime priority for the Government of the Republic of South Sudan. Therefore, despite austerity measures in the Country, the Commission managed to sustain its momentum, and scored the following accomplishments in 2012 on behalf of our Government:

  1. Brought the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) DDR Programme (2009-2012) to its final conclusion, providing reintegration assistance to over 10,000 of the 12, 525 ex-combatants. Indeed we witnessed an upsurge in numbers of ex-combatants coming for assistance in the last quarter and we provided the best support we could, with support of implementing partners led by UNDP.
  2. Finalized the design of the new DDR Programme – printing the National DDR Policy approved in September 23rd, 2011 by the Council of Ministers; printing the National DDR Strategic Plan; as well as finalizing the National DDR Programme and National Child DDR Programme documents. We commend the technical and financial support of our development partners in this endeavor.
  3. Manage to link up our state offices with internet services using Vsats with the support from development partners. Also procured 11 vehicles to support movement of goods and services throughout our offices nation wide.
  4. Dispersed various groups of staff to many countries for study tour on DDR programme to Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, Europe etc.
  5. Through DDR funds at the custody of UNDP, we initiated construction of three permanent offices in three states of Western Bahr El Gazal – Wau, Eastern Equatoria State  - Torit and Jonglei State – Bor. This took into account regional representation considering our former regions.
  6. Held DDR Stakeholders Meeting in September 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that was hosted by the African Union and attended by our partners. There, we held constructive discussions to validate the National DDR Programme design. We also requested to the reviews of the funding and management structure and to recommend a mechanism that will have to assure nationally owned and led in all aspects. We were greatly honored by the full-time presence of H.E. Vice President Riek Machar Teny in the meeting.
  7. Continued to hold regular RSSDDRC Senior Management Planning meetings with our partners on the New DDR Programme and we have made significant strides:
    • Through UNMISS’s support, we have completed construction of Mapel Transition Facility and construction of the Transition Facilities in Pariak in Jonglei and Tirangore/ Torit in Eastern Equatoria are underway. In these Transition Facilities, ex-combatants will be re-oriented to civilian life through life skill training, psychosocial support and introductory livelihoods skill training. They will leave these facilities with a clear personal plan for socio-economically reintegrating in their respective communities of return;
    • Through UNDP’s support we trained 30 SPLA/SSAF psychosocial counselors to support the DDR process and prepared guidelines for categorisation of combatants with disability;
    • Through UNMISS funding to UNESCO, we designed training curriculum for the Transition Facilities.
    • With the support of SPLA/SSAF, we profiled 425 combatants in Greater Bahr El Ghazal, who will constitute the pilot caseload for Mapel Transition Facility.
    • We have also already received financial support from German Development Bank (KfW) for piloting the new DDR Programme in Mapel. Towards this end, the World Bank has designed a reintegration plan for a pilot caseload of 500 ex-combatants in Greater Bahr el Ghazal.

8. The National DDR Coordination Council established by Presidential Order 31/2012, has been the highlight of the Year!  The role of this Council, cradled at the helm of Government, is to provide strategic political direction for the National DDR Programme. The Council’s meetings commenced on November 14, 2012, and the Council has promptly assumed full ownership and leadership in steering the National DDR Programme.

We look forward to accomplish the followings, amongst others, in 2013

 

  1. The National DDR Council approves the Programme implementation plan and sets a date for the launch of pilot phase in Mapel, Western Bahr El Ghazal State and subsequently in Pariak, Jonglei State and Torit, Eastern Equatoria State. We are very keen to test DDR Programme implementation through the pilot
  2. Launch the first demobilization of 500 ex-combatants in Greater Bahr El Ghazal Region
  3. Roll out Information Counseling and Referral System (ICRS) that will ‘drive’ many of reintegration activities
  4. Conduct massive sensitization campaigns in the communities of returns, among members of national organized forces, and the general public
  5. Build the capacities of national staff of the DDR Programme by offering trainings and proper supervisions from experienced employees
  6. Announce Administrative Agent of DDR fundings following recommendations of the African Union on the funding mechanism that is in line with the policy of the Government of South Sudan
  7. Continue full cooperation and support from the National Organized Forces (NOF) to sensitize all the uniformed personnel about DDR Programme. This will enhance smooth disarmament and demobilisation process to right sizing of the armed forces
  8. Continue to work as team with our development partners and the United Nations to tackle this formidable yet possible task of commencing the demobilization of 150,000 combatants in six to eight years
  9. Solicit unequivocal support from all of South Sudanese for ex-combatants returning home.