Planning Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) Programme in Changed and Complex Situation in South Sudan

Planning Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) Programme in Changed and Complex Situation in South Sudan

By

William Deng Deng

Chairperson

National DDR Commission (NDDRC) of the Republic of South Sudan

Happy New Year to all staff members working for institutions of the Government of South Sudan, partners and International development agencies. I wish all South Sudanese from different parts of our beloved Nation peaceful and prosperous 2015. As we commemorate a decade since the signing of the historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), I want to remind everyone that DDR is an integral component of the country’s progress toward establishing sustainable peace and socio-economic development. South Sudan’s DDR Programme, which was primarily targeting National Organized Forces (NOFs) as a platform for military’s transformation and professionalization remains one of the Government top priorities.

However, as a result of the present conflict, dynamics on the DDR process have enormously increased; its potential client base has enlarged and changed as DDR will need to include members of other armed groups such as the SPLA-In opposition, ‘white army’, Children Associated with Armed Forces (CAAFs), South Sudan Defence Fences (SSDF)/Cobra Faction and other armed militia groups.

As the DDR Pilot Project ended in December 2014, my Commission is working with partners in planning DDR Programme in much-changed and complex situation in South Sudan. Despite apparent security challenges, NDDRC is working with authorities of Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA), key ministries in the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to facilitate the release, demobilization and family unification of CAAFs. NDDRC will also work with the SPLA to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate to the communities members of SSDF/Cobra Faction who are not eligible to be in the army.

Apart from planning for DDR Programme implementation in GPAA, I would not want the repeat of 2005 negotiations in which there was Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) without detailed and realistic DDR framework. A peace agreement without actionable DDR framework is a recipe for conflict. As such we have formally requested the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to consider DDR Programme as one of the agenda for negotiations when the Peace Talks in Addis Ababa proceed to technical discussions on specific topics (especially Security Sector Reform). With the support of partners, DDR Technical Committee is on standby for advisory role on Security Sector Reform (SSR) and DDR to all parties in the negotiations.

The third issue we are embarking on in 2015 is DDR/SSR sensitizations among all the stakeholders, donors, military personnel and the general public. Through workshops, radios, TVs, posters and all media communications; awareness will be intensified in South Sudan so that our people especially men and women in uniform understand the importance of the DDR Programme. We cannot build viable nation without vocational skills. Military is just one career path and if all South Sudan young people walked on that; we would not have mechanics, engineers, doctors, teachers, farmers, carpenters, electricians just but to mention a few. National DDR Programme creates alternative career options.

The lessons learned from the last year Pilot Project in Mapel, Western Bahr el Ghazal, will inform the DDR Programme for Greater Pibor Administrative Area; South Sudan’s Addis Ababa Peace Talks and DDR sensitization Campaigns. Last year’s successful DDR Pilot Project was joint efforts of the Government of South Sudan and international development partners. As we begin new DDR era, I would want to take this opportunity to thank the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany for funding the Pilot Reintegration Project; the Transitional Demobilization and Reintegration Program (TDRP) of the World Bank for funding the systems development, staff training and technical assistance on the management of Pilot Project.

NDDRC is indebted to the BICC for long standing support to South Sudan’s DDR Programme. African Union (AU), UNMISS, and UNESCO have contributed significantly to the successful implementation of the DDR Programme in the Republic of South Sudan.

And finally but not the least, the Pilot would not have succeeded without the support of H. E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President and C-In-C of the National Armed forces, the SPLA; the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs. I want to thank my comrades for recognizing that DDR is essential for the stabilization, security and peace in the Republic of South Sudan and the wider region.

I wish you all peaceful and prosperous 2015!

 

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National DDR Commission Continues Reintegration Support to Ex-combatants

Under the most difficult circumstances in South Sudan because of the finances and security environment, National DDR Commission has never stopped the much-needed reintegration support to 290 ex-combatants demobilized in September 2013 in Mapel, Western Bahr el Ghazal State.

 

The Commission is now embarking on further training of this batch of ex-combatants starting in June, 2014. Hence, staff members of National DDR Commission (NDDRC) are being trained as trainers.

 

NDDRC in cooperation with the TDRP of the World Bank and UNICON International has been conducting training of trainers from June 16th – 26th, 2014. The trained staff has acquired skills in:

 

  • Training in Entrepreneurship
  • Financial Literacy
  • Cooperatives Enterprises Start-up and Management

 

The training Modules were designed within the framework of the South Sudan’s National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Programme.

Yours Sincerely,

 

William Deng Deng

Chairperson National DDR Commission