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Hundreds of former combatants demobilized in West Darfur

Photo by Elsadig Daud, UNAMID.

On 2 August, UNAMID’s Governance and Community Stabilization Section (GCSS), in partnership with the Sudan Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (SDDRC), concluded a demobilization exercise for 1229 ex-combatants from armed movements who are signatories to Darfur peace agreements including, the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) and the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA). The exercise included some combatants from the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Popular Defense Forces (PDF). This is the fifth demobilization exercise conducted in El Geneina town, West Darfur since 2010.

Addressing DDR exercise participants, Mr. Hussein Hammad, the Wali (Governor) of West Darfur, highlighted the importance of the demobilization process in attaining comprehensive peace in Darfur. “This demobilization exercise will not only result in transition from war to peace but will facilitate effective re-integration of the former combatants into civilian life. We call on non-signatory movements to lay down their arms and join the DDPD to bring lasting peace and stability in Darfur. We strongly urge the former combatants involved in this exercise, to go back to their communities and work hard to fully contribute to the local economy, “Mr. Hammad added.   

UNAMID Head of Office, Sector West, Mr. Oumar Kane, reiterated the Mission’s commitment to its collaboration with the Government of Sudan and other local and international partners to bring durable peace in Darfur.  “Over the past decade, efforts to achieve peace in Darfur have resulted in the signing of the 2006 DPA, and the 2011 DDPD. Both documents make provisions for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants, and address the issue of civilian small arms proliferation in the area” Mr. Kane added.

Eisa Baraka, Head of Sudan DDR Commission in West Darfur, noted that the demobilization process aims to support peace efforts and the achievement of security and stability in the area. He noted that the “effective partnership between SDDRC, UNAMID and UNDP has resulted in the successful implementation of 33 projects across the State localities, including marking and registering of unlicensed arms recently implemented with the UNAMID’s support.”

Speaking on behalf of the signatory movements, Mr. Hashim Osman, the State Minister of Investment stated that peace is a strategic option for all parties who want to end the conflict in Darfur and to mobilize all sectors of society to participate in upcoming development projects to rebuild Darfur.

Abdulatif Fadul, an ex-combatant from Reform and Liberation Movement (RLM) underscored the fact that peace is a strategic option available to all, hence their decision to adopt this better option. “We appeal to all partners to this demobilization exercise to expedite the reintegration phase of the programme to enable the former combatants to successfully join their communities and contribute to peace and prosperity in their home areas,” Mr. Fadul added.