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UNAMID supports demobilization of 729 ex-combatants in Zalingei, Central Darfur

Photo by Salah Mohammed, UNAMID.

Zalingei: 5 May 2019, UNAMID’s Governance and Community Stabilization Section (GCSS) in collaboration with Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (SDDRC), concluded last week the demobilization of 729 ex-combatants from former armed movements as per the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) (2011) and residual caseload of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) (2006) in Central Darfur.

The demobilized ex-combatants were out of the planned caseload of 838 that were planned for demobilization. Among the demobilized, 123 were female and 606 male combatants from Justice and Equality Movement/Peace Wing (JEM/PW), Sudan Liberation Army/Free Will (SLA/FW), Sudan Liberation Army/ Mustafa Terab (SLA/MT), Justice and Equality Movement/Dabajo (JEM/D) and Popular Forces for Democratic Rights (PFDR).

 The demobilization exercise that commenced on 17 April and ended on 01 May 2019, represents the second demobilization camp in Central Darfur. The Mission’s resources and logistics support included the provision of cash for the payment of transitional safety net allowance (3,000 Sudanese pound per ex-combatant), camp construction, tents, transportation, electricity, water and security. The UNDP would facilitate assistance after the demobilization exercise, including support through income-generation projects.

In his remarks, The Acting Wali (Governor) of Central Darfur, Maj. Gen. Nagmeldin Karar, commended UNAMID’s support to the DDR implementation and pledged the government’s continued commitment to the implementation of DDR and civilian arms collection in Sudan.

Head of UNAMID’s GCSS Pierre Ubalijoro highlighted the positive collaboration between UNAMID and SDDRC in the implementation of the Final Security Arrangements (FSA) provisions of the DDPD. However, he stated that the end of the demobilization activities in Central Darfur marks the end of UNAMID’s support to demobilization of ex-combatants in Darfur save a new agreement is reached before the mission ends in June 2020.

Islika Borbor Sisay, UNAMID DDR officer, noted that the DDR process will create stable environment for other developments and recovery activities to take place. “It is important for DDR in every country that witness war to set the ground where other recovery activities can take place through sensitizing the ex-combatants on the importance of peace and to change their minds to be civilians to resolve their differences by dialogue and peaceful means,” said Islika.

Capt. Abubaker Hassan Abdullah, Commander of the demobilization camp, praised UNAMID for supporting the process and explained the ex-combatants’ willing to go through the exercise in order to participate in achieving peace, development and stability in Darfur.

Some of the ex-combatants interviewed during the session emphasized the importance of peace and urged non-signatory movements to put down their arms and join the peace process. A former combatant Daoud Hussein said that his group considers peace a strategic option, so they have signed the document to bring about peace to end the suffering of the people of Darfur from the scourge of war. Another combatant, a 37-year old, Ms. Tomyia Abdallah Al nour, from Free-Will movement stated that she would choose handy-craft in order to support her family and the local community.

The Mission has so far supported the demobilization of over 10,000 former combatants of movement forces across Darfur under the DDPD.