Photo by Amin Ismail, UNAMID.
EL FASHER – The demobilization of some 500 ex-combatants -- part of ongoing efforts supported by UNAMID and partners to reintegrate former combatants into the community -- concluded on 10 January in El Fasher.
The fifth demobilization exercise, which started on 26 December 2017, was supported by the Sudan Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (SDDRC), in partnership with UNAMID’s Governance and Community Stabilization Section (GCSS), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Food Programme (WFP).
The ex-combatants -- among them 85 women and 12 disabled persons -- were drawn from armed movements that signed the 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement and the 2011 Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.
Participants went through a verification process which was conducted by members of the Ceasefire Commission, the SDDRC and UNAMID’s GCSS. Additionally, participants received an administrative and reintegration briefing, medical checks, and were registered with the SDDRC database. Each ex-combatant was provided a reinsertion package from WFP which included dry rations for three months.
One of the participants, a former member of an armed group in her early 30s, explained that her future plans concerning reintegration into society include investing in agriculture and animal resource projects. She said that she planned to help promote a culture of peace among local communities in Darfur.
Another former combatant from the same group called on all parties to the conflict to address the root causes of the conflict in order to achieve lasting peace in Darfur. Mr. Mohammed urged all the ex-combatants not to return to war and actively participate in the stability and development projects in the region.
Mohamed Ahmed, Commissioner of the North Darfur SDDRC, said that the demobilization exercise will encourage more combatants to disarm, and benefit from economic and social stability projects.
“We will focus on community stabilization through the provision of service projects in the areas affected by the conflict”, said Mr. Ahmed.
Mr. Ahmed commended UNAMID for its continued commitment, coordination and support to ensure successful demobilization. He indicated that donor community support for the reintegration process contributes to achieving peace in Darfur.
Major Abdul Jaleel Fadol Hamza, Commander of the 5th Demobilization camp in North Darfur, highlighted the importance of the demobilization process for peace, security and stability in North Darfur. He expressed a readiness to receive more combatants who are willing to join the peace process and reintegrate in local communities.
Ezzedin Adam Mohammed, a UNAMID DDR Officer, said that demobilization represented the first step for ex-combatants to reintegrate into the community and return to civilian life.
UNAMID provided technical and logistical support to the demobilization. In addition, the Mission provided a financial package of 1,500 Sudanese Pounds for each ex-combatant prior to their final reintegration projects with UNDP. UNAMID has supported similar demobilization exercises that have taken place in the other four states of Darfur since 2011.