11 October 2010 – The Southern Sudan Disarmament, Demobilisation and Rehabilitation Commission (SSDDRC) and the Integrated UN DDR unit launched the disarmament process for some 2,600 ex-combatants in Eastern Equatoria State today.
Seven ex-combatants, including three women and four men, were disarmed and partially demobilized (registered and issued certificates) during the launch, which was held in the state capital of Torit.
"The programme is important as it signals the prevalence of peace and stability and enables participants to contribute to nation building," said Eastern Equatoria State Deputy Governor Nartisio Loluke Manir.
After participants complete disarmament and demobilization, which also includes medical examinations and career counselling, they will go through a reintegration process conducted by the German Agency for Cooperation (GTZ)
"We will train them in two major streams – small business skills and vocational training including carpentry, tailoring, auto-mechanics, driving, plumbing," said GTZ training specialist Emanuel Muni.
William Deng Deng, chairperson of the SSDDRC, noted that the DDR process would provide the ex-combatants with intensive, professional support to help them reintegrate into their communities.
One of the ex-combatants disarmed and demobilized at the launch, Marchenia Eley Luchano, said she expected to begin civilian work and earn enough to feed her children once she completed all three steps.
"If the government assists me with land and farm tools, I will grow more food to feed my children and send them to school," said the widow and mother of five.
To date DDR has been carried out in Central Equatoria State, Lakes State and Northern Bahr El Ghazal. The programme will be launched in Western Bahr El Ghazal later this month.