DDR launched in Rumbek

12 Nov 2009

DDR launched in Rumbek

Turning its attention to ex-combatants to Lakes State, the Southern Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (SSDDR) Commission in collaboration with the Integrated UN DDR unit officially launched its programme in Rumbek on 5 November.

Speaking at the event, SSDDR Chairperson William Deng Deng said DDR would adopt a holistic approach, continuing beyond demobilization with assistance like training and funding until former soldiers were completely reintegrated into the community.

"Our fighters that have been involved in the SPLA (Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army) cannot just be left out ... we have to find a programme for them. It is important to know that this programme is not disconnected, (that) it is a holistic approach," the chairperson said.

Soldiers should not feel their contribution was in vain, added Mr. Deng, noting that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) had brought a period of building and reconstruction of human beings as well as physical infrastructure.

Integrated UN DDR chief Adriaan Verheul appealed to demobilized fighters to commit themselves to the DDR Programme, which will target over 3,750 identified SPLA ex-combatants in the state, to ensure its success.

"Once you have received the benefits, once you have received the reintegration training, once you have received whatever tools are in the packages you have chosen, it is then up to you to make it work. Start a business, turn to your land and by doing so, make peace a success," Mr. Verheul said.