The Disarmament Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programme was launched in Julud in August 2009 and completed in December 2009. It addressed a total of 3023 ex-combatants, male and female. Magdi Ahmed is a National UNV volunteer assigned to the Julud Disarmament and Demobilisation (DD) Site.
"I was born in Alfaw village, in an area named Al Rahad River, in Eastern. I graduated from the University of Khartoum, in the field of Economics and Social Statistics. During the university years, I had a particular interest in the cultures of my country. Together with other colleagues we established a society to help students from other regions integrate and to raise the awareness about the cultural diversity of Sudan.
In July 2009, after volunteering as mathematics teacher in a secondary school in Eastern Sudan, I decided to join UNMIS as National UNV volunteer for the DDR programme. Soon after that, I was deployed to the Julud DD Site.
Julud is an area severely affected by the civil war, situated in Southern Kordofan State. Before my deployment I was briefed about the effects the conflict had on the community. When I arrived there it was different than I expected. Many people were engaged in agriculture; there were schools; the market was revived. People had an amazing ability and desire to forget the war and move on with their lives. No doubt all this was because of the peace.
As a DDR Logistics Assistant, I supported the transport of the ex-combatants to and from the DD site; the verification process in assembly area; the delivery of the non-food items to former combatants and did whatever else was necessary.
One of the greatest challenges was talking to the people who have just given away their weapons. I tried to make them feel there is no reason to hold back, to encourage them towards the civilian life and to get their trust in a programme meant to facilitate the access to livelihoods. I had the feeling that I am helping people in need and that was rewarding.
Now I look forward to my next assignment in Kauda. The thing that I love about my work is that it allows me to visit many areas of Sudan. In these trips, I learn a lot about each area, its culture, the interactions between the tribes, their conflicts, their harmony, their social traditions and everyday life. This has been my interest and my passion all along."