Southern DDR to begin in June
A top southern official recently announced that the long-awaited Southern Sudan Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programme would kick off on 6 June.
top southern official recently announced that the long-awaited Southern Sudan Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programme would kick off on 6 June.
Speaking to journalists from his office in Juba on 21 April, Southern Sudan DDR Commission (SSDDRC) Chairman William Deng Deng said the programme would be officially launched in Central, Eastern and Western Equatoria states, where 35,000 soldiers were expected to take part.
The exercise would then move on to other states, the Chairman said. "On 1 or 6 August 2009, we shall be starting in Jongeli state in Bor and then in October in Rumbek."
The DDR programme would begin with special needs groups -- the disabled, veterans, and women associated with armed forces, along with an estimated 1,000 child soldiers – who needed assistance to return to their communities, Mr. Deng said.
He added that the government would provide assistances for those with special needs. For instance, land would be provided in cases there are land related problems for reintegration.
The programme had been delayed so that staff could be hired and coordination arranged with different government institutions, the United Nations and international community, Mr. Deng said. He added that DDR capacity had to be strengthened and offices organized.