УДК 327.7

Some of the features of the process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration in post-conflict areas

Максимов Егор Игоревич – курсант Новосибирского высшего военного командного училища.

Жумабеков Нурлан Аблаевич – курсант Новосибирского высшего военного командного училища.

Научный руководитель: Бикбаев Вадим Манцурович – кандидат политических наук, доцент Новосибирского высшего военного командного училища.

Аннотация: В статье дается общая характеристика принципов процессов разоружения, демобилизации и реинтеграции (РДР) экс-комбатантов в мирную жизнь на пост конфликтных территориях. Отмечается, что данный процесс носит комплексный характер и имеет экономическую и политическую составляющие на основе реализации как норм международного права, так и специфических условий жизнедеятельности представителей поликонфессионального и многонационального состава населения стран, на территории которых осуществляется данный процесс.

Ключевые слова: Разоружение, постконфликтные территории, международное сотрудничество.

Abstract: The article provides a General description of the principles of the processes of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants into peaceful life in post-conflict territories. It is noted that this process is complex and has economic and political components based on the implementation of both the norms of international law and the specific living conditions of representatives of the multi-religious and multi-ethnic composition of the population of the countries where this process is carried out.

Keywords: Disarmament, post-conflict areas, international activities.

«DDR has become recognized as a
critical ingredient in consolidating
stability and building peace in countries
emerging from conflict»

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Nowadays military conflicts are notable for extended law violations. The United Nations (UN) has continuously been called upon to support the implementation of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programmes in post-conflict areas since the late 1980s. In other words, the changed nature of warfare made post-conflict recovery strategy more complicated and, besides, vital for countries devastated by brutal international and non-international conflicts.

Therefore, DDR is called for dealing with a wide variety of issues ranging from security, political participation and economic deprivation to international law and human rights.

All the conflict countermeasures require a close coordination between conflict parties and former fighters on the basis of lessons and best practices drawn from the experience of all the UN departments, agencies, funds and programmes. Various departments’ state-level practitioners have come together to establish a collective approach to policies, procedures and guidelines of the UN-sponsored programmes of DDR missions and as well to facilitate mutual coordination and cooperation in a peacekeeping context.

Thus, in 2004-2005 this resulted in integrated DDR standards (or IDDRS) were drafted after some following workshop discussions and consultations. The inter-agency working group consisting of 15 members has been jointly increasing an engagement into the issue of IDDRS since that time in order to lay the groundwork for safeguarding and sustaining the communities in post-conflict areas.

What does DDR represent? DDR is the most challenging part of post-conflict recovery. It is a long-term process of multidimensional peacekeeping operations in areas devastated by brutal disputes. DDR contributes to security and stability in environments emerging from conflicts. Peacekeeping procedures also require a significant experience and include such dimensions as policy, economics and social sphere. This complex process emanates from the situation when ex-combatants are left without accommodation and employment. To give them an opportunity to reintegrate and live as law-abiding citizens, the UN ought to take them from military actions and help to integrate socially and economically into society.

There are many points of view at DDR definition. The official UN definition of DDR is comprised of four stages:

  • disarmament;
  • demobilization;
  • reintegration.



Figure 1. Disarmament

Disarmament is the process of reducing and eliminating belligerent sides military capabilities by the disposal of weapons, including small arms, explosives etc. It’s the first but the most challenging step of DDR procedure. The complexity is that each member of conflict should be persuaded to make a compromise and lay down arms. A success could be only achieved as a result of international cooperation and coordination with the UN support. Nevertheless, to prevent a recurrence of the violence it is not enough to disarm a combatant.


Figure 2. Payout

Exactly right about all the complexity and confusion of the situation definitely says Edward Rackley, an independent evaluator of UNICEF- and World Bank-administrated DDR programmes throughout Africa: «As soon as you get guns out of their hands, they are suddenly innocuous human beings again, but that is not the case at all». [1]



Figure 3. Demobilization

But other than that, the following inevitable part of the peacebuilding campaign is demobilization. The demobilization constitutes a process of transitioning a conflict region from a combat-ready status to a peacetime configuration. An important point is that it consists of 2 levels. The first one extends from the processing of individual fighters in temporary areas to the bringing together disarmed groups in cantonment sites. The second demobilization stage represents the support package providing them with short-term education, employment, training, medical services, accommodation, clothes and food staff to launch the reinsertion. The reinsertion simultaneously encompasses both demobilization and reintegration, building the bridge between them.


Figure 4. A cantonment site



Figure 5. Reintegration

To allow ex-fighter re-entry the civil society, which was significantly transformed by a conflict and acquire a complete civilian status DDR member states should reintegrate them. As noted at the UN General Assembly in 2005, “Reintegration is the process by which ex-combatants acquire civilian status and gain sustainable employment and income. Reintegration is essentially a social and economic process with an open time-frame, primarily taking place in communities at the local level. It is part of the general development of a country and a national responsibility, and often necessitates long-term external assistance”. [2]

It is important to pay attention that if reintegration fails and former fighters are left unsupported, it will pose a threat to peaceful patterns of social life. Not being able to return home, they commit their atrocities again and disrupt social order. Reintegration programmes are aimed at building national and local abilities to control the process in the long term. In other words, reintegration turns into reconstruction and further improvement.

Generally, we can say, that DDR is:

  • Removing weapons from hands of combatants,
  • Taking the combatants out of military structures,
  • Helping them integrate socially and economically in the society.

Disarmament is:

  • Collection, documentation, control and disposal of small arms, ammunitions, explosives, light and heavy weapons of military and civilians to some extent.

Demobilization is:

  • Disbanding military structures and transformation process for combatants into civilian life.


Figure 6. Demobilization site


Figure 7. Deployment of TTC at demobilization site

Reintegration is:

  • Assistance measures for ex-combatants to increase their potential for economic & social reintegration.
  • It should also be noted that in the process of implementing the above activities it is important to observe the UN Charter and the main international standards and principles. Guiding principles of DDR process are:
  • national ownership and leadership;
  • principle of justice and equity;
  • transparency and accountability;
  • working through existing institutions – both Commissions responsible for planning, implementation and evaluation;
  • consideration for cultural diversity and gender sensitivity;
  • planning and implementation – within framework of authorized institutions.

Finally, DDR stages are complex parts. They are sensitively linked and the success of all the DDR operations depends on both human and financial resources. The disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants and groups of fighters are a prerequisite for post-conflict recovery. But in a peacebuilding missions, a successfully provided DDR programme depends on the capacity of the United Nations departments and agencies to plan, coordinate and implement an effective DDR strategy.[1]

Thereby, since the early 1990s we have witnessed a significant decline in the number of ongoing armed conflicts and at the same time a dramatic increase in the number of DDR programs. It is clear that DDR has become part and parcel of peace processes and peacekeeping operations. [3]

Meanwhile, it remains unclear as to what extent insights derived from case studies are possible to generalize across the spectrum of DDR programs. If we are to learn lessons from previous DDR programs, and if lessons learned studies are to be meaningful, then we have to assume that the insights and anecdotes are not unique, but applicable to many, if not most, of the DDR programs.

Список литературы

  1. UNM DDR in an Era of Violent Extremism: Is It Fit for Purpose? Edited by James Cockayne and Siobhan O’Neil. ISBN: 978-0-692-45637-8, United Nations University, 2015.
  2. United Nations Peacekeeping [Электронный ресурс]. – URL: https://peacekeeping.un.org/ru/search/node/ (дата обращения 27.04.2020).
  3. Robert Muggah. “Next-Generation Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration” // World Politics Review. 17 June 2014 [Электронный ресурс]. – URL: https//www.worldpoloticsreview.com.articles/13862. (дата обращения 25.04.2020).

[1] It is necessary to note, that the DDR procedure is conducted at special organized by UN Stuff DDR Site (see Annex 1, 2, 3, 4).

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