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William Deng Deng
South Sudan separated from Sudan after 21 years of protracted and bitter civil war, “Anya Nya 2”. However, since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, there have been many armed groups fighting the central Government in Juba. The current conflict has taken new dimensions because of the wide geographical scoop, tribal alignment and involvement of sizable number of civilian youth such as the ‘white army.’
South Sudan’s long history of conflict has cultivated culture of guns violence and highly militarized society, both are recipe for future armed rebellions. However, August 2015 signed Peace Agreement between the Government and the SPLM_IO has led to de-escalation of the conflicts, albeit for short while. If the Compromised Peace Agreement holds leading to the formation of the Transitional Government of the National Unity (TGoNU), the country will eventually have unified army. The-would- be South Sudan Army Forces will comprise of the SPLA in Government, SPLA-IO, South Sudan Defense Forces- Cobra Faction and the other armed groups.
But the size of the army would not be proportional to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and population of South Sudan. In South Sudan’s case, a comprehensive Security Sector Reform (SSR) must be conducted to reduce the size and professionalize the army. Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Programme is the main channel of the SSR.
As institution mandated to bring about SSR by downsizing the National army and other Organized Forces (the Police, Fire Brigade, Wildlife Services, and Prisons); NDDRC want to charter a path that would enable sustainable reintegration of former soldiers and Children Associated with Armed Forces (CAAFs) to communities of returns. Successful DDR Programme would contribute to peaceful and prosperous South Sudan by demobilizing ex-combatants and offering them different careers options.
The new DDR era in post-conflict South Sudan will begin with the International Conference on the DDR Programme. NDDRC will host a conference that will be attended by DDR experts, partners, stakeholders, donors, and senior military representatives of the SPLA/SPLA-IO. The conference will be a forum for sharing ideas on DDR, for mobilizing financial and human resources and for setting timelines of the new DDR Programme. The conference will take place on the 18th April, 2016 in Juba, South Sudan. The exact venue will come along with the invitations.
The outcomes of the conference will inform SSR/DDR Programmes of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (JMEC), a body overseeing peace implementation. Also as member of Security Defense Board of the Security Arrangement, NDDRC will use the resolutions of the conference to sensitize all members of the National Organized Forces on the DDR Programme for the post-conflict South Sudan.
William Deng Deng
National DDR Commission (NDDRC) of the Republic of South Sudan.
H. E. the President signed the Peace Deal with armed opposition on the 26th August, 2015. However, sustainable peace and prosperity is hard to realize in a heavily militarized society. Not to address the insecurity challenges post by different armed groups threaten the very existence of our country..... read more
The preventative measure/remedy is to channel national and international efforts on the broader Security Sector Reform (SSR) in which Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintergration (DDR) process is the ‘front-runner’. Successful National DDR Programme would prevent conflict, strengthen human security, cultivate socio-economic development and foster sustainable peace.
The importance of DDR Programme is given ultimate urgency by the United Nations Security Council by incorporating it in the new UNMISS Mandate that Resolution 2241 will “assist the parties to develop a strategy to address disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and security sector reform activities”.
In this regard, I would like to appeal to all government’s institutions, development partners, NGOs and UN agencies to support the signed peace agreement and UN Security Resolution 2241 by supporting the different components of the National DDR Programme.
My Commission is prepared for the implementation of the compromised Peace Agreement. With the support of Transition Demobilization Reintegration Program (TDRP) of the World Bank and Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC), National DDR Commission (NDDRC) has embarked on the intensive capacity building programmes for delivery team (staff members); conducted DDR Pilot Project satisfaction survey; compiled and shared lessons learned from the previous DDR Programme; profiled different target groups for post-conflict DDR; and drafted South Sudan’s DDR Harmonized Document.
These activities will inform the implementation of different DDR Programmes for members of SPLA in Government, SPLA-In Opposition, ‘white army’, Children Associated with Armed Forces (CAAFs), Women Associated with Armed Forces (WAAFs) South Sudan Defence Fences (SSDF)/Cobra Faction and other armed militia groups.
With the remaining few weeks to the end of 90 days, I want to urge my comrades in Government, Opposition, Political Detainees, or in International Community ‘not to be busy waiting’, but to be busy planning for the implementation of the compromised peace agreement. This is an historic opportunity to put behind the bitterness and the havoc of the last two years.