Demobilization: Agreement Between the Republic Niger Government and the ORA

1995 PEACE AGREEMENT

Section III. Restoration of Peace and National Reconciliation

Clause 13

The Special Peace Committee will supervise the execution of the operations of disarmament and the recuperation of all arms, munitions and material of war when the Government:

- will have initiated the law on the decentralisation with a detailed timetable of application.
- will have adopted the status of the units with a special military status with a timetable of creating and organising these units and will have initiated these units.
- will have initiated, with the support of the partners of Niger, the execution of the urgency programme and the strategies of economic, social and cultural development planned for in the present Agreement in order to make possible the creation of jobs in the zone affected by the crisis.
- will have started the integration, the reintegration, the recruiting of demobilised elements of the ORA into the Public Administration, the Defence and Security Forces, State enterprises, Secondary Schools and the University and into development projects.

Implementation History

1995

Minimum Implementation

The first meeting of SPC took place on 23 May 1995. One of the urgent tasks of the SPC, as discussed in the meeting was to come up with a list of names of ORA demobilized elements. This list was particularly important for the implementation of the provisions of the accord relating to integration, reintegration, and recruitment into the army, paramilitary forces, state-owned corporations, high schools, university, public administration and development projects. Another urgent task was said to draw up the list of arms, ammunition and war materiel - to be returned to the authorities - so that their recovery and storage could be effectively controlled.1

  • 1. "Niger-Tuareg Special Peace Committee begins meeting," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, May 25, 1995.
1996

Minimum Implementation

Problems arose in 1995 with regards to demobilization. The rebel leader Rhissa Ag Boula, the chairman of the Organization of the Armed Resistance, said that there would be no disarmament in the absence of the conditions for demobilization.2

  • 2. "Niger Tuareg leader threatens return to rebellion," Reuters, September 9, 1995.
1997

Minimum Implementation

The monitoring committee for the implementation of the peace accord in Niger met from 3-5 September 1997 to discuss issues related to the reintegration of former armed rebels into Niger's national army and gendarmerie, into socioeconomic life, disarmament, decentralization. In the meeting parties agreed that “Out of a total of 1,100 demobilized fighters, a first batch of 305 former fighters and 50 youths from the border regions shall be integrated under the 1997-98 budget. The remaining will be integrated during 1998 depending on the availability of funds to the government and with the assistance of financial backers.”3 This suggests that there were 1,100 demobilized rebel combatants. The agreement was signed on the same day by the Front for the Liberation of Tamoust, the Front for the Liberation of Air and Azaouak, MRLN [Revolutionary Movement for the Liberation of Niger], FSN, CAD, PGT, FCLN [expansions untraced], Revolutionary Army for the Liberation of Northern Niger and the People's Army for the Liberation of the North.

  • 3. "Peace committee reaches agreements on reintegration of "rebels"," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, September 8, 1997.
1998

Minimum Implementation

The monitoring committee for the implementation of the peace accord met for the fourth time in Niger on 22 April 1998. The meeting, chaired by the prime minister, was attended by members of the government and leaders of the former rebels. As discussed in the meeting, a lot of efforts have been made by both the government and the former rebels to strengthen peace and confidence among themselves. Both parties were in concord that the demobilization (encampment) and integration exercise went on satisfactorily. Disarmament was officially celebrated on 28 October last year at Tchin-Tabaradene.4

  • 4. "Niger: Peace accord committee meeting opens in Niamey," BBC Monitoring Africa – Political, April 24, 1998.
1999

Minimum Implementation

No developments observed this year. 

2000

Minimum Implementation

No developments observed this year. 

2001

Intermediate Implementation

A news report on the former combatants suggested that 3,750 former fighters from different rebel movements were registered by Niger's Commission on Peace Restoration. United Nations Volunteers (UNV) began a two-year training program in March 2001 to promote peace in the southeastern Diffa region and the socio-economic reintegration of former anti-government rebels in the area.5 Similarly, France also provided financial support of US $130,000 to Niger as part of its ongoing support for the reintegration into civilian life of former fighters who participated in an armed rebellion in the southeastern region of Diffa.6

  • 5. "Niger; Ex-Fighters In Reintegration Programme," Africa News, March 16, 2001.
  • 6. "Niger; France Supports Programme for Ex-Fighters," Africa News, July 4, 2001.
2002

Intermediate Implementation

No developments observed this year. 

2003

Intermediate Implementation

No developments observed this year. 

2004

Intermediate Implementation

As of 2005, it was reported that 7,014  combatants were registered. Out of which, 3,160 former rebel combatants were still waiting for assistance because of a lack of funding.7

2005

Intermediate Implementation

In October 2005, the Niger government finally came up with an economic assistance plan for the Tuareg rebel combatants. Under the project, 3,160 former combatants were granted around US $300 each in the form of micro-loans.8 

  • 8. "Niger; Tuareg Ex-Combatants to Get Promised Assistance a Decade After Peace Accord," Africa News, October 14, 2005.