Disarmament: Accra Peace Agreement

ARTICLE VI: CANTONMENT, DISARMAMENT, DEMOBILIZATION, REHABILITATION AND REINTEGRATION (CDDRR)

1. The parties commit themselves to ensuring the prompt and efficient implementation of a national process of cantonment, disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration.

2. The ISF shall conduct the disarmament of all combatants of the Parties including paramilitary groups.

3. Following disengagement, all forces shall withdraw from combat positions to cantonment locations in accordance with the withdrawal and cantonment plan to be published by the International Stabilisation Force and the NCDDRR, no later than thirty (30) days after the installation of the NTGL. The current Armed Forces of Liberia shall be confined to the barracks, their arms placed in armouries and their ammunition in storage bunkers.

4. All arms and ammunition shall be placed under constant surveillance by the ISF.

5. The JMC shall verify the reported data and information provided by the GOL, the LURD and the MODEL about their forces. All forces shall be restricted to the declared and recorded locations and all movements shall be authorized by the JMC and the ISF.

6. All combatants shall remain in the declared and recorded locations until they proceed to reintegration activities or training for entry into the restructured Liberian armed forces or into civilian life.

7. The ISF is requested to deploy to all disarmament and demobilization locations in order to facilitate and monitor the program of disarmament.

8. There shall be an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental National Commission for Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (NCDDRR) to coordinate DDRR activities.

9. The NCDDRR shall comprise representatives from relevant NTGL Agencies, the GOL, LURD, MODEL, ECOWAS, the United Nations, the African Union and the ICGL.

10. It shall oversee and coordinate the disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration of combatants, working closely with the ISF and all relevant international and Liberian institutions and agencies.

11. Upon the signing of the present Agreement, the Transitional Government provided for in this Agreement shall request the International Community to assist in the implementation of the Cantonment, Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration program through the provision of adequate financial and technical resources.

Implementation History

2003

Minimum Implementation

The DDRR process was scheduled to begin with the establishment of the National Commission for Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration (NCDDRR) on November 15. The NCDDRR was composed of representatives from the Transitional Government, LURD, MODEL, ECOWAS, AU, and the ICG. The Commission was charged with supervising the implementation of the DDRR program. Sixteen "generals" from each faction assisted the NCDDRR and helped move combatants to participate.1

The process of cantonment, disarmament, and demobilization was scheduled to begin by 15 December. The first phase began under the management of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) on 7 December and lasted until 17 December. This phase targeted 1,000 combatants from each armed faction. Women and children were delegated to separate facilities within cantonment sites.2 Each ex-combatant was to receive a total payment of $300. This money came from a trust fund established for the use of the DDRR process and managed by the United Nations Development Program. The first $150 of the payment was to be paid following the initial 2-3 week demobilization process and the remaining $150 was to be paid after reintegration. In addition to combatants who had weapons to turn in, women and children associated with fighting forces, (who took on roles such as cooks, intelligence officers, etc.), were allowed to go through the DDRR process. This is made apparent when one considers the final 4:1 ratio of DDRR participants to weapons turned in.3

The initial phase of the DDRR process was met by protests and riots. These were for the most part enacted by ex-combatants who demanded immediate payment in return for their weapons. The UNMIL restructured their payment scheme in the aftermath of these protests, and decided to provide $75 to ex-combatants immediately after their weapons were turned in, and the remaining $75 of the initial payment 2-3 weeks after the demobilization process was complete.4 The turnout for the first phase was high, with 12,664 ex-combatants disarmed. These peoples were given receipts for their participation and in the process, 8,686 weapons were collected.5

  • 1. "Secretary General's Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2003/875), September 11, 2003; "Liberia Country Programme," United Nations Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration Resource Center, http://www.unddr.org/countryprogrammes.php?c=52, accessed 16 February 2010.
  • 2. "Secretary General's Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2003/1175), December 15, 2003.
  • 3. "Liberia; Where Are the Weapons? Is Disarmament Really Working?" Africa News, January 28, 2004.
  • 4. "Liberia; Former Fighters in Second Day of Riots, UNMIL Offers Official Payment," Africa News, December 9, 2003.
  • 5. "Liberia Country Programme," United Nations Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration Resource Center, http://www.unddr.org/countryprogrammes.php?c=52, accessed 16 February 2010.
2004

Intermediate Implementation

In the period between Phases I and II of the DDRR process, the UNMIL announced that it would cease to offer payment immediately upon the receipt of weapons and would return to the original DDRR stipend dispersal scheme that dictated $150 be paid following the 2-3 week demobilization process and another $150 be paid after the ex-combatants were reintegrated. The payment upon immediate receipt of weapons was adopted during the December 2003 phase of DDRR merely as a stabilizing mechanism due to the initial unrest associated with the DDRR process.6

The second phase of demobilization and disarmament began on 15 April. At the beginning of the second phase, all parties except the LURD had submitted partial lists of their combatants, locations, and weapons. Phase 2 involved 4 separate cantonment locations, the last of which closed on 14 September 2004. Phase 3 began on 7 July 2004 and involved an additional four cantonment sites around the country. The DDRR process officially ended on 31 October 2004, at which point 101,449 former combatants had been disarmed and demobilized. 22,313 of these ex-combatants were women and 11,024 were children. 27,892 weapons were collected during the official DDRR process. However, the NCDDRR decided that the UNMIL would still continue to conduct mobile disarmament operations after the official end of the program, especially in the northeast and southeast regions of the country.7

After the DDRR process officially ended on 31 October, individuals still in possession of weapons illegally could be prosecuted.8 Disarmament in these areas of the country remained difficult as ex-combatants held onto their weapons in hopes of reaping benefits from turning in their weapons in the disarmament process in neighboring Cote D'Ivoire. The Ivorian disarmament process promised a total of $900 to each combatant turning in weapons, creating an incentive for Liberian combatants to forgo the $300 associated with the Liberian DDRR process.9

102,193 combatants were disarmed by November 2004. During this period, 27,000 weapons were collected, along with 6,153,631 Small Arms Ammunition and 29,794 Other Ammo were collected.10

  • 6. "Liberia; UN Discontinues Immediately $75 Cash Payout to Disarmed Fighters," Africa News, February 20, 2004.
  • 7. "Secretary General's Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2004/972), December 17, 2004.
  • 8. "Liberia; UN Brings Forward Deadline for Ending Disarmament," Africa News, September 1, 2004.
  • 9. "Liberia; Rebels are Slow to Disarm in Southeast, UN Says," Africa News, October 13, 2004.
  • 10. "DDRR Consolidated Report," NCDDRR (2004), http://www.lr.undp.org/DEX/DDRR%20Consolidated%20Report%20Phases%201,2,3..., accessed May 10, 2011.
2005

Intermediate Implementation

Mobile operations continued to disarm ex-combatants, though at a much slower rate than the formal DDRR process. By March 1, 2005, only an additional 46 combatants had been disarmed. By the end of the year, the UNMIL mobile disarmament teams had collected 400 weapons, as well as 49,062 rounds of ammunition, and 389 pieces of unexploded ordinance through both voluntary disarmament and the seizing of weapons caches.11

  • 11. "Secretary General's Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2005/764), December 7, 2005.
2006

Intermediate Implementation

Mobile operations continued to disarm ex-combatants, though at a much slower rate than the formal DDRR process. By the end of the year, the UNMIL mobile disarmament teams had collected and destroyed 232 weapons, as well as 25,371 rounds of ammunition, and 613 pieces of unexploded ordinance through both voluntary disarmament and the seizing of weapons caches. The UNDP launched a community arms for development program in January 2006.12

  • 12. "Secretary General's Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2006/958), December 11, 2006.
2007

Intermediate Implementation

The disarmament and demobilization program ended in 2005. However, in the aftermath, the UNMIL collected “a total of 748 weapons, 1,390 pieces of unexploded ordnance, 99,980 rounds of ammunition and 11,790 assorted spares and miscellaneous parts have been collected and destroyed by UNMIL. The UNDP community arms collection programme has collected 320 rifles, 36,593 rounds of ammunition, 938 assorted spare parts and 706 pieces of unexploded ordnance since its launch in January 2006."13

  • 13. "Secretary General's Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2007/479), August 8, 2007.
2008

Intermediate Implementation

Community level disarmament continued.

2009

Full Implementation

The DDRR program officially ended on 22 July 2009. Of the 103,019 combatants disarmed through the program, an estimated 101,495 participated in the war, leaving 1,529 disarmed combatants unaccounted for. Approximately 98,000 of the disarmed combatants had participated in reintegration programs. The programs included formal and vocational education.14

  • 14. "Secretary General's Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2009/299), June 10, 2009.
2010

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2011

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2012

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.