Reintegration: 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.
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.
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.
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 to the ex-combatants 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, accessed February 16, 2010, http://www.unddr.org/countryprogrammes.php?c=52.
The reintegration process lagged behind the demobilization of ex-combatants but projects began to function in mid 2004. Reintegration programs were run by a number of different organizations operating inside the country. A USAID-administered reintegration program began in April that focused on reintegrating 10,000 ex-combatants and 10,000 non-combatants through community infrastructure projects. The UN Children's Fund, (UNICEF), began to develop long-term programs for reintegrating child ex-combatants. Projects were centered on education, skills development, apprenticeship programs, and community-based support. By September 2004, 5,413 out of the 6,403 children soldiers who had been disarmed had been reintegrated into society and reunited with their families. By December, 7,000 child ex-combatants were ready to be absorbed into UNICEF programs. Additionally, a total of 16,190 ex-combatants had been absorbed into reintegration projects funded by the UNDP DDRR trust fund, USAID, and the European Commission. The plan was to absorb 40,000 more in 2005 followed by another 43,000 ex-combatants who were remaining.6
- 6. "Secretary General's Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2004/972), December 17, 2004.
Delays in the funding of reintegration programs plagued the DDRR process throughout 2005. In January and February, ex-combatants awaiting rehabilitation and reintegration protested daily and became generally more volatile. While 101,495 ex-combatants had been disarmed and demobilized by early March, only 25,591 were participating in a reintegration process. At the time, 44,502 opportunities for rehabilitating ex-combatants had been established, but could not begin because of funding shortfalls. Additionally, the 612 foreign combatants who had been disarmed and demobilized had not been returned or waiting repatriation to their home countries.
In April, the first of several planned referral and counseling offices for ex-combatants opened in Monrovia. By the end of the year, six counseling offices were operating throughout the country.7
- 7. "Secretary General's Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2005/764), December 7, 2005.
By June, 66,000 of the 101,874 demobilized ex-combatants had completed or were participating in a UNDP-funded reintegration program. By 2006, the biggest impediment to the recovery process was inadequate funding, which greatly inhibited the reintegration of the remaining 35,000 ex-combatants who were demobilized.8 By November, 39,000 ex-combatants were still waiting to be absorbed into reintegration programs.
“UNMIL survey conducted in December 2006 revealed that some 23 percent of ex-combatants worked in agriculture, 19 percent were unemployed, and only 17 percent were students. According to the UNDDR, 30,000 ex-combatants enrolled in formal education in 2006. The students were given an allowance for two years and help with uniform and registration expenses. A variety of vocational training opportunities were offered by organizations after approval from the JIU. Many remain active. Approximately two thirds of ex-combatants participated in DDRR Trust Fund programming. The remaining third participated in projects administered by the European Commission, USAID, and UNICEF."9 It was believed that many ex-combatants sold their insertion kit that they received during their reintegration program.
- 8. "Secretary General's Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2006/376), June 9, 2006.
- 9. "School for a Culture of Peace," Liberia- DDRR, 2009, accessed May 10, 2011, http://escolapau.uab.cat/img/programas/desarme/mapa/liberia09i.pdf.
“In April 2007, due to recommendations by the NCDDRR and Concerned Ex-combatants Union of Liberia (CECUL), President Johnson-Sirleaf extended the reintegration period by an executive decree in order to accommodate a “residual quantity” of approximately 22,000 demobilized individuals. Programming to deal with this residual quantity ended with 9,000 ex-combatants remaining unattended."10
- 10. Ibid.
The NCDDRR, in collaboration with the UNMIL, continued to implement a one-year reintegration and rehabilitation program for a final group of some 7,251 ex-combatants who had not benefited from any program.11
- 11. "Secretary General's Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2008/553), August 15, 2008.
“In July, President Johnson-Sirleaf officially closed the national disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration programme, which had successfully disarmed and demobilized more than 101,000 ex-combatants, and provided reintegration assistance to more than 90,000 former combatants since 2003."12
- 12. "Secretary General's Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2009/411), August 10, 2009.
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