Free Paper Sample on the Importance of Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration

Published: 2022-03-23
Free Paper Sample on the Importance of Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  National security
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1738 words
15 min read

The issue of security surpasses the stability of the government or the state, as it includes the lives of the citizens and the safety of their property. In general, security plays an important role in the initiation and the subsequent maintenance of development projects and agenda (Schnabel & Born, 2011, 5). Additionally, it has critical function in that it safeguards the human rights while simultaneously addressing poverty. There is need to intertwine the short-term security measures with the long-term ones such as the creation of job opportunities to realize sustainable benefits. The apparent lack of peace and stability is seemingly the main obstacle for the Fragile and Conflict Affected Countries (FCCs) that prevents them from realizing the Millennium Development Goals or the MDGs. Research also shows that countries that experienced conflicts before have the propensity of relapsing into violence (Nilsson, 2005, 17). Therefore, rehabilitating the militias or any other non-state armed opposition groups, the reduction of abundant firearms, and minimization of ammunitions in the wrong hands are priorities for achieving stability, long-term economic progress, and social development.

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Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) program help conflict-afflicted regions or states in the reduction of the probability of the resumption of conflict (Nilsson, 2005, 31). Additionally, the programs aim at improving the social, economic, and the political prospects of the affected areas. DDR is therefore the most viable conflict management instrument that also aids in growth and development of places previously ravaged by conflicts. It is worth noting that most of such programs mainly happen in the countries of the world that also suffer from ardent poverty. Evidently, the programs serve to arrest insecurity and create a receptive environment for development and flourishing growth. At the macro-level of the application of the DDR, the Sierra Leone is the most notable success story in recent history (Humphreys & Weinstein, 2007, 539). The model used in the mentioned country is currently under replication in various countries in around that include but not limited to Burundi, Liberia, Afghanistan, and Haiti. The reception of the program was quite positive and the former combatants participated that led to the initiation and the subsequent maintenance of peace in the regions (Humphreys & Weinstein, 2007, 537).

DDR forms the much-needed foundation for border security, which is a fundamental pillar for internal security and peace (Nilsson, 2005, 32). Border security sector reform (SSR) has close link to the DDR as both have the sole objective of building peace (Schnabel, & Born, 2011, 22). Peace agreements normally call for the inclusion of armed groups involved in any form of resistance into the country's armed forces as a way of possibly dismantling of the militia security apparatus. Such is imperative since demobilized former combatants normally pose threats especially in situations when they fail to join security apparatus (Schnabel & Born, 2011, 13). Absorption of poorly trained combatants into the security apparatus is also a threat to the nation.

DDR is necessary for peace building and the eradication of persistent conflict in various regions in the world (Nilsson, 2005, 33). The application of the concept has been extensively successful in areas such as Liberia, Ivory Coast, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which currently enjoy relative peace. DDR is essential in the prevention of violent conflict in the post conflict settings thereby laying the foundation for peace building, socioeconomic development, and peacekeeping. It is worth noting that certain elements of the of the DDR process have direct link to the prevention of subsequent conflicts. The elements that encourage the peace building initiatives the disarmament of the warring factions, the restoration of law and order, destruction and the decommissioning of weapons, election monitoring, repatriation of refugees, the reformation and strengthening of institutions, and finally facilitating economic and social development.

DDR provides for the transformation of the judicial, police, and the electoral processes. The main cause of conflict in the developing world is persistent rigging and mismanagement of elections that lead to viscous cycles of civil violence (Nilsson, 2005, 31). The countries also suffer from utter lack of professional policing standards that only serve to aggravate the situation. The lack of a strong judiciary to act as a mediator after the conflict also serves to compound the problem. DDR provides the mechanisms and the strategies that help in the rebuilding process that include the training of the police force to apply internationally accepted standards. Proper police force is exceedingly important in conflict management in that it prevents its occurrence. The police also assist in the post-conflict disarmament process of the combatants (Spear, 1999, 4). The establishment of the judiciary provides the ultimate channel for addressing the grievances for the conflicting parties meaning that it is a long-term solution. Finally, the establishment of proper electoral mechanism helps prevent civil war in various countries (Humphreys & Weinstein, 2007, 534). Most of the conflicts in most developing countries occur during the electioneering periods. Case in point is Kenya (2007-2008) and Ivory Coast. DDR seeks to establish strong and independent electoral bodies capable of delivering free, fair, and verifiable elections, which will definitely reduce the probability of conflict.

DDR is important since it provides for the framework for the repatriation of the internally displaced and the resettlement of the refugees. Generally, conflict usually lead to displacement of people. For example, the war in Somalia led to the displacement of more than two million people. Some of the displaced persons settled in the neighboring countries under the support and care of the United Nations. The repatriation and the resettlement of refuges are important in the protection of the weak and the vulnerable in society such as women and the children. The program provides the affected persons with dignified or humane conditions that serve to lessen the effects of war such as trauma, physical harm, and any psychological impact associated with the same (Spear, 1999, 6). The program also helps in the reintegration of the displaced individuals into the society after the conflicts. As mentioned, the refugees and the IDPs or the internally displaced persons suffer serious trauma and need proper mechanism to rehabilitate to ensure normal functionality and interaction with the members of the society post-war.

Finally, DDR is essential in the disarmament of the warring factions, destroying and decommissioning of weapons, and the subsequent restoration of law and order (Spear, 1999, 5). It is hard, almost impossible, to restore lasting peace if the weapons are in the wrong hands. Owning lethal weapons tempt people to commit crime, making the entire affected area ungovernable. Having a clear and well thought out plan to disarm the militia and destroy the weaponry provides long-term peace. On the other hand, the restoration of law and order makes the affected regions habitable, prosperous, and economically viable. The institutions such as the judiciary, the police, the military, the presidency, and parliament should function normally for the realized gains to last. From the above, it is evident that the role of DDR is quite vital in the restoration of a functional, productive, and vibrant society capable of governing itself and realizing its dreams.

Conditions for DDR

The success of the DDR depends on the application of certain proven principles. The negative or the positive outcomes of the program depend on the degree of the execution of the principles right from the onset to the final stage when the restoration of the law is satisfactory. The first condition is that there is need to balance diplomacy, development, and defense, meaning that the gap between theory and practice should be minimal (Ozerdem, 2002, 972). Liberia stands out as the country and the integrated DDR approach was applied, and the success in currently viable. The diplomacy, development, and development approach center on various important parameters that include security, human rights, governance, and socioeconomic development (Humphreys & Weinstein, 2007, 533). Many technocrats and donors prefer the integrated approach since it promotes the progression of the military, boost the stabilization, development and peace.

Therefore, it means that executing the DDR using a single strategy such as merely promoting peace without accompanying development will yield negative results. The integrated approach has shortcomings as certain countries such Afghanistan viewed as a gimmick for the re-packaging of the normal or the standards strategy for intervention that combine counter-insurgency warfare with the campaigns that merely aim at winning the minds and the heart (Ozerdem, 2002, 967). The donors, aid workers, and various government officials complain that the major shortfall for the system is the well-choreographed military prevalence, strategies, and objectives that take precedence over other processes. Overdependence of the military because of weak diplomatic engagements is detrimental to DDR programs.

The donors should involve other key players in the reconstruction and the restoration process should have a universal presence in the affected are to yield positive results. Failure to meet such a condition makes the application of DDR quite inefficient and ineffective (Nilsson, 2005, 35). For example, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the largest countries in Africa, the restoration efforts are only aimed at the places with the UN military presence, which then limit the prospects of development programs and strategies in other areas. The DDR is only possible when applied in equal footing, which essentially is not the case in Afghanistan and the DRC where the military has the highest priority in terms of presence, destruction, visibility, vector, and harm. The apparent lack of development and other parameters will harm the restoration process.

The DDR tend to have positive impact in situations where there is extensive prevention and the application of the rule of law through elaboration of a new, comprehensive constitution, capacity developments, and infrastructure programs. However, the magnitude of the task, which requires the prioritization and proper coordination between the government and donors, poses the greatest foreseeable challenge in recent times in countries like Afghanistan and the DRC. Closely related to this is the fact that the reforms often undermine the usefulness of the traditional mechanisms of justice that have great followings in the rural settings (Ozerdem, 2002, 967). There is need to integrate such systems into the modern ones, as isolating them portends more danger and slows down the process of recovery and reintergration.

The success of the DDR largely depends on the reconciliation process, which mostly receive little or no support (Nilsson, 2005, 54). The locals may have great initiative, but with little international support the problem tend to dwindle with noting to show for it. For example, President Karzai of Afghanistan sporadically advocated for the need to inclusion of the neo-Taliban. The program failed because it lacked consistency, international support, and necessary unity of purpose from the people, the government, and the donors. Cl...

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