Africa: Multi-Country Demobilization and Reintegration Program - progress report and work plan, Oct - Dec 2003
I. National Programs
2. Implementation of the Angola Demobilization and Reintegration Program (ADRP) has continued to progress during the past quarter with Government support for reintegration efforts through both the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Public Administration, Employment and Social Security. The national counterpart agency, IRSEM, has also continued to use project preparation facility funds to conduct information and sensitization activities, improve beneficiary tracking and program monitoring capacities, and train staff. World Bank financing for the larger-scale reintegration program is set to become effective in early 2004.
3. Implementation of the national program continues to be satisfactory. As of 15 December 2003, a total of 16,877 of combatants have been demobilized under the current phase of the program, of which 13,010 from the Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) and 3,867 members of Rwandan armed groups. A total of 12,258 ex-FAR soldiers are receiving assistance through the program. Since the end of September, an additional 4,940 ex-combatants are benefiting from the program (2,297 RDF demobilized and 2,417 additional ex-FAR assisted). The MDRP Joint Supervision Mission that visited Rwanda in October 2003, expressed concern about the slow rate of repatriation of members of Rwandan armed groups from the DRC. Since then, however, the general environment for repatriation has improved and as of mid December, 350 ex-combatants were in the demobilization center in Mutobo. The RDRC has held technical discussio ns with the Ministry of Local Affairs (MINALOC) for the establishment of procedures for the reception, registration, demobilization and reintegration of child soldiers and established a child soldier center in Ruhengeri town.
The RDRC has focused much of its attention on the challenges of reinsertion and reintegration. Benefiting from the support of an MDRP reintegration specialist in November/December, the commission has identified measures to strengthen the program. In addition, the MDRP provided the RDRC with a monitoring and evaluation consultant which has assisted the RDRC in better processing the information already in its possession and in refining monitoring and evaluation procedures for the future. The Rwandan Government is finalizing the details of bilateral support by the German Government to the RDRP, which will be closely tied in with the other support provided under the MDRP umbrella. Furthermore, DFID and the RDRC are finalizing the terms of reference for a consultant to assist the RDRC are finalizing the terms of reference for a consultant to assist the RDRC with reintegration planning.
4. In close collaboration with partners, the MDRP Secretariat has continued to support other national programs currently under preparation.
Burundi. Preparatory activities for the national Demobilization, Reinsertion and Reintegration Program (DRRP) in Burundi have moved ahead at considerable speed in the last quarter of 2003. The process accelerated as a response to the needs arising from the Government's peace negotiations and to provide an atmosphere of confidence for the negotiating parties. The Government held extensive consultations with its development partners on the draft DRRP.
Government also established a National Commission for Demobilization, Reinsertion and Reintegration (NCDRR), and focused on staffing and equipping the Executive Secretariat of the NCDRR (ES/NCDRR) so as to be able to initiate demobilization activities by March 2004. By the end of the quarter, ES/NCDRR key personnel was in place, and Government was finalizing a draft Letter of Demobilization Policy required for IDA and MDRP funding. With the support of interested donors and the MDRP Secretariat, Government submitted a proposal for pre-disarmament assistance in the amount of USUSD2.97 million. By the end of the year, these resources had been mobilized with the assistance of the European Commission (EC) and the governments of Belgium, France and the UK. A supervisory committee has been established to oversee, coordinate and monitor the provision of this assistance.
A World Bank and MDRP Secretariat mission visited Burundi from October 20 to December 12, 2003. Following consultations with Government and key MDRP partners in Bujumbura, the mission was upgraded to appraisal. This decision allowed the World Bank to advance Board processing, and thereby accelerate the availability of large-scale IDA and MDRP Trust Fund resources to finance the DRRP.
The MDRP Secretariat has continued to chair and facilitate the Technical Working Group (TWG), which has elaborated the Joint Operations Plan (JOP). The Plan, to be adopted by the Joint Ceasefire Commission (JCC), establishes principles and detailed procedures for all operational matters in the disarmament and demobilization process. The ES/NCDRR and the African Mission in Burundi (AMIB) have established a Joint Operations Center (JOC) to facilitate cooperation during the implementation of initial disarmament and demobilization activities.
CAR. In keeping with the MDRP Joint Supervision Mission findings, a high level Government delegation provided a detailed presentation during the MDRP Partners' meeting in Kinshasa for a national program to be executed by UNDP as a special project. Partners endorsed the approach and UNDP has continued to support government in the development of this program, building upon earlier institutional structures. It is expected that the program proposal will be submitted to the LAC for review in early 2004.
Congo. Also during the partners meeting in Kinshasa, the Government of the Republic of Congo formally presented a letter of demobilization policy and suggested that the modalities, criteria and numbers in its draft national demobilization and reintegration program be reviewed by a team of independent consultants. The terms of reference for this team have been approved by partners and Government in January 2004 and the team selection is underway.
DRC. The MDRP Joint Supervision Mission held discussions with the various ministries mandated with responsibilities for DDR and highlighted the need for the creation of a national structure for DDR and the selection of a national coordinator. The MDRP mission welcomed the actions taken since the establishment of the transitional government and offered the ir support to maintain momentum toward the development and implementation of a national demobilization and reintegration program. A field visit to Goma and Bunia allowed mission members to examine the situation on the ground in relation to ongoing demobilization efforts and the challenges of spontaneous disarmament. Duruing the fourth quarter, the Comité technique de planification et coordination de DDR (CTPC) approved operational guidelines for spontaneous disarmament and community reintegration which provide a framework to address the current situation while the national program is being put in place. Belgium organized a meting on SSR and DDR prior to the MDRP partners' meeting in November. In December, the Ministries of Defense, Social Welfare and Interior, and the Etat Major carried out a mission to Kinsangani, Kindu, Bunia and Punia, to assess the situation on the ground and made recommendations to the CTPC for further action. During the Consultative Group Meeting in Paris, the Government of the DRC informed donors that three decrees for DDR had been promulgated, namely: Décret no. 03/041 - Création du Comité interministériel chargé de la conception et de l'orientation en matière de DDR; Décret no. 03/042 - Création et organisation et fonctionnement de la Commission nationale de DDR (CONADER); and, Décret no. 03/043 - Création, organisation et fonctionnement du Comité de gestion des fonds de DDR.
Uganda. The MDRP Joint Supervision Mission discussed with Government the progress made in policy and planning for possible demobilization and reintegration support, however, no further steps have been taken in the reporting period towards demobilization of Ugandan Peoples' Defense Forces (UPDF). Despite some positive regional developments, a number of factors still make it hard to predict the size and timing of a possible demobilization of regular forces. As one of the initial outcomes of the ongoing Defense Review, the Minister of Defense tabled the UPDF Bill in Parliament in early December. The proposed new structure of the army would make it a smaller but more efficient force. Parliamentary discussions on the Bill will take place in early 2004, after which time the implications for possible demobilization will be assessed. The Government Steering Committee to prepare the National Demobilization and Reintegration Program (chaired by the Office of the Prime Minister) has provided guidance to the Amnesty Commission with regard to resettlement and reintegration support to demobilized irregular ex-combatants. Rapid reaction by the Government and several MDRP partners in December permitted the timely provision of resources for ex-rebel groups in a coordinated fashion. The Governments of Denmark and Ireland, and UNDP are providing short- and medium- term support to the Amnesty Commission to assist about 500 members of a former rebel group that returned from the DRC and Sudan in mid-December with MONUC facilitation. An update on preparations for longer-term MDRP Trust Fund support to the Amnesty Commission is provided below under 'Special Projects'.
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