DRC: The Ituri disarmament and community reinsertion programme

UNDP Post Conflict Unit in the DRC

The Disarmament and Community Reinsertion (DCR) Plan for Ituri is aimed at disarming and reinserting some 15.000 combatants, of whom 6000 are children, in host communities in the district.

The DCR Plan will be carried out through five Transit Sites for the combatants. The sites will open September 13th. The combatants will spend several days on the sites, while children will be separated from adults and spend maximum 48 hours on the premises.

Before the opening of the sites the armed group leaders in the district will be asked to provide lists of combatants who will subsequently present themselves at the transit sites for disarmament.

The DCR Plan has an overall financial requirement of USD 10.5 million of which USD 4.5 million is being spent on the installation of the transit sites, and USD 6.5 million for the recovery of host communities, where the ex-combatants will be inserted after disarmament. Financial support comes from France, Belgium, Japan, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Spain, the Multi-country Demobilization and Reintegration Programme (MDRP) and UNDP.

The five transit sites are strategically located in Mahagi, Kpwandroma, Kasenyi, Iga Barriere/Nizi, and Aveba (see map) and have been identified by MONUC, UNDP, UNICEF, and the armed groups themselves, so that each site corresponds to one or more armed groups currently not opposing each other.

MONUC and the national Congolese army, FA-RDC, will be in charge of the actual disarmament, while the international NGOs Memisa and GTZ have been subcontracted by UNDP for the provision of humanitarian services on three of the sites. This service includes provision of food, sensitization, distribution of kits, etc.

UNDP is in charge of setting up the transit sites in close cooperation with MONUC. Preparations include installation of basic infrastructure for the transitory encampment such as tents, water supply, sanitation, communication, and logistics.

A database for the registration of ex-combatants, which will allow identification by iris-recognition, is being set up by UNDP. The agency is currently exploring alternatives for identification and registration of ex-combatants, and this is the first time iris recognising technology is being used in a disarmament operation in Africa.