DDR and Stability in Africa. (french / français)
Final report of the Second International Conference on Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Stability in Africa, held in Kinshasa, The Democratic Republic of Congo, on 12-14 June 2007
In recent years, a significant number of African countries have emerged from conflict and are now undertaking disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programmes. The importance of successful disarmament, demobilization and reintegration to preventing the recurrence of violence and creating the conditions for sustainable peace and development has been long recognized. However, there is ample evidence that current DDR practices often do not accomplish those objectives since there have been numerous instances of African countries relapsing into violence. In fact, about 50% of post-conflict countries in Africa revert back to conflict within five years.
In view of the importance of this issue to peace and development in Africa, OSAA organized an International Conference on DDR and Stability in Africa from 21 to 23 June 2005 in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The Conference drew more than 100 participants, including delegates from 15 African countries, as well as representatives of a number of donor countries and international and regional organizations. The African participants represented a broad spectrum of DDR stakeholders, including government officials, current and former members of national DDR commissions, DDR practitioners and other experts, beneficiaries of DDR programmes, members of armed forces, representatives of host communities, women’s and civil society associations.
One of the recommendations of this conference was to strengthen the network of African DDR practitioners and build DDR capacity among African stakeholders by developing a regular and sustainable DDR evaluation process enabling the sharing of the practical experiences of African countries themselves as well as their international partners. For this purpose, it was recommended that consultative DDR reviews should take place at least every two years.
Accordingly OSAA organized, in cooperation with the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and with support of the Governments of Belgium and Sweden, the Second International Conference on DDR and Stability in Africa from 12-14 June 2007 in Kinshasa. The conference aimed at building on the achievements made at the Freetown Conference and focused on African-owned processes enhancing effective policy formulation and strategy implementation in African DDR programmes.
Focus of the Conference
The Kinshasa Conference brought African voices to the forefront on issues of DDR and stability and facilitated the dialogue, particularly amongst Africans, in order to identify best practices and lessons learned.
For this purpose, about 20 African countries were invited from different African sub-regions, as well as a number of substantive international experts. The political significance of having the conference in Kinshasa was to highlight the importance of the newly established government after the successful presidential elections in July 2006. The conference was pan-African in scope, with the intention of facilitating the sharing of experiences and perspectives from across the continent. At the same time, the conference had a particular focus on DDR in the Great Lakes region.
Objectives of the Conference
The overall objective of this conference was to improve the effectiveness of DDR programmes in Africa in promoting peace and development after conflict. In this regard it was emphasized that good governance is a pre-requisite for peace and stability in Africa. Within this framework, the conference aimed to achieve the following objectives:
Outcome of the Conference
The expected outcomes of the conference included: