On 12 February, the Group of Friends of DDR hosted an expert-level meeting on the political situation and the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process in the Central African Republic and Mali.

To ensure an in-depth discussion, senior UN representatives were invited to brief delegates.

During the meeting, Mbaranga Gasarabwe, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and Lizbeth Cullity, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), provided a comprehensive overview of recent political developments.

Both representatives reiterated the central role of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration in mitigating community violence and addressing the threat posed by signatory groups as well as non-signatory armed forces

In addition, the Heads of DDR components in Mali and CAR, Samba Tall and Pierre Ubalijorro respectively, briefed on the achievements and challenges associated with advancing integrated DDR processes.

Despite political setbacks and security incidents, peace operations have continued supporting the implementation of DDR activities as well as community violence reduction (CVR) projects.

Discussions benefited from the high attendance and active engagement of current Members of the Group, including Sudan and France as the newest members.*

Several other delegations participated in the meetings in their capacity as observers: Canada, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Niger.

The event was held under the co-chairmanship of Egypt and Cote d’Ivoire and with the secretariat support provided by the DDR Section (DPO/OROLSI).

Noting the consolidation of the Group of Friends of DDR, Thomas Kontogeorgos (Chief, DDR Section) outlined priorities for 2021, and called for the continued support from Member States for the implementation of DDR processes in complex environments, including mission and non-mission settings.

For more information, please contact the Secretariat of the Group of Friends of DDR:

* Current members of the Group of Friends of DDR: Egypt and Cote d’Ivoire (co-chairs), Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, and United Kingdom.