Chapter 27: Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants and development with a specific reference to the reintegration of the Taliban in Afghanistan
The disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants often presents itself as one of the most crucial activities in a post-conflict peace-building context, with important effects upon the wider transitional process from war to peace and development. According to the United Nations (UN) Integrated Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Standards (IDDRS), DDR ‘is a complex process, with political, military, security, humanitarian and socio-economic dimensions’ (UN, 2006). This is particularly the case in environments where there is a large caseload of ex-combatants; in some instances such as Liberia there were as many as over 100,000 in a population of only a few million (Podder, 2012). Even where there are small caseloads of ex-combatants, as was the case in Kosovo and Timor-Leste, it is important to note that with a high number of dependants for each ex-combatant, the real ‘caseload’ of people depending on DDR processes can be many times more than those ex-combatants who are benefiting directly from such programmes (…zerdem, 2003a, 2003b, 2010). In other words, DDR programmes can have much wider implications for prosperity and development in a typical post-conflict environment than just their directly attributable outcomes in terms of reintegration benefits for ex-combatants. This chapter argues that each aspect of DDR, from disarmament to reintegration, involves activities that are likely to have profound implications for peace-building and post-conflict development trajectories of war-torn societies.
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