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TRIPOLI, Libya, May 8, 2014 – The Commission of the African Union (AU) and its partners, notably the United Nations and the World Bank, yesterday, 6 May 2014 conducted a one-day briefing for the Libyan Government on Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR). The briefing, carried out within the framework of the AU DDR Capacity Programme, was requested by the Libyan authorities to assist them in addressing the challenges of the DDR process in Libya and also to discuss possible assistance by international partners.
Held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tripoli, the briefing was officially opened by the Libyan Under-Secretary for Political Affairs, Madam Wafa Taher Bughaighis. Presentations were made by representatives of the Libyan Government; the AU; the Libyan Programme for Reintegration and Development (formerly the Warrior Affairs Commission); the UN Mission in Libya (UNSMIL); and the Transitional Demobilisation and Reintegration Program (TDRP) of the World Bank. More than 80 participants attended, representing relevant Libyan structures and institutions, including the Ministries of Defence, Interior and Labour, as well as civil society organisations.
The participants noted that current DDR activities in Libya focused primarily on the registration and provision of support for ex-combatants, and their reintegration into civilian life or into the security forces. They said that aspects relating to disarmament and demobilisation were not therefore receiving adequate attention. The African Union, the United Nations and the World Bank shared their experiences in DDR in other countries, and they highlighted areas of possible DDR engagement in Libya by the AU and its partners.
NOTE TO THE EDITORS:
About the AU DDR capacity program
The AU considers Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) to be an integral component of the efforts to promote peace, security and stability in Africa. In 2006, the AU’s Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy (PCRD) called on the AU Commission to strengthen DDR capacities on the continent by supporting Member States in the planning and implementation of comprehensive and well-blended Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DDRR) Programs. In 2011, the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) Roadmap also called on the AU Commission to engage and strengthen DDR processes on the continent by integrating it into the entire peace processes, from the initial peace negotiations through peacekeeping and follow-on peace building activities.
In response, the Peace and Security Department (PSD), in partnership with the World Bank Transitional Demobilization and Reintegration Program (TDRP) and the United Nations (Department of Peacekeeping Operations-DPKO and UN Office to the AU, initiated, in February 2012, the AU DDR Capacity Program (DDRCP). This was done by holding a Consultation Seminar on DDR with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RMs). The DDRCP’s main purpose is to develop and strengthen African modalities in DDR by exchanging the knowledge that already exists on the African continent and to reinforce DDR programs that are being implemented by AU Member States and Missions.
As such, PSD has developed a project document that sets out a three-year program, to be implemented between 2013 and 2015, which will achieve the following objectives:
1. Institutionalize DDR capacities within the AU;
2. Establish an AU DDR Resource and Research Centre; and
3. AU engagement and assistance to DDR activities of Member States.
Together these three components will operationalize the ability of the AU to identify gaps and challenges in DDR processes on the continent and respond to those needs by providing timely technical, political and/or resource assistance.
With the launch of the DDRCP in 2013, the AU Commission has engaged with several Member States based on requests received. These are:
1. South Sudan;
2. Central African Republic;
3. The Union of the Comoros;
5. Libya; and
About AU DDR Support to Member States
(I) South Sudan
A joint AU and World Bank (TDRP) DDR assessment mission was undertaken to the Republic of South Sudan, from 21 to 25 May 2012. This assessment was conducted back-to-back with an AU mentoring mission to the South Sudan DDR Commission by a number of DDR experts from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi, to share their experiences on DDR. This included:
• Management Information Systems (MIS);
• Information Technology (IT);
• M & E;
• Communications in DDR;
• Psychosocial support in DDR, vulnerable groups in DDR and the Information Counselling and Referral System (ICRS).
As a follow-up, the AU and TDRP assisted in the placement of two consultants in developing the ICRS.
Based on a subsequent request from the SSDRRC, on 17 September 2012, the Commission hosted a co-ordination meeting in Addis Ababa in conjunction with the World Bank (TDRP). This meeting was held to convene the principal stakeholders to address the implementation modalities of the new phase of DDR program. During this meeting, the SSDDRC requested the African Union to provide guidance on the ideal funding structure that could be used in their DDR program, which aims to support 150,000 ex-combatants. In response, the Commission formed a DDR technical committee who presented the final report.
(II) Central African Republic
Following a request from the Government of the Central African Republic (CAR), the AU conducted a tripartite AU — World Bank (TDRP) – UN assessment mission to Bangui from 2 to 11 June 2012. The assessment mission considered critical aspects including DDR, SSR and Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD). It also dealt with illicit mining and regional security stabilization-recovery issues related to the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). With the support of TDRP, the mission gave technical DDR assistance to the AU Liaison Office in Bangui. The AU has since re-engaged, and has now placed a DDR-SSR Officer deployed in Bangui to support MISCA and is assessing how to proceed forward in the new situation.
Following a request from AMISOM, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission convened a consultation meeting from 24 to 29 June 2013 on the issue of disengaged Al Shabbab combatants in Nairobi, between AMISOM, the Somali Government, the World Bank and the UN. The meeting focused on assessing the current situation on the ground regarding the handling of disengaged combatants and identifying steps to be taken to harmonise the current reality with the newly approved Somali National Strategy on Disengaged Combatants. The Commission has since received a request from the Government of Somalia for support in enhancing their DDR capacity, as well in the establishment of child protection units. The Commission continues to work with its partners in providing DDR support to the Government of Somalia.
(IV) The Union of the Comoros
Following a request from the Government of the Union of the Comoros, the AU conducted a joint assessment mission with the UN and the World Bank (TDRP), from 8 to 12 February 2012. The mission assessed needs in the areas of DDR, SSR and PCRD, as well as the current state of affairs in the National Reconciliation Process. The mission found that the DDR process had largely been completed, but that support was needed in the area of SSR as well as national development. As a follow up, the AU deployed a SSR Officer to Comoros in September 2013 to work with the AU Liaison Office in supporting the SSR process.
(V) Sudan and Libya
Based on requests received from the Governments of Sudan and Libya, the Commission is following up recommendations from the assessment missions currently being undertaken.
SOURCE: African Union Commission (AUC)