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Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration

Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration

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Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) is an applied strategy for executing successful peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....

 operations, and is generally the strategy employed by all UN Peacekeeping Operations. Disarmament entails the physical removal of the means of combat from ex-belligerents (weapons, ammunition, etc.); demobilization entails the disbanding of armed groups; while reintegration describes the process of reintegrating former combatants into civil society, ensuring against the possibility of a resurgence of armed conflict.

Prerequisites for DDR

DDR is somewhat different from the blanket term "peacekeeping", in that DDR requires certain conditions to be effectively implemented. They include, but are not necessarily limited to:
  • Security - conflict in the targeted area must be completely or at least nearly halted, and a significant deterrent force must be in place to ensure no renewal of conflict. Without this guarantee of security, DDR cannot be effectively implemented, as trust between former belligerents - an integral part of the DDR process - cannot develop.

  • Inclusion of all ex-belligerents - without cooperation between all armed groups, DDR cannot succeed. Unless all combatants and factions are disarmed, the potential for a resurgence of conflict is too great.

  • Sufficient funding - without enough funding to be completed, DDR operations cannot succeed, as incomplete reintegration of ex-combatants leaves the possibility of a renewal of conflict.

Influence of DDR on the peace process

DDR is often carried out as a technical process, whereas it is in fact a highly political one. It is often overlooked that DDR is not only shaping the demand for security, e.g. to what extent the people still feel unsafe due to prevailing presence of armed groups in their proximity, but also the supply of security. The supply of security here refers to the amount of combatants integrated into regular security forces after the conflict has ended through means of DDR, thus influencing the structure and the organization of the newly emerged security sector. If too many soldiers, policemen or paramilitary troops are present, the DDR campaign has not altered the level of insecurity, but rather changed its cause.http://www.dcaf.ch/publications/bm_sgpc_book.cfm?nav1=4&nav2=2

Requirements for successful DDR implementation

There are 6 aspects to a successful DDR conversion:
  1. Reduction of military expenditure
  2. Reorientation of military research and development
  3. Conversion of the arms industry
  4. Demobilization and reintegration
  5. Redevelopment of troops
  6. Safe disposal and management of "surplus weapons"

Demobilization is one aspect of conversion.


To assess the impact of demobilization one has to consider the resources involved, the dynamic processes of production, redistribution and the different factors and actors in policy making and implementation. The ultimate objective of demobilization and reintegration efforts should be to improve the welfare of people. Demobilization of combatants frees human potential that can contribute to achieving these objectives.

See also

  • Peacekeeping
    Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....

  • Security sector reform
    Security sector reform
    Security Sector Reform is a concept to reform or rebuild a state's security sector that emerged first in the 1990s in Eastern Europe. It starts where a dysfunctional security sector is unable to provide security to the state and its people effectively and under democratic principles. Even worse,...

  • UN Peacekeeping Operations
  • United Nations
    United Nations
    The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

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