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The United Nations have facilitated large-scale DDR programmes with positive outcomes following civil wars. However there are significant dilemmas encountered in DDR and many fail. Discuss the problems of DDR in post-conflict societies.

The United Nations have facilitated large-scale DDR programmes with positive outcomes following civil wars. However there are significant dilemmas encountered in DDR and many fail. Discuss the problems of DDR in post-conflict societies.

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An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards (International Programme) Competition by Ulrike Radunz. Originally submitted for IR 3035 Peace Processes and Violence at University of St. Andrews, with lecturer Dr Hazel Cameron in the category of International Relations & Politics
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards (International Programme) Competition by Ulrike Radunz. Originally submitted for IR 3035 Peace Processes and Violence at University of St. Andrews, with lecturer Dr Hazel Cameron in the category of International Relations & Politics

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
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07/21/2014

 
TheUnitedNationshavefacilitatedlarge-scaledisarmament,demobilisationandreintegrationprogrammes(DDR)withpositiveoutcomesfollowingcivilwars.HowevertherearesignificantdilemmasencounteredinDDRandmanyfail.DiscusstheproblemsofDDRinpost-conflictsocieties.(2084words)
 
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AccordingtotheUN,Disarmament,DemobilizationandReintegration(DDR)processesseektocontributetopost-conflictstabilityandsecuritybydecreasingthecirculationofunregulatedsmallarmsinthecountry,dismantlingmilitarystructuresandmanagingthetransformationofitinerantex-combatantsintocivilianlife.Whileanumberoftheseinitiativeshavepositivelyimpactedthepost-conflictenvironment,otheroperationshavebeenfacedbyavarietyofproblems.SuccessfulDDRimplementationisparticularlyrestrainedbyinsufficientresources,inadequateplanning,loopholesthatallowforabuseoftheprogramaswellasbylimitationsofthenationaleconomy.However,whilesuchexternalfactorscanbeeliminated,someproblemsposemoreofachallengetoDDRprocessesbecausetheyhighlightfundamentalflawsinthenatureoftheDDRprocessitself.AtthecenterofthedebateisthedilemmathattheDDRprocessesultimatelysingleoutex-combatantsforpreferentialtreatment,therebyhinderingreintegrationandultimatelyincreasingtheproblemitintendstotreat.Inthisessayvariousproblemsaswellaspossiblesolutionsarehighlighted,acknowledgingthatultimately,thesuccessandfailureofDDRprogramsdependsonthewillingnessofthesocietyitisimplementedintoforgiveandreintegrateex-combatants.
 
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Thepost-civilwarenvironment,“whetherdefinedasasignificantreductionindirectmortality,thesigningofapeaceagreement,thedeploymentofapeacekeepingforce,anarbitraryperiodoftime,ortheholdingofnationalelections,isbydefinitionunstable”(Muggah,2006,p.190f.).Deficientpoliticalstructures,thelackofeconomicopportunitiesanddisruptedpatternsofcivilsocietyaremanifestedinwidespreadanarchy,povertyandadeepsocialdivide.Disarmament,DemobilizationandReintegration(DDR)processesseektocontributetopost-conflictstabilityandsecuritybydecreasingthecirculationofunregulatedsmallarmsinthecountry,dismantlingmilitarystructuresandmanagingthetransformationofitinerantex-combatantsintocivilianlife(UN,2000,p.2).Whileanumberoftheseinitiatives,forexamplethoseinNamibiaandUganda(OSAA,2007,p.14f),havepositivelyimpactedthepost-conflictenvironment,otheroperationshavebeenfacedbyavarietyofproblemscausingthemtobelesssuccessfulatfosteringpost-conflictstabilityandsecurity.Themajorityoftheproblemsencounteredtendtobecausedbyexternalfactorsandthus–albeitnotalwayseasily–canbeeliminated,attenuatedortransformedintoanopportunity.However,someproblemsposemoreofachallengetoDDRprocessesbecausetheyhintatfundamentalflawsinthenatureoftheDDRprocessitself.WithparticularfocusonthecountriesoftheManoriverregioninAfrica,thisessayseekstogiveanoverviewofthemostprominentofaninexhaustiblenumberofproblemsanddilemmasthatendangerthesuccessfuloutcomeofDDRprogramsinpost-conflictsocieties.AlthoughDDRprocessesareusuallyinitiatedandimplementedbyinternationalactorssuchastheUnitedNations(UN)andWorldBank,non-governmentalorganizations(NGOs)aswellasindividualstates,thesuccessfuloutcomeisdependentonthelevelandqualityofcooperationamongthepartiesinvolved.Ontheonehand,theobjectivesandaimsoftheDDRprogramneedtobeclearlydefinedandagreedonpriortoimplementation.Ontheotherhandtheremustbeanoticeableaspirationamongtheparticipatingfactionstoseetheaimssuccessfullyimplemented.Thebelligerents’refusaltoparticipateinthedisarmamentprocess,forexample,makesitimpossibletoaccomplishtheDDRprogramandthusalackofpoliticalwillisamajorhindrancetothesuccessfulimplementationofDDRprograms(OSAA,2007,p.22).Sometimesthislackofcooperationandstubbornnessonthesideofoneofthewarringpartiesiscausedbytheinfluenceofexternalforces;howevermoreoftenthannotitisspoilerswithineitheroneofthegroupswhorefusetomakeconcessions,evenintheprospectofanabsolutegain

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