Sudan: UN assists ex-combatants in north-south conflict to return to civilian life

26 March 2009

More than 180,000 ex-fighters in Sudan’s decades-long north-south civil war will be assisted to return to civilian life as their ongoing demobilization enters a new phase, the United Nations mission in the country (UNMIS) announced today.

The mission said in a press release that reintegration is the last and most crucial phase of the multi-million dollar scheme for the process known as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) called for by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which in 2005 ended the 22-year conflict.

Starting on 24 March in Ed Damazin in the Blue Nile State, ex-combatants are being provided technical and material assistance for their new lives, including help to begin supporting themselves, UNMIS said.

This week, 14 participants, including four women, received that support at the Individual Counselling and Referral Service (ICRS) at the office of the Joint (North/South) DDR Commission in Ed Damazin.

Of the 5,000 ex-combatants on the rolls for demobilisation in Blue Nile State this year, 1,300 have been demobilised since the operation began six weeks ago, according to UNMIS.

Preparations are well advanced for a similar exercise to start in the Southern Kordofan localities of Julud and Kadugli in early April 2009, the mission stated.


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