First pilot training on DDR in Upper Nile

6 Jun 2012

First pilot training on DDR in Upper Nile

4 June 2012 -- A one-day pilot training course was held today in Malakal by the South Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (SSDDRC).

The first of its kind to take place in Malakal, the training course was supported by the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) unit of UNMISS in Upper Nile State and was intended to promote awareness of what the process of disarmament and demobilization will entail for ex-combatants who are selected for the programme.

The course was attended by 40 participants who included ex-combatants and representatives of community-based organizations and state government ministries.

The latter group of participants was urged to give priority to ex-combatants in filling vacancies in their respective workforces.

"DDR is a collective responsibility (of the) community, local chiefs and government officials," said William Gwang, the guest of honor at the event who is Director General of the Upper Nile Ministry of Local Government and Law Enforcement. "We have to assist them to contribute positively in their own respective counties."

Some of the ex-combatants who attended the pilot training said they had been demobilized at short notice, and in some instances they have received little or no assistance since leaving the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

Chany Gatluak Belang was stationed in the Central Equatoria State town of Mangalla when he was demobilized during the second quarter of 2010.

"I was given my papers and told that the rest of the things will follow," said the former first lieutenant, who was later instructed to move to Upper Nile State last year. "But up to now nothing is there."

Jack Nyuan Miyuang, 60, said he was let go by the SPLA because he was deemed to be too old, even though he says other officers of his age are still serving.

"It is good that I am still alive, (but) I wonder why they removed me," said the ex-army captain. "We have children who (we) need to feed and get schooling fees (for)."

The Upper Nile State Director of the SSDDRC David Jal Nyang urged ex-combatants to be patient and gain a better understanding of what the DDR process can do for them.

"All agencies are here to help us achieve peace so that development takes place," he said. Upper Nile State became the fourth state in South Sudan where the DDR pilot training course has been held.