THE DISARMAMENT DEMOBILIZATION & REINTEGRATION CAPACITY PROGRAM
African Union Commission, through its Peace and Security Department designated the Defense and Security Division (DSD) which is the body responsible for cross-cutting security issues and developing the Common African Defense Security and Policy (CADSP) to deal with issues of Disarmament and Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR). The DSD collaborates closely with the other sections of the Commission including the Peace Support Operation Division (PSOD) and the African Stand-by Force (ASF).
Strengthening capacity within the AU regional security architecture to provide effective support to DDR initiatives is viewed by the AU as integral to its objective of promoting peace, security and stability in Africa. The importance and mandate of the AU Commission to support DDR processes was made in the 2004 Common African Defence and Security Policy (CADSP) and then subsequently in the 2006 Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) and the 2010 African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) Roadmap.
In February 2012, the African Union Commission, through the Peace and Security Department (PSD), initiated the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Capacity Program (DDRCP) by holding a Consultation Seminar on DDR with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RMs). The purpose of the DDRCP is to strengthen capacities within the AU, its Member States and regional partners, namely the RECs and RMs, to support national and regional DDR initiatives on the continent.
The main rationale for AU’s engagement in DDR is to support peace processes and enhance security in its Member States so that post-conflict recovery can begin. DDR is considered a vital component of peace-building, acting as a bridge between immediate security and longer-term recovery priorities in the transition from war to peace. In countries and sub-regions emerging from violent conflict and/or serious political and social crises, a successful DDR program helps create a climate of confidence and security paving the way for a range of peace building and recovery activities. In this regard, the AU Commission is working to develop comprehensive DDR strategies to ensure that short-term security imperatives are integrated into longer-term recovery and development programming.
Throughout this DDR capacity enhancement process, the AU is being supported by the World Bank AFTCS Transitional Demobilization and Reintegration Program (TDRP), the United Nations Office at the African Union (UNOAU) and the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UN DPKO). Both the UN and the World Bank view the enhancement of AU capacity to address security needs on the continent as being strategic to achieving sustainable peace and security on the continent. Furthermore, the AU would like to work with more partners and establish strong regional support base for countries in need.