Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) in post conflict South Sudan: A study of challenges facing reintegration of ex-combatants (XCs) in selected areas of South Sudan. Master


Publication date



Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

Document type


Master in International Education and Development (NOMA)


This study critically examines the strategy and the challenges of the reintegration of excombatantsin South Sudan. This study was conducted in Juba and Unity State. Data for the study were collected and analyzed using qualitative approaches. The main data collection techniques were in-depth interviews, Focus Group Discussions (FGD) and observations. The reintegration model used in South Sudan emphasizes education, skills training and income generating activities as the key strategies of achieving economic reintegration. Social reintegration is achieved through reunification with families and participation in cultural, religious and recreation activities. To help XCs achieve political reintegration, they are encouraged to participate in decision making processes at the community level. Psychosocial care is also offered to help the returnees deal with trauma and stigma. The number of agencies involved in the implementation process has made standardization difficult and urgently calls for a mechanism of providing oversight to the reintegration process. The XCs are not properly briefed at the point of demobilization creating high expectations among them. There is little follow-up of XCsin their communities of return to assess their progress. The slow pace of economic reintegration is evidenced by complaints about food, lack of education opportunities, training and job placement, among others. Many XCs complain about the high fees imposed by the school system. Corporal punishment was also found to be a common practice in schools.Although many agencies are expending a lot of resources in the provision of psychosocial support to XCs, the model employed uses group rather than individual counseling, which seems to be less effective. The reintegration policy does not seem to have given special consideration to the protection and empowerment of women as a vulnerable group in South Sudan. Although many households are headed by women, they are nevertheless subjected to discrimination and gender based violence, including rape. Little attention is given to other vulnerable groups of XCs, especially those who are physically challenged as a result of injuries sustained during the war. Insecurity is still a serious problem in many parts of the country despite some efforts in peace building. The study noted that armed militias are still terrorizing communities. More effective strategies of ensuring peaceful coexistence of XCs in their communities of return are needed. vi Such efforts could include the establishment of peace and reconciliation committees at the grassroots that involve XCs as instruments of peace more meaningfully. The issues and challenges faced in the reintegration process in South Sudan are closely interrelated. They define a complex web of reciprocal causations, making it difficult to neatly separate causes from effects. Such a multifaceted system requires a holistic identification and analyzes of the existing inter-linkages in terms of thematic areas of the programme. The final product should be a conceptual framework of the national programme, accompanied by an elaborate M&E system that provides regular checks and balances to ensure transparency and accountability.


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  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/2753