Transitional Demobilization and Reintegration Program

DDR Conference 2013
History and Experience of Post-Conflict Reintegration
and Stabilization

Conference on History and Experience of
Post-conflict Reintegration and Stabilization in Tunis

Between Wednesday June 5 and Thursday June 6, 2013 the TDRP co-hosted a conference with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to discuss the History and Experience of Post-conflict Reintegration and Stabilization in Tunis, Tunisia. Some of the results and lessons from recent studies and programs on reintegration were presented, along with the perspectives from the TDRP, AfDB and African Union. In addition to the representatives from the three organizations, academics from universities in the United States, South Africa and Germany, human rights activists from Egypt and Tunisia, as well as representatives from BICC Germany and Turkish International Cooperation Agency (TIKA) participated at the conference.

The opening speech was delivered by Ms. Agnes Soucat, Director of the Department of Human Development at the AfDB. The conference began with an introduction session where Mr. Abderrahim Fraiji from TDRP, Ambassador Hawa Ahmed Youssouf from the African Union and Ms. Agnes Soucat from AfDB delivered the perspectives of their respective organizations. The second session provided the audience with an insight into the historical background on earlier reintegration efforts in Northern and Southern Africa. Dr. Abdelmajid Hannoum from the University of Kansas provided the audience with an overview of the experience of the Maghreb focusing on Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia and elaborated on how the experiences of these countries relate to today’s challenges. Dr. Guy Lamb from the Safety and Violence Initiative at the University of Cape Town presented the audience with the DDR experiences of South African countries and highlighted key challenges faced by countries in his study and how they tried to address them.

In Session III, TDRP and AfDB representatives presented projects from their respective organizations on Regional Issues and Initiatives with Ms. Lisa Maier from TDRP presenting Empowerment of Socio-economic Associations as a Regional Initiative in LRA-Affected Areas and Mr. Ali Eyeghe from the AfDB presenting the Rural Livelihoods Project in Democratic Republic of Congo. In Session IV, which was on vulnerable groups in DDR, Dr. Harald Hinkel from TDRP presented his paper on Psycho-social programming in DDR and discussed the impact of psychological and sociological issues on DDR programming and outcomes. Mr. Paul Dougna from the AfDB contributed to the closing session of the first day of the conference with a statement on women in DDR, followed by a brief video on the subject. Following the final session of the day, the participants met in a cocktail and screening of Scoring for Peace, a documentary that tells the story of three ex-combatants who participated in the 2012Peace Cup organized by the TDRP.

Second Day of the conference started with presentations by the AfDB and TDRP on Formal Education and Vocational Training in DDR. Mr. Paul Dougna from the AfDB presented his organization’s Teachers Training in DDR in Ivory Coast. TDRP Consultants Dr. Anthony Finn and Mr. Murat Onur presented the findings of their recent TDRP study on DDR Vocational Training in Rwanda. The final session of the conference was on the role of social media and networks in post-conflict settings. Ms. Amira Yahyaoui, President of Al Bawsala, a Tunisian human rights organization, and Mr. Kamal Sedra, managing director of an ICT consultancy and a human rights activist from Egypt, provided important insight into how the social media and networking were used during and after the Arab Spring in their respective countries. In the final session of the conference, Mr. Alex Comninos from the Justus Liebig University in Germany delivered a presentation on the impact and applicability of social media and social networking technologies in post-conflict stabilization and peace-building. Mr. Anton Baare from the TDRP made the closing remarks and highlighted the key issues discussed in the conference.

The conference was an important opportunity for practitioners and researchers to exchange ideas and foster discussion on key thematic issues pertaining to DDR. Through this sharing of experiences, the conference will contribute to a better understanding of DDR in post-conflict contexts and to the larger reflection on the question of peace consolidation once DDR has been completed.

A detailed conference synopsis will be available on the conference webpage in the coming days. Please check www.TDRP.net regularly for the latest news and updates.

 

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