Ongoing efforts to bring peace and stability to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) now include P-DDRCS, a national strategy for demobilisation, disarmament, community recovery and stabilisation aimed at former combatants in the troubled central African country.
The strategy’s official title is the Demobilisation, Disarmament, Community Recovery and Stabilisation Programme. It was launched in Kinshasa with Prime Minister Jean-Michel Lukonde present as a technical tool aimed primarily at the eastern DRC.
The Prime Minister acknowledged the involvement of MONUSCO in the strategy telling those at the launch it is “an important tool to enable us to take over MONUSCO’s tasks after it exits the country”. This in recognition of the UN peacekeeping mission, the world body’s largest, at present working on withdrawal.
As programme co-ordinator Lukonde commended MONUSCO’s collaboration and involvement by way of commitment and support in developing P-DDRCS as well as implementing “field activities”.
P-DDRCS delegates power to provincial governors as well as territorial and local authorities, MONUSCO reports, with civil society “active participants”. This goes as far as involving local communities who have been victims of armed groups, such as ADF.
Bintou Keita, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in DRC, welcomed “adoption of a harmonised programme for the consolidation of peace carried out in communities by communities”.
Explaining her “by communities” phrase she said: “They will carry the task of seeking locally designed solutions to conflicts and reintegration of ex-combatants, returnees and young people at risk as well as other marginalised people”.
“The populations lived through years of conflict and destabilisation and it is up to us to ensure they hold the reins in the search for solutions to conflict and become actors for development in their respective communities,” she said.