Decelerated Integration: A Qualitative Case Study of the Disarmament, Demobilization & Reintegration of the March 23 Movement in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to study the proposed Disarmament, Demobilization & Reintegration (DDR) policies of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) and the recommendations of the Rift Valley Institute in the wake of the surrender of the M23 Movement, an armed rebel faction, in December 2013. The study seeks to assess the capability of these policies to address the grievances of the members of the M23 Movement and whether they will bring lasting peace between the rebels and the Government.To assess these policies, a content analysis of five key documents is conducted. The analysis uses a theoretical framework inspired by the work of John Paul Lederach (1997) on Conflict Transformation and that of Stina Torjesen (2013) on reintegration of former combatants. The framework explores the content of the policies according to four “pillars” of successful DDR – actors, context, timeframe & action.The study concludes that while efforts for political integration has had some success, the cause for the M23 rebellion was economic grievances which has not yet been addressed. Furthermore, a lack of political will has delayed the implementation of the demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, which bears a resemblance to previous attempts at DDR. A new amnesty law that exempts perpetrators of gross human rights violations has had some success in ending impunity for the worst offences. MONUSCO has been criticized for partiality towards the National Government, and its increasingly forceful stance in the conflict has persuaded some groups to submit to DDR while others have intensified their aggressions on UN personnel.
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