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Belgium Considers Disarmament ‘Way Out Of Armed Conflicts In DRC’

3 Min Read

Tristan Terryn the political adviser to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in the DRC, observed on Friday November 6 that the Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration (DDR) mechanism is a way out of armed conflicts in the DRC.

His remarks came after holding discussions with Alain Kashindi Assumani the DRC’s National Coordinator of the Stabilization and Reconstruction Program (STAREC).

According to Terryn his country sees the return of a lasting peace in the parts affected by armed conflicts, particularly in the east of the country, through the DDR mechanism, but also by the creation of small jobs in favor of militiamen who agreed to respond to the call of President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo who had invited them to lay down their arms and participate in the DDR process.

“Belgium is also considering the creation of small jobs and certain income-generating activities for the benefit of local populations who are victims of several war pangs and other atrocities linked to the various armed conflicts in the DRC”, he said.

The UN through the stabilisation mission in DRC , Monusco, has tried to stabilise the country for the past 20 years with a 15,000-strong peacekeeping force but has miserably failed.

An estimated 160 rebel groups with a total of more than 20,000 fighters are still active in the DRC’s east. The motives for the various groups are not always clear, although it is believed they are mostly over control of land or minerals such as gold and cobalt.

President Felix Tshisekedi said in June last year that his government had devised a plan for the “complete eradication” of foreign armed groups, in collaboration with Monusco and neighbouring countries affected by the violence, particularly Uganda and Rwanda.

The STAREC Program was created by presidential decree – its essential mission is the stabilization and reconstruction of the DRC.

STAREC was primarily designed for armed conflict-affected areas, especially in eastern DRC. It was launched by the Congolese Government, with the support of the United Nations system and development technical partners. Its main goal has been to restore State authority in the East which is the region that is the most fragile and most exposed to conflicts.

The plan works towards the rehabilitation of administrative infrastructure, and is also involved in the fight against poverty and impunity regarding the numerous exactions and violations committed in this part of the country.

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