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Demobilisation, Disarmament, and Reintegration (DDR) Programming
SAACID has been involved in 3 Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) programmes – all implemented in Mogadishu City. The description below highlights an evolutionary process of development for DDR in Mogadishu. SAACID has continued to develop its operational methodology, based on lessons learned from each programme; and each success has emboldened donors and partners to trust and invest more in SAACID’s community-based approach to DDR.

The first programme was with UNESCO funds in 2001, and it was more a vocational training programme than full DDR. SAACID voluntarily demobilised 225 militiamen and gave them 4 months of vocational training. No weapons were collected or destroyed.

The second programme was with UNDP funding in 2003-4; and targeted 6 of Mogadishu’s 16 districts. The programme targeted 300 volunteers. Three hundred functioning automatic rifles were collected and destroyed. Participants were:

  • 150 militiamen
  • 150 people from civil society
The philosophy behind this approach was that the majority of people in Somali society, who have not been engaged in any lawless activity - also receive some direct training benefit – not just those who have directly contributed to ongoing lawlessness and insecurity.

Also, in the Somali context, many families willingly buy a rifle for a son, and send him out to loot something so that they can have enough to eat. It remains SAACID’s belief that it is imperative that not only individuals be demobilised and disarmed, but that families and communities as a whole also collectively demobilise and disarm. SAACID believes that it remains critical to include Somali communities in the DDR programme fabric as well.

This programme provided 3 months of numeracy and literacy to each participant. It also provided the first structured learning environment that most of the participants had ever been in; and was an important step in breaking the addiction to khaat that the majority of the militiamen had become dependent upon.

The programme then provided 4 months of vocational training of the participant’s choice. Participants were matched with local businesses; and it was local businesses that provided the core training and syllabus. This was a critical link in the reintegration process for militiamen.

All 300 participants graduated from this programme in 2003-4.

The third programme was also funded by UNDP in 2005-7. It targeted 512 volunteer militiamen from all 16 of Mogadishu’s districts [17 districts now constitute Mogadishu City]. 

There was a 1-month prefatory period, in which 32 militia were identified in each district by local district-based leaders. There weapons were registered and tested for functionality. The weapons were then decommissioned. The participants were then contracted – with local leader guarantees – to complete the 13 months of education and training.

The participants were then provided with 3 months of numeracy and literacy training. Followed by a choice of 10-months of vocational training; or 2 months of business enterprise training, and a 6-month phased micro-grant scheme to develop a micro-business.

505 of 512 participants graduated from this programme (2 left the country and 5 were killed during the training period).

SAACID remains committed to an integrated community-based DDR process as a critical element in stabilising anarchic war-torn Somalia.


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