Field Reflections on Post-Conflict Reconstruction: The Social Imperatives of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration

  • Citation: Bigombe, Betty O. “Field Reflections on Post-Conflict Reconstruction: The Social Imperatives of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration.” In The State of Peacebuilding in Africa: Lessons Learned From Policymakers and Practitioners, edited by Monde Muyangwa and Terence McNamee, 65–79. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.
    • Topics:
    • Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding
    • Keywords:
    • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Burundi
    • Uganda
    • DDR
    • post-conflict reconstruction
    • mediation
    • development
    • Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s)
    • violence
    • psycho-social

Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) and post-conflict reconstruction interventions have placed an inordinate emphasis on rebuilding the lives of ex-combatants, at the expense of the largely invisible mass of victims in communities, who often suffered as greatly or more than the active fighters. Ignored war’s aftermath, victims in communities end up being “punished twice.” This chapter, drawing heavily on the author’s leadership experience of DDR initiatives in Uganda and Burundi, seeks to highlight the myriad ways in which greater attention to war’s forgotten non-combatants is essential to heal societies, foster reconstruction and development, and prevent a recurrence of conflict.

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