Should DDR only apply to societies in post conflict situations? 

Submitted by: Llaura Garcia

The Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP) is a reintegration program implemented in Afghanistan to help create and stabilize peace. The program is about building a better future by creating peace in the region and reintegrating ex-combatants into the community. The strategy of the APRP is available to all who are willing to join in rebuilding Afghanistan through peace and accepting the constitution. APRP is providing a better alternative to fighting. The program is about renouncing violence, transparency by those who govern, working together, training, addressing grievances, outreach, different reintegration packages, and overall –building a community. Overall, the framework of the program seems sound that it provides structure, balance, and vision for what the programs wants to accomplish for the Afghan people.

While I believe that this program will take a very long time for the process to be completed, APRP has a good vision and structure to move forward and eventually accomplish its goal. I believe that while the reintegration packages are different, the programs will provide training, education, and a chance for the people and the ex-combatants to move forward as a united group of people. In reading this and other programs about DDR, what struck me is that these packages of reintegration are being done only in post conflict situations. I wonder why can’t there be some sort of “preemptive” reintegration in areas that has deep divisions in societies.

In the aftermath of the US elections, many are shocked and many were saddened or angered by the results. How is it related? The results show deep division in society and the world overall. While the conflict and division may not lead to an all-out war, it does incite hate which translate back to areas where there are deep divisions and conflict. Here in the US, minorities are being harassed and even attacked for just being who they are and in Britain, minorities are being attacked as well. Many believe that the hate being incited by the government officials are inconsequential to the good that they will do for the country but is that really the truth? While I believe that not all Trump supporters are racists bigots, they are slightly giving the nod that the words that came out of Mr. Trump’s mouth is acceptable. It’s not bad enough that the country is still having racism issues but to have a President of the United States –the highest and probably one of the most prestigious titles in the world incite violence or hate is just frightening.

Since the end of the last election, a friend of mine wearing a hijab was told to “go home,” a coworker’s family was worried that they might get deported, and so many other examples of hate all over the world. So how is this related to DDR? Reintegration. Some of the mechanisms used in the reintegration packages should be highly recommended to these “modern society” to help bridge the gap. The funding will of course come from their governments but the fact if that not all post-conflict areas are the only ones that needs to have reintegration packages. I believe that given the state of the world and so many hateful actions reported and even caught on tape, I believe that countries should implement their own reintegration package to help bridge the gap between and to truly move forward as a united nation.

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