Severe trust issues have become rampant between the transitional authority in Sudan and the armed resistance signatories to the Juba Peace Agreement caused by the delayed implementation of the security arrangements protocol.
A workshop organized by the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (DDR) in cooperation with international partners was witness to intense controversy and the exchange of accusations, amid demands from resistance leaders to restructure the commission, which they had branded as a representation of the former regime.
AlTaghyeer: Amal Mohammed al-Hassan
The DDR had organized an enlightenment workshop for the leaders of the armed movements that signed the Juba Peace Agreement based on the commission’s programs and laws on demobilization and reintegration, under the auspices of the UN Development Program, with the participation of UNITAMS.
“Specialists in procrastination and killing time,” was how the commission described a military leader in the Revolutionary Front, while accusing the front of being the main reason for the incomplete implementation of all security arrangements agreements since 2005.
AlTaghyeer caught up with the aforementioned leader, who explained that the reason for the collapse of all previous peace agreements is due to the failure of the previous regime’s security arrangements implementation.
The armed movements demanded the restructuring of the commission, which it accuses of still harboring elements of al-Bashir’s deposed regime, adding that it is a condition for the armed movements to be represented within the DDR’s various departments.
The Thursday workshop’s recommendations secured the armed movements’ demand for restructuring and participation in the planning and implementation of programs.
On the other hand, the two parties–the armed movements and the commission–agreed on the importance of providing necessary funding for the process of demobilization and reintegration and supporting academic degree holders in pursuing their higher education.
Among workshop recommendations was raising the allotted financial benefits prescribed in the demobilization programs from $400 to $1,500, and for them to be provided in the form of funding for individual or collective projects.
The workshop demanded that the allocations, in the case of merger, be raised from $1,500 to $20,000, with an increase in the in-kind package from 3 sacks of maize to a ton.
In the same context, the conferees emphasized the need to make improvements in both security and living arrangements in conflict areas in particular, in order to facilitate disarmament and demobilization.
“Dealing with complete transparency in monitoring the lists of the demobilization process and handing them over to the concerned authorities.”
This recommendation occupied the workshop’s number one priority, thereby confirming previous accusations leveled against the resistance movements, by the government, of doubling numbers of their affiliates’ statements for financial gains.
The media official in the commission, Awad Othman, confirmed to AlTaghyeer that “we are yet to be given documents of the movements’ affiliates.”
Othman explained that the demobilization and reintegration operations begin with members of the movements registering in documents that are then handed over to the commission, followed by an investigation and a medical examination.
The media official noted that these procedures lead to the demobilized being issued cards, and to the disbursement of their financial packages.
The DDR’s media official revealed that this workshop serves as a promotion for both international community and donors to finance the demobilization and reintegration operations, adding that “this is the responsibility of the international community.”
In the workshop, representatives from international organizations were informed of the necessity of funding in demobilization and integration requirements, citing the Rwandan experience as an example.
A well-informed source told AlTaghyeer that the commission accuses UN organizations of sending a large portion of support funds to their internal administrative operations.
The source, who preferred to withhold his name, expects donor countries to not respond to the commission’s demands, while pointing to the great difference between the conditions in Sudan and Rwanda.
Deputy Chief of Staff Khaled al-Shami had cited in previous statements that adequate funding represented one of the main obstacles to the implementation of the security arrangements protocol.
For his part, a prominent leader in the Revolutionary Front considered that the introductory workshop on the DDR’s work is a step forward in the implementation of the Security Arrangements Protocol, which requires 39 months to be implemented in as per the Juba Peace Agreement.
The armed movements issued a statement last May accusing the transitional government of procrastinating in the implementation; with it being one of the most important terms mentioned within the Juba agreement.
There are no official statistics for members of the armed movements, but expectations indicate the presence of tens of thousands of fighters belonging to five main movements: the SPLM-N led by Malik Agar, the Jibril Ibrahim-led JEM, Minni Arko Minawi’s SLM, The SLM Transitional Council headed by Hadi Idris Yahya (previously elected head of the Revolutionary Front), and the FLG led by Tahir Hajar.