Agricultural production and value addition trainings begin for ex-combatants and host community members

Wau and Jur River County, Western Bharl El Gazal

May 6, 2024

Life skills that promote integration between ex-combatants and host communities


UNDP and its CSO partner Solidarity Ministries Africa for Reconciliation and Development (SMARD) conducted training for 50 ex-combatants and 50 community members dividing them into producer (value addition) groups to receive in r identified agricultural products.

The 50 community members and 50 ex-combatants were selected from Jur River South (Kuajina), Jur River East (Marial Baai), Jur River North (Kanji), Wau Municipality (Wau Town) and Wau County (Baggari) afterwhich consultations were conducted with the beneficiaries; they demonstrated interest in honey production, yogurt and fresh milk production, oil extraction (groundnut, sesame, and Lulu) flour making, groundnut paste making and other products. 

UNDP and its CSO partner then procured Yoghurt, oil press and honey processing machines for the 100 participants to begin production at Don Bosco Training Centre in Wau. 

Similarly, another set of 50 ex-combatants (17 women) and 50 community members (22 women) who were enrolled for life skills training at Don Bosco Vocational Training Centre in Wau have gained practical life skills in carpentry, auto-mechanic, tailoring, welding, and catering.

This facilitates peaceful and sustainable reintegration and demilitarization of ex-combatants and communities’ ex-combatants have relocated to in Wau and Jur River Counties, directly contributing to of the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement of South Sudan.

About the Project

Community Violence Reduction (CVR) are programmes, implemented by the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) or CVR component of a United Nations (UN), and the South Sudan DDR Commission, aimed at preventing and reducing violence at the community level in ongoing armed conflict or in post-conflict environments. 

CVR has the same strategic objectives as DDR: to contribute to peace and security by supporting programmes that reduce armed violence; creating political space and helping to build a secure environment conducive to recovery and development. CVR compliments DDR, by working directly with target communities (women and children associated with armed forces and groups and other vulnerable groups) to find solutions to causes of armed violence from within, and explicitly targets youth at risk of recruitment by armed groups, and re-recruitment of ex-combatants. 

While CVR utilizes a bottom-up approach, emphasizing community engagement, its strategic direction is designed with decisions related to implementation, participant and project selection, training, education, livelihood support options, and monitoring and evaluation are discussed and agreed upon with local communities.

What values does CVR Bring to disarmament?

In the context of South Sudan, the R-ARCSS specifies the need for ‘’Disarmament, Demobilization and Re-integration of persons with special needs that are ineligible, or not willing to serve in the proposed unified army (R-ARCISS Article 2.4.10). Whilst this process has been delayed, some training and unification of forces have been conducted in Western Bahr El Ghazal State. 

In order to foster effective transition of these ex-combatants, and to bridge the gap between demobilization and re-integration;  the government, the National Disarmament, Demobilization and Re-Integration Commission (NDDRC), UNDP, UNMISS, Communities, CSOs and partners with support from France, proposed a Pilot CVR Project in Western Bahr El Ghazal State, which will bridge the lack of DDR response gap within the transitional period, in support of peace consolidation, and to further anchor DDR efforts into the prevention of cycle of violence, and sub-national conflict mitigation efforts. 

This pilot CVR Project in Wau will provide reinsertion support, which addresses the most immediate needs of ex-combatants. Reinsertion assistance will consist of short-term relief interventions, which will provide a safety net for demobilized ex-combatants. 

The support will include livelihood and vocational skills training, the distribution of cash allowances, transportation fees, micro-credit grant, and the formation and empowerment of cooperate groups for ex-combatants, and women and children associated with armed forces and groups. The Pilot CVR projects supported by France will foster economic integration, which is the final requirement for any future DDR program to be successful and sustainable in the long term.

Why the Pilot in Wau?

The DDR Commission chose Wau for the Pilot phase of the project because Wau’s security is stable, and there are existing training facilities for Wau. Also, In Western Bahr EL Ghazal State, some training and unification of forces have been conducted.  Wau was selected, following a decision by the Joint Technical Working Group on Community Violence Reduction to focus on former combatants emanating from Wau, Western Bahr EL-Ghazal State, because it will accommodate some ex-combatants from some parts of Tonj in Warrap State.