Reconsidering Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration: The Case of South Sudan
IDS Convening Space
Since assuming power in 2005, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army has attempted to consolidate their control over South Sudan through a variety of means. This talk explores how disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR) activities in South Sudan have been instrumentalised and repurposed by the ruling factions steering South Sudan’s post-conflict statebuilding process, and unpacks the ways in which they have contributed to the general militarisation of South Sudanese society, instead of its demilitarisation.
Contrary to much of the prevailing discourse on DDR and SSR in South Sudan, the talk argues that these processes should not be understood as representing dismal or violent failures, but rather they reveal the mechanisms through which state authority is produced and (dangerously) reproduced in South Sudan. Finally, the seminar concludes by raising the possibility that the terms used to approach and assess DDR more broadly may be misguided and illusory, unless they are situated in a more realistic understanding of how DDR can be employed to extend the power of the state, and to regulate violent political economies in the aftermath of war.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Daniel Christopher Watson is an Associate Tutor in International Relations and International Development at the University of Sussex. His research interests include: Civil Wars, Peacebuilding, Statebuilding, Conflict in Africa, African politics, South Sudan