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A second wave of former rebels integrated into the FACA

(B2) Despite all the difficulties, the reintegration of former Central African rebels continues. 

The new Central African soldiers parade during the end of their training ceremony, under the gaze of civil society (Credit: EUTM RCA)

A change of course after three months of training

The Kassaï camp in Bangui was the scene of an important ceremony for the Central African armed forces (FACA) on May 25. 133 former rebels became full members. All, with one exception, passed the final test, after three months of training by the European training mission, EUTM RCA. This is the second wave of the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation (DDRR) pilot project (1).

Veterans from across the country

The first wave of integration, finalized on February 5, allowed the integration of 125 former combatants, mainly from Bangui (read: Central African Republic. A first detachment of former rebels reintegrated). This time, " this second cohort brought together former rebels from all over the country Paoua, D’Ippy, Alindao, Bria, Bambari. According to our information, some of these soldiers were part of different armies of groups such as the UPC of Ali Darass, or the Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central Africa (FPRC). 

From clinch to transmissions

The training will have lasted 12 weeks. On the program: general training, physical conditioning, hand-to-hand combat and shooting. Another subject to which the mission gave importance: international humanitarian law. In the absence of a qualified instructor (as was the case before), it was the International Red Cross in Bangui and OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) who organized the nine hours of training.

From pilot project to success: a matter of determination 

Launched in August 2017, and with some delays due to difficulties in finding candidates to participate in the program, the results of the DDR pilot project are positive for the commander of the European mission, General Maio. " The pilot project has succeeded beyond all expectations thanks to the commitment of its members and the executives who made it up. “For him, the pilot project must continue” despite the reluctance and obstacles ". The DDRR process itself just waiting to be implemented ».

No more military reintegration, make way for economic reintegration

In total, 240 elements (out of the 560 targeted) have integrated the FACA since the creation last August of the DDRR pilot project. With this second wave, EUTM RCA ends its commitment. The remaining 280 former combatants will have to be guided, with the support of the World Bank, towards socio-economic and community reintegration. They will receive support from “ individual or collective income-generating activities, as well as community recovery project grants “according to the Minusca.

(Leonor Hubaut)

(1) The DDRR has been supported by the Central African government, the UN, but also by the European Union through the EUTM RCA military training mission since 2017. It aims in particular to disarm and reintegrate former voluntary rebels by offering them a reintegration into the defense sector or into the civilian sector, thereby contributing to security and stability in a post-war context so that reconstruction and development can begin.

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Leonor Hubaut

© B2 - Bruxelles2 is a French online media that focuses on political Europe (powers, defence, foreign policy, internal security). It follows and analyzes developments in European policy, unvarnished and without concessions. Approved by the CPPAP. Member of SPIIL. Please quote "B2" or "Bruxelles2" in case of recovery Leonor Hubaut is a journalist. Graduated in international relations from the Free University of Brussels (specialization in globalization). She covers for B2 the work of the European Parliament, CSDP missions and African issues. Sahel specialist.