Fana: At a Speed of Life!

Commission Urges Partners to Maximize Support for Rehabilitation of Ex-Combatants

Addis Ababa, July 15, 2023 (FBC) – Seeking enhanced financial and material support from partners to rehabilitate ex-combatants is imperative for the effectiveness of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Rehabilitation (DDR) program, according to National Rehabilitation Commissioner Teshome Toga.

The National Rehabilitation Commission has so far identified 371,971 ex-combatants in 8 regions that it would bring into camps so as to enable them to engage in the development, peace and democracy of the country.

Approached by reporters at the DDR consultation forum, National Rehabilitation Commissioner Teshome Toga said the disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation of ex-combatants and reintegration endeavors cannot be achieved by the government alone.

The advocacy, financial and material support, particularly from NGOs and civil societies, is necessary, he noted.

“There is no section of society or stakeholder that is not concerned with the efforts on demobilizing and re-integrating ex-combatants. (And) most successful DDR programs are supported by government, civil society, private sector, partners and other countries. (So), we had different discussions with different partners, including international agencies,” the commissioner added.

According to Teshome, the disarmament, which has been executed by the Ethiopian National Defense Force, is undergoing well.

Alongside the disarmament, the commission has completed the gathering of information about ex-combatants.

The work of demobilizing the ex-combatants has also been underway, Teshome stated, adding that the commission has, for instance, identified camps in Tigray region and arrangements are being made to train them in the camps.

In this way, the ex-combatants will be given skills, psychological and political training, he pointed out.

“We are trying to mobilize the necessary resources for the DDR program. And the process is going well. But we want to speed it up because the ex-combatants want to rejoin the society.”

However, this work requires a considerable resource as the country has just emerged from war and it has many priorities, Teshome explained.

Some 75,000 ex-combatants in Tigray and other regions will join rehabilitation and training camps by the end of this year.

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