The Struggle to Satisfy: DDR Through the Eyes of Ex-combatants in Liberia

This article calls for a re-examination of the justification, formulation and implementation of DDR programming in certain post-conflict environments. Qualitative fieldwork among ex-combatants in Monrovia, Liberia, suggests that the extent and form of DDR programming must be more sensitive to and predicated on context, accounting for conflict histories and current socioeconomic conditions and local institutional capacity. Moreover, in some post-conflict societies, a better use of international community resources may be to delink disarmament and demobilization from reintegration, focusing reintegration resources instead on open-access jobs programmes with discrete, complementary bilateral or multilateral programmes for particularly vulnerable groups.