What are all the soldiers going to do? Demobilisation, reintegration and employment in Rwanda
Faculty of Applied Economics
Institute of Development Policy and Management
Conflict, security & development. - Abingdon
, p. 39-57
Western donors are heavily engaged in Rwanda's Demobilisation and Reintegration Programme for former combatants. This engagement reflects the commitment of the donors to implement a new post‐conflict agenda in a very difficult situation. When this agenda goes beyond mere economic development, we argue that donors should not drift too far away from their first task: combating poverty. More often than not, development and security are two sides of one coin. Addressing one side without considering the other is bad practice. Demobilisation is really a topic that has both a developmental as well as a security aspect. Donors, as well as the Rwandan government, focus too narrowly on the security or military aspect of demobilisation. This reflects the status of the Rwandan government. It is very focussed on its own security to the detriment of other elements. We argue that these other elements, access to jobs and education, equity and broad based development should be dealt with as a matter of priority. If not, they will once more undermine security. Given the enormous amount of money invested in the demobilisation programme, donors should do much more to use their monitoring capacities to their full potential.