Aid Groups in Burundi Call for Stronger Coordination in Demobilization Process
International non-governmental organizations (NGO) working in Burundi are applauding progress in plans for the demobilization and reintegration of armed groups in the country, but say the aid community's role in the process should be clarified.
Ten humanitarian organizations, including the IRC, circulated a paper to major players in the Burundi peace process, stressing the importance of assimilating the reintegration process into ongoing relief and development activities.
The paper notes that the international NGOs work in close collaboration with local communities, associations and authorities and has "a valuable contribution to make during the conception, planning and implementation phases of reintegration for both ex-combatants and returning refugees."
But the groups make clear that while they are eager to play a significant role in the reintegration of ex-combatants into society, they can only do so after the combatants voluntarily enter the demobilization process and lay down their arms, as stated in the Humanitarian Charter.