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Transitional Subjects: The Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of Former Combatants in Colombia.

Theidon, Kimberly
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) The International Journal of Transitional Justice. 1:66-90.

A key component of peace processes and postconflict reconstruction is the disarmament,
demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants. DDR programs imply multiple
transitions: from the combatants who lay down their weapons, to the governments that
seek an end to armed conflict, to the communities that receive – or reject – these demobilized
fighters. At each level, these transitions imply a complex and dynamic equation
between the demands of peace and the clamor for justice. And yet, traditional approaches
to DDR have focused almost exclusively on military and security objectives, which in
turn has resulted in these programs being developed in relative isolation from the growing
field of transitional justice and its concerns with historical clarification, justice, reparations
and reconciliation. The author draws upon research in Colombia, a case of great
interest because the government is attempting to implement mechanisms of reparations
and reconciliation in a ‘pre-postconflict’ context, and to implement DDR on the terrain of
transitional justice. (author’s abstract)


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