It Takes (More Than) Two to Tango
This report investigates the politics of demobilization in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In a bid to inform the evolving P-DDRCS, it analyzes dynamics of mobilization and demobilization, accounting for the fragmen- tation of conflict in recent years. Revisiting past DDR programmes, it also identifies misunderstandings and mistakes concerning armed mobilization and DDR and focuses on a combatant perspective to understand the fac- tors guiding individual and collective decision-making. The report argues that past DDR programmes suffered from significant depoliticization in their conception – foregrounding a technical approach that neglected combatant agency – and a significant politicization in their implementa- tion – driven by opportunities to extract rents. The report reveals the per- sistence of misconceptions about the broader political economy in which DDR efforts take shape. If renewed demobilization programmes are to be successful, they have to account for past problems, and take innovative and sensitive approaches.