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South Sudan rebels disarm in biggest UN demob

Former rebels who fought a devastating dev·as·tate  
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.

2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark.
 22-year civil war in south Sudan began laying down their arms on Wednesday as the United Nations' biggest demobilisation Noun 1. demobilisation - act of changing from a war basis to a peace basis including disbanding or discharging troops; "demobilization of factories"; "immediate demobilization of the reserves"
demobilization
 programme stepped up a gear.

It is hoped that a total of 180,000 former fighters will pass through the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration reintegration /re·in·te·gra·tion/ (-in-te-gra´shun)
1. biological integration after a state of disruption.

2. restoration of harmonious mental function after disintegration of the personality in mental illness.
 programme, a key part of the 2005 peace deal that ended the conflict between north and south in which an estimated 1.5 million people died.

"We are not casting you away, but reassigning you to new and important roles and duties, to build a new Sudan," Luka Monoja, cabinet affairs minister in the southern regional government, told the first 16 troops to be demobilised on Wednesday.

"You must go with your heads held high, we are proud of you," Monoja added, speaking on behalf of southern regional president Salva Kiir.

The UN-backed programme began in north Sudan in February with the demobilisation of government troops and irregular forces Armed individuals or groups who are not members of the regular armed forces, police, or other internal security forces.  who fought alongside them. A total of 4,300 men have been disarmed in the north so far.

The programme foresees the disarmament of equal numbers of forces from both sides in the conflict between the Muslim north and mainly Christian and animist an·i·mism  
n.
1. The belief in the existence of individual spirits that inhabit natural objects and phenomena.

2. The belief in the existence of spiritual beings that are separable or separate from bodies.

3.
 south.

UN humanitarian coordinator The title of United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator is performed by a senior United Nations official, in those country where there is a humanitarian crisis, or emerging humanitarian needs.  for south Sudan Lise Grande hailed the disarming disarming

removal of the crown of the canine teeth in primates. Includes denervation of the pulp cavity.
 of Sudan People's Liberation Army Not to be confused with Sudan Liberation Movement in Darfur.
The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and its political wing, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) – known collectively as Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement (
 fighters as a key component in the peace process.

"In demobilising these former heroes from the SPLA SPLA Sudan People's Liberation Army
SPLA Secretory Phospholipase A
SPLA Service Provider License Agreement (Microsoft)
SPLA Southern Private Landlords Association (UK) 
, the government will be giving them an opportunity to return to their communities with dignity and with respect," Grande said, speaking at the ceremony at a military base outside the southern regional capital Juba.

Under the staggered scheme, soldiers put forward by their commanders will be assessed, electronically registered and given medical checks at special centres.

They will then be given a package of cash, food and essentials such as basic tools.

Later, each demobilised fighter will receive reintegration support including vocational training to learn a new career, or backing to establish a small business or farm.

A total of 16 soldiers lined up to hand over their weapons before the registration process began, with many more scheduled for the coming weeks.

"I want to be a mechanic, because that is what I know how to do," said former SPLA soldier Michael Taban. "Peace time is much better than the war."

His comrade Justin Guya, another soldier freshly discharged, said he wanted to enter business.

"I'd like to have a shop," he said.

The UN says the programme is one of the most complex and largest operations of its kind in the world.

Up to 35,000 combatants from the former rebel SPLA will be demobilised in Juba and eight other centres in southern Sudan Southern Sudan is a region of Sudan, comprising ten of that country's provinces. The Sudanese government agreed to give autonomy to the region in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement[1]  in the first phase of the operation.

But a funding shortfall remains.

Donors pledged some 88 million dollars (63 million euros) in February, but more contributions are needed, including from north and south Sudanese governments.

However, Sudan is struggling with a slump in revenue due to a sharp fall in the world price for the oil exports on which their economies depend.

The scheme is separate from efforts to take weapons away from civilians and militias in the south, which has suffered a wave of ethnic clashes in recent months leaving at least a thousand dead.

The programme is part of a wider process of reconstruction in the south, where an estimated four million people fled their homes during the civil war.

The conflict ended with the establishment of an autonomous regional government in the south led by the former rebels and the promise of a referendum on independence from the rest of the Sudan in 2011.
Copyright 2009 AFP Global Edition
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Author:AFP
Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:Jun 10, 2009
Words:603
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