chapter  3
26 Pages

Epicenters of Emergency, State Weakness and Decay: The Local Context

In Chapter 1, we noted that in transitions from war to peace, state weakness and state failure characterize the very context where DDR programs are often deployed – a context of poverty and vulnerability equally experienced by all other affected groups. In the pages above, we emphasized that understanding the conditions that pertain in many war to peace transitions at local and community level – particularly as regards security, basic service provision, presence of state administration, infrastructure, opportunity structures, and social capital – may temper our enthusiasm for smooth “normalization” processes. In these contexts of devastation (the cases of Liberia, Burundi, eastern DRC and, as will be discussed in this chapter, Angola, come to mind) resettling former combatants and displaced civilians back into poverty may risk recreating the very conditions at the basis of confl ict in the fi rst place.