UN Mission in Liberia Starts Disarmament of Combatants
The disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration (DDRR) of over 40,000 combatants began today with the opening of the first cantonment site at Camp Schieffelin, 35 miles east of Monrovia. Approximately 1,200 former Government of Liberia armed forces and militias are expected to be disarmed and demobilized at the site. Since the formal launching of the DDRR programme with a weapons-destruction ceremony at United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Force Headquarters on 1 December, all parties have recommitted themselves to the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which provides for the DDRR of all combatants. In December, the deployment of UNMIL Force will extend to Buchanan and Gbarnga, where engineers will construct two additional cantonment sites which will be operational during the month in continuation of the DDRR programme. As UNMIL expands its deployment throughout Liberia, it envisages the setting up of a maximum of 10 cantonment sites.
At the opening ceremony of Camp Schieffelin, Jacques Paul Klein (left), Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Liberia, greets religious leaders, including Archbishop Michael Francis (centre).