Since 1989, 'comprehensive political settlements' aimed at ending longstanding internal conflicts in Central America, parts of Africa, and South-East Asia, have all included detailed provisions concerning the disarmament and demobilization of rebel and government forces. Through various forms of weapons control, attempts have also been made to deny demobilized forces the ability to resume fighting. In some instances, UN sponsored plans have also envisaged the formation of unified armed and police forces. Attempts at large-scale demobilization, however, have been largely unsuccessful. This depressing record provides the background for this book which examines critically the range of issues associated with disarming, demobilizing and re-integrating military forces into society after prolonged periods of civil war. The author derives lessons from recent failures, and assesses alternative strategies along with their institutional, political, and operational requirements. It focuses particularly on the United Nations and the manner in which it has sought to deal with the above problems.
Disarmament and Demobilisation After Civil Wars