One thousand ex-combatants to lay down arms in West Darfur

April 18th, 2011 - 4:30 am ICT by BNO News  

DARFUR (BNO NEWS) — More than 1,000 former fighters in the Darfur conflict have pledged to surrender their weapons and begin the process of reintegration into civilian life, the African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) said on Sunday.

Sunday marked the launch of a UNAMID-supported disarmament program in El Geneina of West Darfur. The ex-combatants who have pledged to participate are former members of government armed forces and several rebel movements.

The ten-day exercise is organised by the National Sudanese Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Coordination Council, with logistical support from UNAMID and other local organizations.

Throughout the program, UNAMID will also be providing medical examinations and HIV/AIDS counseling to the participants. After registering and handing over their arms, the participants will receive material support and occupational training with which they may earn a living.

The conflict in Darfur began in February 2003 and has resulted in a humanitarian disaster, leaving hundreds of thousands of people killed and millions more displaced.

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