Reintegration or Recidivism? Why ex-combatants in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) return to arms
The objective of this report is to identify the most prominent factors behind recidivism, or return to armed violence, among female and male ex-combatants in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In doing so, the report aims to provide evidence-based knowledge to inform policy and practice on issues of relevance for DDR processes, both in the DRC and internationally.
In conflict-to-peace transitions, it is vital to support ex-combatants in order to achieve
sustainable peace, as they otherwise risk becoming spoilers in the peace process.
For this reason, Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programmes have become an important peacebuilding tool designed to support ex-combatants in their transition to civilian life and to contribute to the prevention of renewed conflict. In the context of the prolonged armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), three DDR programmes have been implemented in the past two decades. Yet little is known about why ex-combatants who participated in these programmes sometimes return to armed violence, contributing to repeated cycles of violence and insecurity.