The first phase of a disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) exercise targeting disparate armed groups in Mali is underway in the northern city of Gao.An official told APA Wednesday that representatives from different armed groups who are signatories to the agreement participated in the launching ceremony on Tuesday.
They include the ex-rebels of the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA) and the Platform of Armed Movements of 14 June 2014, who are reputed to be close to the regime.
The DDR process will be conducted until 30 November and will involve more than 1,000 ex-combatants.
During the process, “there will be a biometric registration and medical examinations” on the people concerned to test their ability to integrate the Malian army, Samba Tall, the DDR manager of MINUSMA explained.
Tall said those who meet the criteria will be integrated into the Malian defense and security forces.
The DDR program concerns fighters of the Operational Coordination Mechanism (MOC) of Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal regions.
In each of these Malian cities, the CMA and the Platform have 200 fighters through the MOC.
The Malian army is also represented by 200 soldiers.
Since the signing in 2015 of the agreement for peace and reconciliation in Mali between the government and armed militias in the north of the country, all efforts to move quickly towards DDR had failed.
This time, the actors of the peace process consider it as a milestone for the return of peace in troubled regions of Mali.