Making Old Soldiers Fade Away: Lessons from the Reintegration of Demobilized Soldiers in Mozambique

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Alden, Chris (2002) Making Old Soldiers Fade Away: Lessons from the Reintegration of Demobilized Soldiers in Mozambique , Security Dialogue 33(3): .

Abstract

The demobilization and reintegration of military personnel in Mozambique was recognized as a crucial aspect of the country’s successful transition from war to peace. On this basis, the international community embarked on one of the most comprehensive reintegration programmes ever attempted in the context of a United Nations peacekeeping operation, involving four different approaches and a diversity of implementing agents that aimed to facilitate reintegration of the targeted population of ex-combatants. With the formal conclusion of the programme, reintegration was declared by all major observers to have been a resounding success. Despite this generally accepted assessment, there remain many unexamined issues, including the degree to which reintegration in fact was achieved; particular successes (or failures) associated with a given methodology; the interface between the international community’s approach to reintegration and the process of reintegration experienced by ex-soldiers; and the role played by Mozambican society and tradition in facilitating this process. This article critically assesses the international community’s involvement in reintegration in Mozambique and extrapolates the ‘lessons learned’ for other reintegration programmes.

Authors