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The Strategic Planning Workshop: Towards the Effective Implementation of the ICGLR Network of Regional Mediators for DDR/RR

To provide a forum for key regional partners and stakeholders to assess the needs for strengthening ICGLR regional mediator networks and explore how insider mediation can enable the DDR/RR in the GLR, the Strategic Planning Workshop titled ‘Towards the Effective Implementation of the ICGLR Network of Regional Mediators for Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Resettlement and Reintegration’ was held on 10 – 12 September 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The workshop was attended by approximately 40 participants who assessed the role insider mediation can play in supporting existing DDR/RR programmes in Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC. Participants shared experiences and lessons and discussed gaps from a) existing mediation networks established in Africa and the Great Lakes region and b) DDR/RR and related initiatives and programmes in DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda, with an emphasis on reintegration. The workshop outcomes will inform the ongoing implementation of the EU-funded regional program to support the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) ‘Peace and Security Programme’, particularly Output 1.4: ‘Creation of a network of regional mediators specialised in the subject covered by DDR/RR’.



  • Agreed that insider mediators have been operating for many decades in the region and a large body of knowledge and experience on insider mediation exists, which can become an even stronger force if brought together in a network of insider mediators, supported in their work by external national and international actors.
  • Agreed on the need for more women insider mediators in DDR processes, which will require a transformation of behaviours and attitudes in their own homes and communities.
  • Participants recommended that the Project focus on capacity development (on ‘mediator’ and ‘context-specific’ skills) of the insider mediator and on supporting efforts to strengthen an improve the enabling environment to enhance his or her chances of success.
  • Participants agreed insider mediators should only get involved in DDR processes if longer-term reintegration support is available.
  • Participants recommended insider mediators act only when having a clear understanding of the broader conflict dynamics and access to regularly updated conflict analysis, including on the regional, national and international actors (particularly the potential ‘spoilers’) and drivers that impact on the violent conflict he or she mediates.
  • Agreed to join a ‘Reference Group’, facilitated by UNDP and ICGLR for the use of insider mediation in support to DDR/RR.


Participants proposed a “roadmap” (see Table 1 in the report) for selecting and capacitating a group of insider mediators specialized for DDR/RR processes, as follows:

  • Decide on whether external involvement is required;
  • Consult with all relevant stakeholders;
  • Carry out an initial analysis and select location(s);
  • Based on the initial analysis, carry out a comprehensive analysis;
  • Verify the choice of location; select inside mediator(s); and verify requirements for external support;
  • Define levels of engagement;
  • Identify and mitigate risks;
  • Define and implement an engagement strategy;
  • Define and implement a communications strategy;
  • Agree on indicators for success;
  • Regularly monitor the process.


Read more about the key outcomes from the Workshop: The Strategic Planning Workshop Report


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