Resettlement Program

While there has been a lot of talk about abolishing the Military, what I want to know is what we are going to do with the soldiers?

In order to convince well trained killers with a damn good arsenal of weapons that we want to send them packing, we the people must come up with an alternative to resettle them into. After all they do have mortgages to service and schoole fees to pay, let alone mouths to feed and mistresses to maintain 🙂



62 Responses to “Resettlement Program”

  1. Save the Sheep Says:

    That is a fair comment but then so does the average common or garden criminal have a family to worry about do they NOT?

    However for the sake of debate, the alternatives are many.

    Disband the army and relocate servicemen into the Police and Coast Guard. Both are severely undermanned and unable to carry out their tasks. These men must not be armed with the arsenal currently available to them.

    There is a case for young men and women to undergo military training but ther deployment should be by and large non military unless they are being groomed for overseas recruitment.

  2. ex Fiji Tourist Says:

    Best solution would be to form a civil construction corps and get them out around the country working on infrastructure i.e. roads, drainage, etc.

  3. FijiGirl Says:

    Forgive me for the vanity of (again) reproducing an earlier posting, but I agree with Kutu that those who want to be serious about elevating these thoughts to policy and practice, you CAN make a difference.
    @ EnufDictatorship, Taukei, et al. Wow. You guys have some very convincing arguments, compelling research and valid points. I have to admit, my opinion is changing.

    Given your intention of making a political platform of this at upcoming elections – a very worthy platform, I may say, and one that a vast majority of the electorate will be support – can I suggest that you continue to think this through to actual enforcement.

    * What timetable would give the dissolution? (6 months? 1 year? 3 years? etc)
    * How will you re-employ the out of work soldiers? (eg % to retrain to the police force, national guard, etc)
    * What support will you give the soldiers to re-adapting to civilian life? What budget will you allocate to that? (eg counselling? telephone hotline? Don’t forget that some of these men have seen active combat during peacekeeping duties, and will have some form of post-traumatic-stress-disorder)
    * Will you commit funds for ex-soldiers/sailors for further education (eg USP / FIT) and vocational training? If so, what spend do you think is required per head?
    * What on-going support will you give to military widows and their families? (Note – if you can offer better support than they get under the current regime, it will make your platform more compelling)

    Just some food for thought. Good luck with this, gentlemen. I really think you could be on to something.

    God bless Fiji


    Costa Rica

    Even though the country has armed guards at its borders, it is still without military forces in the usual sense of the word. It has been said that Costa Rica has more school teachers than soldiers. Some have even claimed that the country’s artillery wouldn’t even be able to fire a twenty-one gun salute in the event of a state visit, though this particular detail might now have been corrected. It has also been said that the country’s two main products are good coffee and good and upright people. In truth a praiseworthy form of production.

    The civil authorities in Costa Rica have traditionally given priority to investment in the education system, health and economic development. The result is that Costa Rica is exceptional in the area also with regard to economic growth and social equality. This is true even though Costa Rica has considerable economic problems as a result of the lower price of coffee and the rising price of oil in the decade from the mid-1970s.

    Costa Rica offered another interesting model for Lesotho, one in which a nation had entirely done away with its military despite its location in an often unstable region.

    Following a 1948 civil war, Costa Rica became the first country to abolish the military.

    The move coincided with major investments in social and educational programs as well as the creation of an election tribunal. Money otherwise spent on the military was funneled into these programs. A 7,600 member national police service was given responsibility for law enforcement and border enforcement.

    Today, Costa Rica boasts one of the highest standards of living and largest middle classes in Central America. It has remained a peaceful democracy throughout the difficult civil wars in its immediate neighborhood. Costa Ricans repeatedly argued that their country’s lack of a military has actually offered a greater level of security due to its distinction in the international community.

    Costa Rica’s police force, which is under the Security Ministry, is overwhelmingly comprised of public police officers.

    Approximately 4,500 officers work in the rural areas, another 1,500 conduct border patrol, and other smaller units focus on immigration, drug enforcement, and intelligence.

    Much attention has been paid to creating a professional service free from a history of political cronyism in which service and promotions are based solely on merit and education. Officers must attend a 6-month training academy that includes training on, among other things, human rights, democratic government, and the role of a military versus a police force (one official explained the training to include “pride, limits, and the role”). Mid and high level officers are encouraged to visit other police forces in democracies outside Costa Rica. Interestingly, during elections, control of the police is temporarily ceded to the Electoral Commission to avoid political interference.

  5. Taukei Says:

    Costa Rica: A Country without an Army

    Just about all countries have an army and a few armies are said to have countries but there is one country that has functioned since 1949 without an army. This is the Central American Republic of Costa Rica, a country about two-thirds the size of Scotland. It is bordered in the north and south by the battle-scarred nations of Nicaragua and Panama. Its fabled wildlife, beaches and volcanoes attract more than a million tourists annually, about half of whom are Americans.

    Costa Rica’s strategic decision to abolish its army insulated the country from being tarred by the violence that was the hallmark of Latin American politics for decades. Abolishing the army has both inhibited the formation of a military oligarchy and made elections the only way to change government. It has also established Costa Rica’s neutrality in the region; no aggressor would think of attacking a militarily weaker neighbor, for fear of provoking international condemnation. Finally, abolishing the army has released funds for human, economic and social development.

    Costa Rica has a per capita income of $6,500, making it a middle-income country. A record 20 percent of the national budget goes to education, allowing the Costa Ricans to enjoy a literacy rate of 95 percent in the population over the age of 15, which is the highest in Latin America. Costa Rican health care is at par with that of moderately high-income countries and its life expectancy is the same as in countries with per capita incomes that are four times higher.

    During the past two decades, the economy has diversified away from coffee and banana production. Tourism generates a billion dollars in revenue annually and the electronics sector is rapidly moving into first place, boosted by the opening of several high-tech manufacturing facilities by Intel Corporation. The economy grew this year by 5.5 percent, compared with growth rates in the 1 to 2 percent range for much of Latin America. Exports grew at 15 percent, and high-tech exports by 25 percent. The poverty rate dropped by 2.1 percent and now stands at 18.5 percent.

    Costa Rica gained its independence from Spain in 1821 and democracy has been a hallmark of Costa Rican politics since the first Congressional elections were held in 1889. There was a lapse in 1917, when the Minister of War, Frederico Tinoco, seized power in a military coup. Nationwide protests ended his dictatorship two years later. In 1922, a democratically elected President Ricardo Oreamuno said with much pride, “We are a country with more teachers than soldiers
and a country that turns military headquarters into schools.”

    Reflecting the broadening of the democratic process, forty percent of the 57 legislators are now women. Women are also rapidly increasing their numbers in such traditionally male-dominated fields as medicine, law and government service. Until recently, two political parties, the National Liberation Party (PLN) and the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC), dominated national politics. However, in the 2002 elections, a new party, Partido Accion Civica (Citizens Action Party), garnered 25 percent of the vote just 14 months after it was founded. Its presidential candidate, Otton Solis, an economist and former Congressman, mobilized the electorate by challenging Costa Ricans to take responsibility for the direction of public policy, building on growing distrust of business as usual. While he lost, he was able to change the dynamics of domestic politics.

    In return for pursuing such enlightened policies, this small nation of four and a half million is highly respected throughout Latin America. A former president, Oscar Arias, who governed from 1986 to 1990, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his work in attempting to spread peace from Costa Rica to all of Central America. Another former president, Miguel Angel Rodrigeuz, is favored to become the next Secretary General of the Organization of American States. The 14-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has just given him its official backing.

    Costa Rica’s foreign policy is geared toward maintaining friendly ties toward the US. The vast majority of Costa Ricans supported the US invasion of Panama and the incumbent, President Abel Pachecho, supported the US invasion of Iraq, saying it was a just response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

    Pachecho, who took power in 2002, is a psychiatrist and former TV commentator who belongs to the PUSC. Recognizing that public opinion was strongly opposed to the Iraq War, he is now seeking a more nuanced foreign policy position on Iraq in the wake of Saddam Hussein’s arrest. Pachecho has called on the US to “begin to think about evacuating and letting the Iraqis take over their own country.” Using even stronger language, Nobel Laureate Oscar Arias has reminded the world community that Saddam’s arrest does not justify the war. Reiterating that the war was carried out in violation of the United Nations Charter and that it has set a dangerous precedent in international law, Arias has urged the US to internationalize its efforts in the war-torn nation.

    Trying to preserve a balanced foreign policy, the Pachecho government has delayed the signing of the $23-billion Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), saying the current draft would harm Costa Rica. Items in dispute pertain to agriculture, textiles, telecommunications and insurance. Otton Solis, the head of the Citizens Action Party, has critiqued the Bush administration for pushing for an agreement that “would impinge negatively on our development possibilities and benefit only a handful of American corporations.” While supporting the need for free trade, he has said that the US wants Costa Rica to open up its agricultural markets without making any commitment to eliminating its own subsidies.

    The non-militarized political and economic development of Costa Rica should serve as an inspiration for Fiji’s leaders and motivate them to look for alternative models of nation building.

  6. Taukei Says:


    Country eliminates its standing army

    In 1948, Costa Rica became the first country in the modern world to constitutionally abolish its standing army.

    his act is in total contrast to the malicious dictators who propagated guerrilla warfare and militarism that was characterized in most of Central America during this time.

    The abolition of the army, along with social reforms, was the end result of an armed revolution.

    The 1948 rule by a military officer, a time period known as a junta, did not contribute to the region’s strife, but further affirmed the country’s dedication to democracy.

    It all started with the tense atmosphere during the 1948 election. At the polls, conservative newspaper publisher Otilio Ulate defeated Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia of the Victory Block Party, who had served as president from 1940-1944. However, the Congress, which was dominated by Calderón supporters, refused to accept the legitimate results.

    This sparked the urgent need for a peaceful negotiation, which was attempted for 11 days but ended when a renegade member of the elite, José Maria Figueres Ferrer, saw his opportunity to seize power and ignite a revolution. In March, Figueres rose up in arms against the military, marking the start of the Civil War of 1948.

    The armed conflict lasted five weeks and resulted in the death of some 2,000 people. This was the worst incidence of political violence Costa Rica had ever experienced and accounted for the country’s bloodiest event in the 20th century.

    The “Army of National Liberation,” led by Figueres, defeated the Costa Rican army, and Figueres held power through what turned out to be the 1948 junta. The two men signed the Figueres-Ulate Pact in May, which allowed Figures to legally rule and ensured a peaceful transition of power to Ulate, the legitimate victor of the election. The pact granted Figueres power to govern without a legislature as long as he agreed to hand over power to Ulate after 18 months.

    With military force at his disposal, Figueres had power to act according to his own interests and could have easily exploited his power. Instead, he banned the Communist Party, gave women the right to vote, granted black immigrants full citizenship, and established a presidential term limit. Figueres nationalized the banks in order to promote economic diversity and eliminate coffee grower’s control over the banking system. For decades, the elite coffee growers had dominated Costa Rican society and economy. Figueres also created The Supreme Electoral Tribunal. This was to oversee election matters in order to avoid another fraud, as had occurred in 1944.

    During the junta of 1948, other significant changes took place. The most famous was the constitutional abolition of the standing army. Figueres not only broke up the army, but made a constitutional ban to ensure the democratic future of Costa Rica. This constitutional ban also made the abolition legitimate and prevented successors from holding power by military force. This act sharply distinguished Costa Rica from its neighbors and placed Costa Rica on the world stage as a progressive country dedicated to peace.

    After the army was abolished, the military funds were transferred to the education and healthcare budgets. As a symbolic gesture during a ceremony in 1948, the army commander-in-chief presented the keys of his headquarters to the minister of education. Soon after that transfer, weapons were replaced by books, and the building was converted into a school.

    The former military headquarters are now the National Museum of Costa Rica, an impressive presentation of many stages of Costa Rican history. In front of the former army headquarters is Plaza de la Democracia (Democracy Plaza) which was dedicated in the 1980s during a ceremony in which former President Oscar Arias stated, “Here, reason defeated force. Here, the fearless tolerance enjoyed by a people without arms was born. Here, the soldier became a teacher; the rifle that once hung over his shoulder became the book now held in his hands.”

    As agreed upon in the Figeres-Ulate Pact, the 18-month rule came to an end in 1949. Figueres honored the pact and showed his commitment to democracy by peacefully handing power over to Ulate. In 1951, Figueres organized the National Liberation Party which continued to pursue efforts that would promote social welfare. After the 1953 election, the National Liberation Party extended housing subsidies and free medical care. It also nationalized insurance, utility services and the railway.

    The army abolition came from military overthrow of the government, which could have been devastating to Costa Rican democracy and people.

    Instead, this event has contributed to Costa Rica’s peaceful reputation and has influenced leaders to encourage negotiation and rely on reason, rather than force when faced with conflict.

    Former President Rodrigo Carazo Odio comments that, “Costa Ricans have cultivated a civilized spirit, a spirit opposed to militarization and violence. Armed with this spirit, the people are capable of seeking peaceful solutions to conflicts and respecting the rights of others.” He states that this respect has survived and flourished because “education has fostered such an attitude and because in the absence of [military] weapons with which to impose an idea, the only weapon left is reason.”

  7. Taukei Says:

    ***TIME IS RIPE***

    Victor Hugo said that “nothing is stronger than an idea when the time is ripe”.

    We must believe that the time is now ripe for precisely the idea which has manifested itself in the Central American peace plan.

    Democracy is, in contrast to totalitarian regimes, dependent on support from the people. This support is in its turn dependent on the experiences of the people. As long as democracy can be identified with free elections, freedom of expression, with honest measures for social justice and with a moderate improvement in economic status, the positive development can continue with the people’s support.

    The future of democracy will be dependent on the realisation of a minimum of the people’s expectations. It can be difficult to accept the overturning of a dictatorship if the system which replaces it brings with it lack of freedom, corruption and injustice.

    Government by the people makes demands – both on the individuals who govern and on the people who elect their leaders. There are demands for moral qualities, and there have to be ideals which nobody can reasonably deny.

    With this as a background it is easy to see why the Central American peace plan is so strongly rooted in the connection between peace and democracy. Peace will be realised if democracy is realised.

  8. Taukei Says:





    El Salvador was chosen for its remarkable democratic progress despite more than a decade of civil war that ended only recently in 1992. More specifically, it has been able to demobilize large numbers of soldiers and guerillas and reintegrate them into the economy and society.

    Furthermore, El Salvador has reformed a military traditionally involved in politics into a redefined professional service securely under civilian control. That it has been able to do so during such a difficult era without the social instability inherent with large numbers of demobilized soldiers was of particular interest.

    Secretary Ramakoae and Major Mahao met with numerous top leaders in the government, military, and civil society, including among others, the Minister of Defense, Presidents of the Security and Defense Congressional Committees, and the Vice President of Congress (an exact list of meetings is attached). They also met with several retired officers that played key roles in negotiations that ended the civil war and in the ensuing demobilization programs. A number of these retired officers now work as NGO and political consultants in El Salvador’s civil society.

    Discussions focused on how demobilized soldiers were discouraged from joining those opposed to peace and instead successfully reintegrated into the economy and society. Many of the demobilized soldiers were from the rural areas and military service had, in some regards, offered a higher standard of living. One of the key challenges was therefore to provide skills and employment for such individuals. El Salvador avoided a system that only offered financial demobilization programs, and instead developed a comprehensive package and monitoring system that focused on education, social services, and employment assistance.

    A particularly notable meeting was with retired Colonel Oscar Anaya who is the former Director of the School of Superior Strategic Studies (funded through the Defense Ministry). With the end of the civil war, he started a program that brought together civilian and military leaders for a six-month course designed to build greater understanding. Participants were carefully chosen to reflect leaders from various parts of civil society, including labor unions and the civil service (whose institutions committed to their participation in the program). Three mornings each week, the class would meet to discuss not only civil military issues, but general public policy concerns in El Salvador. Participants realized that they shared many of the same objectives, differing only at times on the means. Graduates of the ungraded course were provided with a certificate of completion and an effort is underway to provide graduate level academic credit. Colonel Anaya said with the upcoming graduation of the seventh class, the program had helped create an entirely new class in civil society that was well informed about public policy and defense issues and that had contributed to greater understanding between civilians and the military.

    The following other points were echoed throughout the El Salvador visit:


    The demobilization process was seen as a long-term comprehensive effort to provide social and economic integration of the soldiers. Packages included different combinations of scholarships, land, and retirement benefits. Personalized tracking of the soldiers through this process was critical.


    Compliance to the peace treaty by all sides, including the decommissioning of arms, contributed significantly to the demobilization effort. Strong political will for the peace and military reform processes were similarly crucial.


    The demobilization process required a redefinition of the military’s role in a democratic society. A new national consensus defined the military as a part of the state, not any political party, whose primary mission was to protect the nation from outside threats. It was important that the military not view the peace and demobilization processes as efforts to diminish its role.


    Police duties were for a national police force, not the military. Intelligence services were also removed from the military and placed under civilian control.


    Efforts were made to remove military promotions from political meddling and favoritism, instead basing them on education and skill performance.


    Demobilization offered an opportunity to optimize limited resources. Similarly, strengthened congressional authority over the military budget has made the armed forces more financially responsible.


    Reform in the armed forces required changes in mission, structure, legislation, and training that emphasized the military’s new mission and democratic civilian leadership. These steps were eased by modernizing and improving education within the military.


    International assistance contributed significantly in terms of resources, support, and motivation.

    These steps, not only reformed the military into a professional nonpolitical institution, but helped it see itself as a permanent, legitimate, and respected part of society – something not enjoyed from the public before.

    Costa Rica offered another interesting model for Lesotho, one in which a nation had entirely done away with its military despite its location in an often unstable region. Following a 1948 civil war, Costa Rica became the first country to abolish the military. The move coincided with major investments in social and educational programs as well as the creation of an election tribunal. Money otherwise spent on the military was funneled into these programs.

    A 7,600 member national police service was given responsibility for law enforcement and border enforcement. Today, Costa Rica boasts one of the highest standards of living and largest middle classes in Central America. It has remained a peaceful democracy throughout the difficult civil wars in its immediate neighborhood. Costa Ricans repeatedly argued that their country’s lack of a military has actually offered a greater level of security due to its distinction in the international community.

    Costa Rica’s police force, which is under the Security Ministry, is overwhelmingly comprised of public police officers. Approximately 4,500 officers work in the rural areas, another 1,500 conduct border patrol, and other smaller units focus on immigration, drug enforcement, and intelligence. Much attention has been paid to creating a professional service free from a history of political cronyism in which service and promotions are based solely on merit and education. Officers must attend a 6-month training academy that includes training on, among other things, human rights, democratic government, and the role of a military versus a police force (one official explained the training to include “pride, limits, and the role”). Mid and high level officers are encouraged to visit other police forces in democracies outside Costa Rica. Interestingly, during elections, control of the police is temporarily ceded to the Electoral Commission to avoid political interference.

    Secretary Ramakoae and Major Mahao met with several high level government, public safety, and civil society representatives, including the Minister of Public Security and Interior, an editor for the influential La Nacion newspaper, and Oscar Arias. They were also taken on a guided tour of two police command posts in the capital.

    The meeting with Oscar Arias was particularly notable. Arias painted a bleak picture of Africa in which investments in the military, and too often wars, have come at the expense of investing in education, health, and social development (Lesotho’s defense budget is second only to education). He said Africa was increasingly marginalized in the global economy and the international community. He argued that Lesotho was ideally suited to be the first African nation to do away with its military and instead invest that money in its people. Once Lesotho showed the political will to take this step, international support would emerge. Arias, said he would put his name and organization behind such an effort and help raise the necessary retraining funds and international attention. He suggested an international “Friends of Lesotho” to help with such an undertaking, focusing on retraining, education, and the elimination of arms. Arias was willing to work with NDI on such a measure.

    In a separate meeting, Presidential Advisor Constantino Urcuyo similarly offered the Costa Rica government’s assistance, should Lesotho wish to take these steps as the first African nation to demilitarize. Other Costa Rican officials also encouraged Lesotho to follow a similar pattern of total demobilization and emphasized the following points as important to such a process:


    Not all political problems need to be solved before serious demobilization. Dissolving the military can actually strengthen a democratic transition and earn tremendous international support.


    A critical early step must include agreement among the country’s political class to do away with the military – a step that require political maturation as well. Such changes require national dialogue and political will.

    At the same time, the military must be willing to accept its diminished role in society. Chile and Argentina were cited as examples of militaries that eventually accepted nonpolitical roles in society.

    The larger national discussion of the military’s role (or lack thereof) and what to do with demobilized soldiers must include the military. Furthermore, care must be taken in transferring military officers to the police, as many may not be suitable for such civilian service.

    A more gradual strategy that allows for these changes in political, military, and public sentiment might be most appropriate for Lesotho.

    A further step would be to establish treaties with neighbors as well as regional and international organizations – a step that Costa Rican officials said was of great importance.

    Lesotho would be uniquely suited to demilitarize as it faces no external enemies and its only neighbor, South Africa, has actually helped protect the country’s democracy. It is also terribly poor and cannot afford to divert scant resources into a military.

    At the same time, the government must commit to regular investments in public education, heath, employment, and civic education (for youth and adults). It was repeatedly stressed that the government must also continually invest in its democratic system, through education, institutional support, media development, and the support of basic freedoms.

    When Costa Rica abolished its military, it took precautions to guard against any future coups. The police is not under a single command, but divided between the ministries for rural and urban security. In this way, no police chief can exert monopoly control and seize state power by force.

    A Central Comptroller’s Office oversees all public expenditures to prevent corruption. An election tribunal has the task of preventing electoral fraud. Autonomous institutions, in which opposition parties are represented, are responsible for electricity, water, telecommunication and banking. Political power is widely dispersed, to make it difficult for any small group to seize illegitimate power.

    Finally, Costa Rica relies on the collective security mechanisms of the United Nations and the Organization of American States.

  9. IslandBoy Says:

    Bula SV Bloggers. FijiGirl, as I also stated under Silenced, the points you raise resonate with me.

    There is almost no Fijian in Fiji who does not have a close relative serving in the armed forces now or previously and this would include a good number of our Indo-Fijian brothers and sisters.

    The case of Costa Rica is a good one and I thank the gentlemen who have raised it. It would be a very positive move for our nation as a whole if the RFMF senior officer corp considered some of these variables for adoption in terms of Fiji’s military of the future.

    FijiGirl – another issue we have to take into consideration is the repatriated funds the soldiers send home, either as UN peace keepers, British armed forces or the former soldiers working as contracted security guards.

    As Wadan Narsey pointed out, the money they send has a tremendous impact on our local economy because it places internationally earned foreign currency directly into the hands of our people and immediately circulates in the local economy.

    I often wonder if those serving in the army now think of the proud tradition of our former army. From WW I when most of the Pacific was largely unchartered, our army was fighting in France.

    Even after the four coups, I am still very proud every time I watch the old film footage of the white sulu and red tunic marching down the Strand during the WW II victory parade.

    For along time, before the advent of Rabuka, the army was Fijian hallmark of international excellence. Our army always demonstrated to the world by deed and not just the word that Fiji and her people could punch well above their fighting weight.

    I always wondered if the coup supporters within the armed forces regretted losing their reputation, to the point they are now regarded as bullies, abusers of women and some of them are indeed rapists and murderers.

    Now FijiGirl, I ask you, is it in our interest as a nation to see them regain their former status?

    How do we make them see that their future (and what is best for Fiji and therefore also best for them) is to distance themselves from the illegal regime, Frank and Chodo?

    There has not been one time when I have turned my back in terms of traditional obligations for any relative in the army and I do not enviage that hapening any time soon. But when we get together we do not discuss politics. So how do we cross that bridge in order to start healing the rift?

  10. Mark Manning Says:

    That’s easy . Those implicated in this coup , should be arrested and / or sacked and left to fend for themselves . A new Military should be attached to the Australian and New Zealand Military and Navy , directly answerable to those authorities , with ratification from the Fiji Government , when it’s elected . Our forces can be based in Fiji , thus allowing honourable Military personnel to continue earning an honest living etc.

  11. Mark Manning Says:

    A point many have ignored here is , when , to a serving member of the Armed forces , is an order legal and when isn’t it legal ? And what are military personnel to do , once the Government has been already overthrown . To whom are they answerable . The dilemma seems to be , for the serving member , if they don’t follow or disobey orders , they could be jailed or court-martialled . If they attempt to overthrow the coup perpetrators , they could be charged with mutiny !
    I don’t think all serving Military personnel should lose their jobs , because of the deeds of a handful of disloyal rabble .
    The problem in the short term for the Fiji military , seems to stem from it’s immediate Commanders and some senior Officers and the Militaries interpretation of their role within the Constitution , plus the lack of professionalism within the Military ranks . Also , the President’s role needs to be brought into question , on this occasion at least . If his submission to the Commonwealth is truly his own , then one would have to ask , was he personally a party to this coup , did he have prior knowledge of it and the Commander’s intentions ! If so , is he guilty of treason against the State and the people of Fiji in giving his support to the Commander . Has he stepped outside his Constitutional obligations ?

  12. Peace Pipe Says:

    So much money is allocated for the upkeep of the army and still they keep busting their budget. due to arrogance and sheer disregard for the authority. They have overgrown in size to be of practical use i.e. no enemy to ward off so they create one so that they can benefit out of it as well – the government – which is easy picking and financially rewarding for them. If they were trained to farm or enter other professions identified suitable for individual soldiers then they could be redeployed to better occupation which benefits the country and themselves. Keep the army level at no more than 500 and the rest on reserve or re-deployed and recalled when the need arises. It has become a danger to the government with too much soldiers and ammunition. Its the monster that devour its own master. There is no real reason to keep such a large contingent of soldier full time.

  13. EnufDictatorship Says:

    I agree with all of the above suggestions to halt, downsize and/or redirect the military manpower, skills and funds to other sectors like EDUCATION, medical, poverty alleviation etc.

    In the case of military leadership, what we have seen is after the third coup, (and in preparation of the fourth by Voreqe), the military leaders who had the true needs of the people at heart BUT unfortunately were under Voreqe in terms of status, I guess, LEFT (or were sacked) THE FIJI MILITARY because they did not agree with Voreqe\’s path of being a bully and wanna-be-politician-saviour of our country. Thus, Voreqe was left with only his bossom-buddies and the lower ranks who have nowhere else to go because they also have families and mouths to feed. That I understand BUT the reality now is, like we have seen already,

    THE TRUE MILITARY PERSONNEL, WHO HAVE VALUES, PRINCIPLES, ETHICS, ETC HAVE LEFT and then the ones who have agendas, hostility etc are left behind. These are the dangerous ones we want to get rid of, so, we, the citizens can feel safe and secure in our country and not be on our toes all the time, waiting for the next time we will be threatened by GUNS!

    Therefore, the problem setting has to start now: the suggestions can be put in place to abolish the military (referendum?), then the ends to be achieved and the means. What we are saying is, IT CAN BE DONE! Because it has been PROVEN already by the Costa Rica example and now Panama and slowly Haiti.

    It will only take a COURAGEOUS leader to put this concept up for discussion in parliament and then back to US, the citizens. One has to take the first step, and then the rest will follow.

    So, instead of wasting $$$$ going to Singapore, Dubai, Geneva and Korea to look at what would come normally (TRADE) WHEN we are a stable and secure country, we should implement what we have known all along to be the catalyst of all our problems, the military!

    SO, if the military is abolished and ALL the above suggestions from other countries implemented, THEN DUBAI, SINGAPORE, KOREA ETC ETC WILL WANT TO REALLY COME TO OUR SHORES, SET-UP SHOP AND WE WILL THRIVE AGAIN!!!!


  14. Mark Manning Says:

    I don’t understand , why , if the President is of sound mind and body and professes to be so , why he just doesn’t order the Military to return to barracks and order immediate elections .
    Another thing i don’t comprehend , is why don’t the Military do the honourable thing and resign en masse !
    With no Army , Frank is worthless and no threat anymore .

  15. EnufDictatorship Says:

    Trues up, MM.

    I rem., reading someone blaming Qarase for not being Man enough to stand up to Voreqe.

    Really, it wasn\’t his job BCOS the President should have made that order as the Executive power, instead of using it to grant immunity!!!!!

    The reason he didn\’t do it (Tulou saka) is bcos he was baby-handled and bullied by Voreqe and co. to sign on the dotted line.

    That is also sad for us the citizens cos we have a frail President who really should have resigned for the good of the country but still holding on, and just signing on the dotted line. I wonder if the President will meet personally with these Cwlth visitors, when they come? Then we will know for sure his state of mind as we have not heard from him personally, in-person.

  16. Katalina Balawanilotu Says:

    Oh jeez there were two different threads on this topic — anyway as someone said above “for the sake of argument ..”

    .. Am sure those greater majority in the civilian sector who lost jobs, lost houses, lost cars, struggle to put food on the table, whose kids stay home due to lack of bus fares, lack of school lunches, lack of school supplies, non payment of tuition, ALL due to the military supported coups are laughing at the idea that we should all be oh! so concerned N O W with these poor military fellas who are about to walk in their shoes.

    Something tells me victims of coups are wearing a smile on their faces lamenting ‘what goes around comes around; if we managed to face those struggles and live to tell of it then surely the tough military guys can do the same.

  17. EnufDictatorship Says:

    Our sentiments exactly Katalina…why should we the UNARMED civilian WORRY about the military personnel who will be made redundant IF and WHEN they get abolished, when they didn\’t give two-hoots about the UNARMED civilian population, they sacked and fired and made redundant without due process???

    Here\’s an example from Tavua, where the redundant military can be made useful back in their vanuas and koros…toil the land, build and maintain their communities…

    A curfew where no yaqona or alcohol is consumed after 10pm has been in place at Tavua village to combat crime and instill family principles.

    Head of the Tavua village mata-ni-tikina Apisalome Ulusova said the ban had been in place for the last six years.

    Mr Ulusova said there was also no loitering in town after 9pm.

    \”We started this six year ago and this law has been good for the people of the village,\” he said.

    \”Most villagers are either farmers or are employed at the mines. But village elders and the Tui Tavua saw that many villagers were not tending to the farms and were sleeping in and not playing their roles. By not having these limits or laws in families also suffered as money that was meant for family needs would have been diverted towards buying yaqona or alcohol.\”

    \”Those who are found drunk in town after curfew hours are taken in by police to spend a night in the cell.\”

    \”If found breaking the curfew, the accused would be brought before the bose-ni-koro and village elders.

    \”The bose-ni-koro court system then hears the case of the accused, if found guilty the punishment would vary. One form of punishment would be the accused would have to plant 25 tavioka cuttings each at the farms belonging to the talatala qase, Tui Tavua and other village elders in a day.

    \”For the women they would have to scrub the community halls and also clean out all the pig\’s sty belonging to everyone in the village.\”

    Mr Ulusova said these measures had to be put in place because a lot of villagers could not afford to look after their families because their priorities were else where.

    \”What we want is for the villagers to look after their families and ensure that money that has to go towards the child\’s education, the church and the vanua to these places and not just buy yaqona,\” he said.

  18. FijiGirl Says:

    Bula IB. Vinaka vaka levu for your feedback and endeavours to move this debate forward.

    I must state here that my personal interest in this proposal is growing. I can see the merit in EnufDictatorship’s position, Taukei’s research, MM’s twinkly wisdom, IAB’s points, and so on. My original position was to re-structure the military, but after considering the weight on the arguments put forth here ….
    Vinaka SV! I really value the opportunity to debate the idea, pull it apart, view it from all the angles and decide for myself whether it has legs, whether it really CAN work as a viable policy. I must confess, I’m starting to believe it can.

    Agree with your point about repatriated funds from our own military (I am not including in this the wages sent home by our boys in the British Army). But if you weigh up that income against the actual cost to the nation in lost economy each time we have a coup-de-tat, I think the repatriated funds look pretty pathetic. Following article has some sober food for thought.

    Re talking to soldiers – I am always speaking to cousins and friends in the military about politics. I find that they are willing to discuss their thoughts and feelings, as long as I approach them in a non-judgmental, non-threatening way. They know that I do not blame them for the coups. So they are prepared to discuss it with me. This is why I believe the soldiers/sailors CAN be won over to the pro-democracy movement. Why I believe they have their own hearts and minds and can see and think for themselves what this illegal regime is doing to our beloved country. Don’t get me wrong. A couple of them support the work of the regime, but they really are in the minority, and I do not condemn them, to their faces. (If you wanna get hot-headed with a soldier, it won’t be the wisest act of your life. Just take a deep breath, thank them for their honesty, and move on.)

    You ask about it being in the nation’s interest to see our military regain their former status? A week ago I’d have agreed profusely. Now, having considered the viewpoints published here, I’m not so sure.

    If I took the budget we spend on the military today, I could partition it to spend 90% on re-training personnel to the Police force, form a National Guard, Coast Guard, support the transition to civilian life. The remaining 10% left over, I’d invest in rugby (our other major source of repatriated funds) which would have the added benefit of giving us better results in Tests and at the Rugby World Cup.

    Which is the better investment strategy for the future of Fiji?

    Young Fijians wanting to military service still have good alternatives. They can still apply to the British Army, and I see Australia and NZ recruit foreign soldiers from time to time. Still a possibility for repatriated funds.

    EnufDictatorship, you want a courageous leader to raise this in Parliament. Bro, you be that leader. This is a life-changing idea. Formulate your policy, and take it to the people, take it to the political level so they can’t ignore it. Bless you for raising it, and having the passion to defend it and let others see the truth within.

    God bless Fiji

  19. natewaprince Says:

    Don’t know what to do with redundant soldiers????

    Voli va levu na vasilini me ra qai waraka tu me kele mai na waqa ni Korea.

  20. LUVfiji Says:

    Segai na kaba waqa ‘qori, kemudou !

  21. lauan boy Says:

    these soldiers should have thought about this b4 removing the govt….now look at the mess we are in and the misery everyones going thru….they must take the consequences like the macho soldiers they are when they removed govt then abused the anyone who dared to speak against them.

    abolish abolish the military 1st then consider what to do with them…it will only be stupid if the soldiers consiuder removing the next elected govt. they must know & observe now the repercurssions of their actions.

    shit them….who gives a fuck if they die of starvation….ni na mate mai ena nei mami cudru na kai viti……ni yavu tamata sonalevu lamusona ….. kemuni sega ni sotia ni viti.

  22. Tui Says:

    Start re-looking at the sugar cane leases. Maybe convert these to bio-fuel projects like ethanol and bio-diesel from coconuts or palm tress. Vanuatu and Solomon’s have been running some of their vehicles for the past 7 years on bio-diesel so why can’t we? The next government should seriously invest in research for renewable energy. Employ those soldiers in the farms. Cut down the land forces and invest more in the navy for patrolling our seas. Fiji has great potential for undersea gas, oil and minerals as confirmed by past SOPAC studies.
    There must be land reforms so that more land is used for farming and livestock. Fiji can be self-sufficient if the future leaders have a vision for all to prosper. We must get rid self-serving chiefs and leaders. We must get rid of racism and teach our young generation, it is better to love then to hate. We have to do that now or are forever condemned to the past. We do not need a “clean-up campaign” because only God has the authority to do that. It is ludicrous and vain to believe otherwise.
    Fiji needs people with good hearts, good decision makers and a good vision for the future. When the country benefits from these reforms, there will be a huge reduction in crime. We must give our people a sense of belonging and respomsibilty. Make them stakeholders and their behavoiur will change given time.

    “These fruitless strifes these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the ‘Most Great Peace’ shall come”
    Bahai Teachings.

  23. Budhau Says:

    Come guys – first convince the chiefs and the Fijian people that we must get rid of the military – that is the hard part. Once the Fijians have made up their mind that getting rid of the military is good for the country – doing it should not be that much of a problem.

    You can’t be doing it as payback for Bainimarama and the soldiers who are in the army now.

    This can not be politicized – Remember Qarase had made if part of his election campaign – the white paper on defense – that would have reduced the size of the military by 50%.

    Qarase was playing politics with this making it a election issue – FLP was opposed to this. Prior to announcing his plans, Qarase did not even consult with Bainimarama.

    What do we have in the military – some three to four thousand regular forces – Do a hiring freeze immediately, let some retire early – through attrition, the size of the army will decrease fast. We can also transfer personal and some departments such as intelligence to the police.

    So the problem in not how we are going to downsize and ultimately eliminate the army – the question is whether we can agree that the army is no longer needed for our country.

  24. Jese Waqalekaleka Says:

    @ Budhau, although I agree with the gist of your arguments, I disagree with your conclusion. The Military maybe reduced and eventually disbanded after successful assimilation and retirement, but it is the mentality of the coup culture that survives, whatever shape or form it takes on, whether it be in a Police uniform or civilian sulu vaka taga.

    We need to strengthen discipline, rule of law, justice and hold people accountable for their actions. This rule must apply across the board from the President down to the ground.

    This is because if not enforced, the Police Force too will become the most powerful Institution without any competition and what is to prevent them being influenced to executing a coup in the future?

    It is a change in mentality that will save Fiji in the future. Demobilising the military is short term and temporary, but eventually misses the point because what you in effect end up is the coup mentality being disseminated into various sectors of society and much more difficult to eradicate.

    It becomes a time bomb set to explode sometime in the future when the time and conditions are right.

  25. Taukei Says:

    Demobilization and Reintegration in Central America

    This report reviews reductions in armed forces and opposition forces of Central American countries and the context of each demobilization experience. A brief background of the Central American peace process and the resolution of conflicts in Nicaragua and El Salvador will illustrate how a trend toward demilitarization in the region developed and established a sense of regional security -though at times unstable- essential to successful demobilization and reintegration experiences. The report will then review these post-conflict experiences in light of the peace agreements and commitments made by the respective governments. The challenges to demobilization and reintegration exercises and the reintegration support provided for ex-combatants are examined. Finally, the paper draws lessons from those exercises which may prove helpful for foreseen demobilizations or efforts to demilitarize.

    Source: Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC)

    Date: Feb 1997

  26. Taukei Says:

    Military Demobilization (Demobilization and Reintegration; Military Force Reduction)

    Demobilization refers to a reduction of the number of personnel in the national, government army and/or the disbanding of irregular forces (i.e., guerrilla forces or militia). Demobilization may be accompanied by reintegration programs to help ex-combatants adjust to the civilian society and economy.

    Demobilization and reintegration objectives may be political, security, fiscal and socio-economic, both short- and long-term. Security concerns include reduce former combatants’ ability and desire to renew combat or to engage in criminal violence. Where the main concern is short-term stability, the highest priority is generally to demobilize and occupy former combatants, to buy time for the early phase of the transition to peace and for an election to occur where relevant. In such a case, demobilization receives greater attention and resources, including an elaborate assembly phase. When a longer-term focus is possible, and especially if the resources are available, the program may devote more resources to reintegration to favor long-term stability.

    Fiscal and socio-economic objectives are to reduce military spending, free up resources for productive use, and provide long-term, productive employment for ex-combatants.

    Demobilization’s primary political objectives are to set the stage for reconciliation by encouraging former rivals to transfer their opposition to the political arena instead of resorting to armed force, to reduce one or both former armies’ involvement and influence in politics, to strengthen civilian control over the armed forces, or to provide rival parties with experience in the negotiation process as part of substituting peaceful solutions for violent conflict.

    A successful demobilization and reintegration program can contribute greatly to reconciliation and to preventing or mitigating future violent conflict. In the long run, demobilization reduces government fiscal resources devoted to the military, although in the short run demobilization can be expensive, especially when accompanied by reintegration measures.

    Former combatants are an armed, volatile and sensitive group that can resort to political or criminal violence, presenting a security risk to fragile transitional governments and to an economy attempting reconstruction. Future stability, economic development and a consolidated peace process require that ex-combatants be successfully reintegrated.

    Demobilization and reintegration represent one step in military downsizing. Additional personnel reduction sometimes requires that the national miliary be integrated or restructured to adjust the balance of representation of diverse ethnic, regional or political groups as further discussed in another tool profile in this section. Reduction in military expenditures is another aspect of military downsizing.


    Demobilization programs may be initiated by the government or a government-created institutional entity, or by an institutional entity created by a multi-national organization in coordination with the government. In a conflict-related situation, the non-government party is ideally involved in program planning. Governments can be assisted by external actors—NGOs, regional and multilateral organizations, and foreign donors—in planning, design, implementation and funding.


    Combatants from the national army, non-government armies and militias, and their families, and the communities where they resettle. Including ex-combatants as staff, especially for outreach staffing, has proven very helpful.

    In a typical conflict-related demobilization and reintegration program (DRP), several activities occur simultaneously, some over a short period, others more long-term. While the conflicting parties sort out demobilization terms (the general outline may be included in the accord), the government, donors, international financial institutions, NGOs and/or UN agencies can begin some preliminary preparations and planning. This may include identifying beneficiaries; making logistical preparations for quartering and transporting combatants; assessing how much intervention is necessary; evaluating institutional needs for management or direct assistance; determining which central, regional or local government institutions, private organizations, local traditional bodies, local and international NGOs, self-help groups, target groups/beneficiaries should be involved; identifying ex-combatant needs and opportunities; outlining a DRP strategy with appropriate projects for each phase, and identifying fiscal and other resource needs. Typical DRPs call for negotiation, organization/planning/coordination, assembly of combatants, and reinsertion or reintegration.

    NegotiationNegotiation is both the first phase of demobilization and a process which continues throughout the demobilization and reintegration period. Negotiations between government and military leadership must still be conducted even when demobilization occurs in the absence of a conflict. For demobilization in a conflict context, negotiations must produce agreement on security arrangements for the post-conflict period. This includes the number of combatants from each side to be demobilized and the structure of the new army. Agreements must specify how combatants will be disarmed and assembled, how cantonment will be organized and managed, and goals of reintegration. Negotiations keep the parties to the conflict and the international community engaged and focused on keeping the peace process on track.

    Defining who has combatant status, identifying combatants, determining eligibility for demobilization and reintegration benefits, and deciding which forces will be included in the process are critical and potentially controversial steps. Transparent and consistent eligibility requirements will help minimize the perception that any group is being favored or victimized. Reduction in force should be voluntary, whenever possible, and require positive inducements to ease the transition to civilian life.

    Reliable estimates of combatant numbers are vital to planning and funding and should be broken down by “casual” versus “hard-core” or professionals and conscripts, with ranks and troop locations. This information is sensitive to both sides for security and political reasons. Factions may inflate actual numbers of combatants for security or negotiation leverage, understate combatant numbers while hiding troops “in the bush,” or direct their most infirm, aged or youthful members to occupy quartering areas while withholding their fittest, most competent forces.

    Organization, Planning and Coordination

    An institutional structure must be created to plan and implement demobilization and reintegration programs, generally over a one-to-three year period. After that time, any continuing reintegration tasks likely could be taken over by normal government structures. In some cases, the government alone creates a special government or parastatal organization for this and seeks international support, as occurred in Uganda, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. In other cases, especially in post-conflict demobilizations, a special institutional entity is created and managed by one or more international and regional organizations, such as UN agencies, donors, and NGOs, in coordination with both the government and the non-government party to the conflict, as in Mozambique, El Salvador, Haiti and Angola. A single, coordinated program that follows a coherent strategy is more effective than various agencies and donors operating their own, piece-meal demobilization-related projects. An agreed agency to coordinate among donors is important since donors are likely to provide a large portion of DRP funding.

    The entity charged with conflict-related demobilization must be recognized by all parties to the conflict and be neutral. Regional and district offices are ideal for outreach into outlying areas. Ideally, the peace agreement establishes the institutional framework, tasked with policy-making, coordinating, approving strategies, programs, projects and funding, and monitoring progress and results. UN peace missions often assume responsibility for demobilization when they oversee compliance with peace accords.

    All major parties to the conflict should participate in planning the DRP. In particular, including combatants from the outset contributes to their confidence in the demobilization process, without which they are likely to engage in mutinies, desertion, roadblocks, or other acts of non-compliance with the accord to delay the demobilization calendar.

    It may be difficult to find agencies to work with combatants prior to demobilization, even to provide food and other relief because law or policy bar many international organizations and NGOs from assisting armed military groups. These restrictions vary as will each organization’s definition of when an individual ceases to be a combatant.

    he Assembly Phase

    During assembly or cantonment, armed combatants go to designated locations until they are demobilized or sent elsewhere for induction and training in the new army. Combatants from rival armies or factions should be assembled at different locations. Quartering areas may be established for non-government armies, and government soldiers may be required to report to bases. Irregular forces based across borders may need to be repatriated, either prior to or following their demobilization. Children, female combatants, the aged, and disabled may be demobilized without participating in assembly, or be taken to special transit areas before release. Transportation should be provided to assembly areas.

    Assembly areas require security and physical amenities including food and potable water, living quarters, sanitation, and health care for combatants and often their families. Conditions must be adequate to reduce volatility without camps becoming permanent settlements.

    Demobilization activities during assembly often include disarmament, collection and registration of weapons; registration and documentation (issue of photo identification cards, filling out questionnaires, creating a database of combatant records); debriefing, reorientation, and counseling.

    Identification cards are critical for monitoring the distribution of demobilization benefits. Identification cards issued to each side should have an identical format which does not disclose of which army the ex-combatant was a member. Disarmament must also be closely monitored, knowing that the forces to be demobilized may try to turn in their oldest, least serviceable weapons, caching their most effective weapons prior to entering assembly points.

    Information on combatants’ and family members’ needs, aspirations and capabilities should be gathered through surveys, interviews, and questionnaires. Combatants can be assisted during assembly to fill out questionnaires as an eligibility requirement for benefits. Preliminary data to inform future DRP programming can be gathered on gender, skills, educational level, disabilities, occupation preferences, family ties, and anticipated settlement areas. Combatants should receive thorough physical exams to verify any physical or emotional disabilities and develop treatment and therapy plans. When combatants first enter assembly points, however, it is rarely possible to obtain comprehensive information on beneficiaries’ needs and opportunities or to provide accurate counselling because reintegration programs are often not yet formulated or funded and many combatants’ ideas will evolve during this period based on information they receive while cantoned and the time they will have had to think about their futures.


    Recreational, education, training, job counseling and psycho-social counseling activities can be conducted during cantonment. A pre-discharge orientation and information and referral program can prepare and direct combatants for the upcoming transition to civilian life, increase their confidence in the demobilization process, and encourage more realistic expectations. Demobilization planners must be aware that war victors may try to use the cantonment period as an opportunity for political re-education.

    Another, less elaborate, cheaper and more rapidly implemented option to quartering is to have combatants report to transit centers to be registered and disarmed. This approach has obvious fiscal, logistical, and possibly immediate political advantages but is probably only appropriate for certain situations.

    Determining the appropriate length of time for assembly involves trade-offs: shorter cantonment means lower costs, reduced likelihood of violent flare-ups in the assembly areas, political expediency when ex-combatants move quickly towards normalcy and productivity and reduced risk of quartering areas becoming settlements populated by demobilized fighters. At the same time, cantonment represents a critical opportunity to prepare ex-combatants for the transition to civilian life; this preparation can contribute to long-term peace and stability when this preparation includes an in-depth orientation with education on human rights, civic responsibility, democratic governance, and available education, training and employment programs. Communities must also be prepared for the arrival of ex-combatants, and time is needed to plan, fund and establish reintegration programs. In some cases, where there is a good deal of animosity by community members toward former combatants (e.g., in Liberia, Uganda), community sensitization programs may be necessary.

    Organizers should plan to demobilize rival armies at comparable rates, respecting agreed timetables insofar as possible. A phased or graduated demobilization may be advisable if the political situation warrants, providing organizers with the opportunity to improve implementation and adjust benefits over time.

    Transition or Reinsertion Phase

    Transition refers to the period after departure from the assembly area, transit center, or base during which ex-combatants become at least marginally self-sufficient. “Ex-combatants must be involved in constructive activity during this phase so they truly reintegrate, detach themselves from their potentially disruptive combat units, and see their future in the society under reconstruction.” During transition, targeted programs can help sustain ex-combatants and assist with reintegration. Ex-combatants in transition are likely to require assistance with physical security, food, water, housing, agricultural materials, construction materials, sanitation and health. In past demobilization programs, this phase has commonly received the least attention in evaluating the best assistance mechanisms. Transition benefits should be consistent with reintegration goals and programs.

    Civilian life makes demands that former soldiers and their families were not accustomed to while in military service. Stability, reconciliation, a psychological boost and often local traditions dictate that ex-combatants should not arrive empty-handed in settlement areas. Ex-combatants require an immediate assistance package and/or cash payments as a safety net upon initial resettlement. Packages may be distributed upon departure from assembly, upon arrival at the destination, or at both points. Package contents should be designed around the ex-combatant’s family, not the individual, and should support the decision to demobilize. Package value should not substantially surpass the average income for the period the package is intended. The incentive package’s various components’ liquidity—their propensity to show up on the market—must also be evaluated, for both positive and negative impact. It is also important in designing benefit packages to keep in mind that other members of receiving communities have suffered from the war, and may resent what they perceive as rewards for inflicting their suffering. Transition assistance packages may include civilian clothing, agriculture starter kits, household items, food, and a card for extended food rations. Package contents may differ for rural and urban settlers, and by geographical region—some practitioners recommend building incentives into the packages to encourage ex-combatants to settle in certain rural areas and avoid further contributing to urban over-crowding, while others advise keeping packages identical for programming ease, to minimize transaction costs, and to avoid controversy. The armies’ commanders could be asked to help select package items.

    Cash disbursements can provide a safety net for ex-combatants during this transition period. Cash may be disbursed in a lump sum or periodically. Cash allowances may be allotted toward the purchase of clothing, food, medical care, agriculture, household effects and housing construction in lieu of or to supplement in-kind assistance. A larger allowance may also be disbursed to ex-combatants to support investments in education, training, purchase of goods for trade, or capital investments. Cash programs appeal to donors because of simpler logistics and rapid implementation, and some practitioners advise giving ex-combatants the opportunity to make their own decisions. In some cases, however, ex-combatants have quickly misspent cash allowances without contributing to reintegration. A combination of cash and in-kind assistance may be most effective.


    Reintegration for ex-combatants means absorption into civilian society, typically measured as productive employment at a socio-economic level approximating that of non-combatant peers. As a recent World Bank study relates, reintegration should encompass former soldiers’ re-entry into civilian political, social and economic life. The wide range of approaches for intervention must be assessed to determine which is appropriate for a given situation. Programming decisions should be based on information on local needs and resources.

    Training, counseling, credit, assistance obtaining land access, housing construction, and other services are generally required for successful reintegration. Ex-combatants may receive financial, logistical, and material support for housing construction or repair, including construction materials and instruction in building techniques. They can set up cooperatives, reconstruction societies, veterans’ associations, and other self-help groups. Sustainable initiatives require training, inputs, initial credit and market development, in sectors such as fishery, livestock, agriculture and trade. Training should be relevant to the private sector job market to which the trainee will be returning. Food for work is expensive with no sustainability component. “The militia will laugh at food for work,” claimed an agency field official in Somalia. Meeting social and psychological needs is a major challenge in reintegration programming and requires community support and cooperation.

    Many demobilized may need assistance beyond the DRP completion date. DRPs ideally are designed so any support can be incorporated into general reconstruction and development efforts.


    Demobilization in a conflict context is generally thought of as a formal program which follows national reconciliation and precedes or overlaps with reintegration. However, in the case of militias and/or regionalized irregular armies, demobilization can take place outside of a formal peace agreement through a more informal program offering combatants incentives to self-demobilize as individuals. Programs that emphasize developing alternative livelihoods may serve as sufficient incentives to individual combatants who maintain membership in militias primarily for economic reasons. In this case reintegration would precede demobilization; both can precede and even help lead to national reconciliation. Such a program must take steps to ensure that assistance is not used for combat operations and must ensure valid security alternatives—trusted police, military—to fulfill the disbanding militia’s community security functions.

    Cost considerations

    Demobilization and reintegration programs are very expensive, requiring several million dollars for organization, logistics, equipment, technical assistance, programming support, and training implementing agencies. Ideally, one donor or a small group assumes a leadership role in funding; donors should coordinate to ensure that their contributions are complementary. A local, multiparty mechanism can be created to channel international funds.

    Successful demobilization and reintegration programming requires:

    · A high-level institutional entity to deal exclusively with demobilization and reintegration planning and implementation.

    · Development of a general strategy for demobilization and reintegration that outlines programs and coordinates responsibilities and tasks, reducing waste and duplication of time and resources, helping to maintain confidence of the ex-combatants, and increasing cooperation of the groups involved.

    · Training for DRP institutional staff.

    · Professional accounting and auditing procedures.

    Set-up time

    A properly designed and managed force reduction demobilization and reintegration program (DRP) takes time to plan and fund (at least several months). Implementation of demobilization can take several months to a year or more, or even several years if a phased approach is taken (as in Uganda). Implementation generally takes one to three years, with some requiring up to five years.

    Timeframe to see results

    A successful DRP can show immediate results in reduced violence and size of armed forces. Ex-combatants’ successful reintegration into productive civilian life yields results in the longer term.

    Conflict context

    Demobilization is usually conceived as a post-conflict intervention as part of an accord. Force reduction can also occur early in a conflict to allay opposition group antipathy toward a large security apparatus or to shift government resources toward non-security expenditures which may further reduce prominent conflict irritants. Demobilization is least likely to occur during an ongoing, widespread internal or external conflict.

    Downsizing government military forces and demobilizing irregular armies may be especially appropriate for conflicts related to ethnic, political, or regional representation and participation, especially if combined with force restructuring as profiled in detail elsewhere in this section.

    Demobilization and reintegration programs address both operational prevention (down-sizing or demobilizing an army reduces the rapid ability to start or resume conflict) and structural prevention (the successful demobilization and reintegration of combatants reduces their long-term desire to engage in violent conflict).

    When demobilization and reintegration are successful, government expenditures formerly devoted to the military can be devoted to both human resource and economic development. This, when combined with other reconciliation measures such as political and economic restructuring and military integration and professionalization, may remove much of the source of violent civil conflicts. However, conditions such as chronic economic crisis and extreme inequality, scarcity of arable land, lack of employment, political ineptitude and corruption, and environmental disaster may persist and continue to feed armed conflict.

    Demobilization generally requires the following:

    Political will and commitment of both sides’ military and political leadership to demobilize and maintain any peace agreement.

    · Precision and clarity of goals in both the accord and in the demobilization and reintegration strategy from which demobilization and reintegration programs are to be designed.

    · Near-total cessation of hostilities through a monitored cease-fire agreement or the outright victory of one of the parties (for a conflict-related demobilization).

    · A minimum degree of stability and a clear national authority.

    · Appreciable movement toward national reconciliation.

    · Legal mechanisms, including transparent and consistent selection criteria to minimize any perception that a group is being favored or victimized.


    · A combination of disarmament and credible security guarantees for those who give up their arms. Combatants on the losing side especially need to be reassured they will not be discriminated against or suffer reprisals.

    · Incentives for combatants to demobilize.

    · Restructuring and reform of the police and national armed forces.

    · Connections between the DRP and ongoing or future development efforts.

    · International political, financial and security support and commitment.

    · Reintegration programs to support long-term pacification and reinsertion into civilian society.

    · A skilled mediator active in all phases of the peace process, including demobilization, to assist with negotiations and DRP implementation, serve on monitoring teams and exert pressures and incentives to secure continued compliance with the terms of the agreement.

    · Coordination among global, regional, state, and unofficial actors in implementing the peace accord and DRP programs

  27. Taukei Says:


    Uganda, 1992-1995. The NRA had greatly increased in size through assimilation of defeated rebel forces. As the Museveni regime consolidated power and the political situation was stabilized, attempts were made to reduce the size of the army. The reduction was motivated by financial and political forces both inside and outside Uganda. The government created the Ugandan Veterans Assistance Board (UVAB) as an autonomous parastatal with a three-tiered administrative structure encompassing a national body to set policy, a central implementing body, and implementing bodies in each district (District Veterans Program Offices, or DVPOs) as well as district advisory committees involving district officials. UVAB developed the demobilization procedures and made arrangements for demobilization packages and other benefits, including arrangements with the Uganda Commercial Bank for payment of allowances. The World Bank took the lead role in donor coordination and provided technical assistance; two bilateral donors provided foreign staff for technical assistance. UVAB faced a serious time pressure in 1992-1993 to demobilize hundreds of soldiers. Because of politically driven exigencies, there wasn’t enough time to do appropriate pre-discharge counseling. Nevertheless, soldiers began to be demobilized by the end of 1992. A key element of the UVAB strategy was to develop campaigns to ‘sensitize’ soldiers and communities through meetings and seminars about the needs and responsibilities of demobilizing soldiers.

    The demobilization program planned to reduce the 90,000 member National Resistance Army (NRA) to 45,000 in three phases between 1992 and 1995. The third phase was postponed to 1996. Over 25 percent of the first 32,000 demobilized left voluntarily; just under a quarter were discharged on medical grounds. After the first two phases of demobilization, the defense budget was reduced from a previous 39.3 percent of recurrent expenditures to 26.1 percent, although defense spending in real terms rose by nearly 12 percent due to wage increases for the remaining soldiers and limited hiring of local defense units (LDUs) in the northern region to contain recurrent insurgency. The ratio of social to defense spending improved from 0.6 to 1.1 from before demobilization (1989-1990) to after the first two phases (1992-1993). Nearly all demobilized Ugandans chose to return to rural areas.

    UVAB’s success in implementing the demobilization program is unquestioned. Through donor contributions, UVAB contributed to some reintegration activities for ex-soldiers, including education, vocational training, infrastructure reconstruction, credit and loans. More time and information is needed to assess its performance in reintegration, because the effort is still ongoing. The length of service of many of the soldiers and their lack of skills made adjustment to civilian life extremely difficult.

    Ethiopia, 1991-1994. Following the regime’s defeat and overthrow, the entire army of nearly 500,000 was demobilized in June-December 1991, along with 22,200 OLF from mid-1992-1994. The transition government established a National Commission for the Rehabilitation of Members of the Former Army and Disabled War Veterans for overall program implementation and coordination. The commission set up 7 regional offices and 36 district offices to organize and coordinate field implementation of demobilization and reintegration. District officials were involved in decision-making through local advisory and other committees. An advisory council was formed to assist the demobilization commission and played an important role in seeking coordination and cooperation from other ministries. National and local government agencies and NGOs were brought into the process. The commission prepared an extensive demobilization and reintegration strategy, but most donors were initially reluctant to support their proposal.

    Past Practice

    Meanwhile, the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) and its Ethiopian counterparts undertook preparations for demobilization, including mobilizing transport and arranging for food rations. Phase I of the program consisted of “repatriation”—release and transportation of ex-soldiers to their place of origin—along with emergency assistance of food and a cash grant for ex-soldiers and their dependents. By late January 1992, most demobilized had been returned to their areas of origin and were receiving monthly food rations, distributed by the government’s relief and rehabilitation commission, working through the demobilization commission’s regional centers. The commission held extensive and widespread discussions with local communities to where the ex-soldiers were returning. The demobilization effort is generally considered to be successful, despite donor difficulties.

    Phase II, the reintegration strategy, was accepted by donors in late March 1992. The World Bank’s Emergency Relief and Recovery Program (ERRP) became a major conduit of funds for ex-soldiers, and some bilateral donors set up their own projects in collaboration with the commission or channeled their resources through NGOs. Some NGOs coordinated their reintegration support with the commission’s program, while others followed an individual approach.

    The program focused on the entire needs of the ex-soldier and his family, including education, employment, health and housing. A majority chose to return to rural areas to farm. Many were assisted in obtaining land and credit, and some communities provided materials and labor for housing. Many received health support, and some were offered vocational training. Donor aid included seeds, fertilizers, plastic tubing for coffee seedlings, and vehicles for administrative capacity. The German donor, GTZ, supports reintegration activities in Ethiopia through an “open fund” financing mechanism, through which many demobilized were supplied with agricultural inputs, work programs, training and housing projects.

    Eritrea, 1993-ongoing. Following their victory and secession from Ethiopia, 26,000 of an estimated 95,000 were demobilized from the army of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF), with another 22,000 or more planned for future demobilization. Mitias engaged soldiers in agricultural work, reforestation, and soil conservation, as well as rehabilitating infrastructure. Mitias established offices at the district level to monitor progress of ex-soldiers attempting to reintegrate.

    Somaliland. In northern Somalia or Somaliland following the Boraama conference, the Somaliland “government” created the National Demobilization Commission to manage disarmament and demobilization, aided by Zimbabwean consultants provided by UNDP. The veterans’ organization Soyaal also addressed the needs of ex-militia. Heavy weapons were turned in during the first half of 1994, but the resumption of war later in the year derailed the efforts.

    Sudan. The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) submitted proposals to create farm cooperatives. The SPLA already has experience with farming, including forced labor of the surrounding communities, especially in Eastern Equatoria in the early 1990s. The SPLA has a cooperative in Tambura (Western Equatoria) which has been assisted with farming inputs. Soldiers are farming and trading surplus at the CARE bush shop. “Before they were stealing from the agencies,” says one observer. “Now they are trading with them.” An SPLA leader supports this idea, saying the SPLA “could produce as much as possible.” There are huge obstacles in terms of organization, discipline, experience, and cohesion. The majority of SPLA soldiers, especially Dinka and Nuer, come primarily from pastoral backgrounds.

    Zimbabwe, 1981-1983. The government established a Demobilization Directorate to plan and organize the program; it was a high-level inter-ministerial body supported by officials drawn from former senior combatants and commanders of the armies involved.

    Mozambique, 1992-1994. As part of a General Peace Agreement to end a long-running civil war, over 69,000 soldiers from the government army and over 20,000 from the opposition force, RENAMO, were demobilized in a UN-monitored process with international assistance. The remaining combatants from both armies merged to form a much smaller, new, integrated national army. The accord established a Commission for the Reintegration of Demobilized Combatants (CORE) comprising the UN, donors and NGOs, and the two sides, FRELIMO and RENAMO, as provided in the peace agreement. Its mandate was to facilitate the social and economic integration of demobilized combatants into civilian society and to plan, coordinate and monitor programs that directly affected the reintegration process.

    Demobilization and reintegration of the armed forces following a civil conflict is a critical confidence-building measure.


    Even partially successful reintegration of demobilized soldiers reduces the level and costs of unemployment, political instability and crime. DRPs help defuse social tension and assist a vulnerable group in building a new life.


    “Orderly demobilization, reinsertion, and reintegration of military personnel are central contributions to the restoration of civil society and the peaceful return to productive civilian life of hitherto destabilizing forces.”

    Demobilization is dependent on the political will of each side and each side’s commitment to peace.

    Demobilization and reintegration alone cannot prevent conflict and restore civil society and stability. They must be accompanied by other measures, including political reforms, establishing a functional legal system and independent jury, a professional police force, and implementing economic reforms aimed at promoting growth and expanding employment opportunities, and promoting civil society.

    “Reintegration is a long and complex process without a clear conclusion; even comprehensive programs in a favorable macroeconomic environment cannot by themselves ensure that the living standards of ex-combatants will equal those of the poorer segments of the civilian population.”

    Due to security sensitivities, each side is likely to withhold much of the data required for adequate planning.

    Because of costs associated with demobilization and reintegration, peace can be as expensive as war. Integrating the soldiers of other forces into the national army can bloat payrolls.


    Reducing the size of the military can create a major unemployment problem, which can lead to further instability and violence. Poor nations emerging from extended periods of conflict are likely to have an inadequate resource base and few opportunities for income generation or employment, inhibiting the reintegration of ex-combatants. Many former combatants have low education and skill levels and are inexperienced with civilian life. The economy likely has a limited capacity to absorb many of the ex-combatants, even if they are provided skills. Education and training provided to them may not be appropriate to the employment opportunities available.Combatants are likely to expect rewards for their participation in the war, especially those on the winning side.

    Critics contend that as demobilizing soldiers are only one among many war-affected groups, they should not be treated differently from others after they have been formally demobilized.

    Donors are often reluctant to provide resources to demobilization and reintegration programs until the government—and often the non-government side as well—demonstrates its commitment to the demobilization and peace process. However, governments are unable to plan or launch a program without knowledge of the resources that will be available, and often without technical assistance. Low interest of donors in some countries or donors’ lack of confidence in the peace process will affect the levels of funding appropriated, and thus the effectiveness of programs.

    Objectives must be clear and measurable, and progress regularly monitored, both by the institutional entity in charge as well as, ideally, an unbiased observer.

    Conflict-related demobilization programs are affected by the way the internal wars concluded, whether through a negotiated peace, and especially whether there is an obvious clear victor. The demobilization process is dependent on the quality, detail, and strength of the political agreement, and on all parties’ commitment to hold to and implement the accord on all sides. Outside governments can try to raise the stakes to actors involved in the process to strengthen the political will necessary to carry out demobilization and reintegration.

    In a conflict-related situation, demobilization and reintegration issues should be included in the peace negotiations and in the accord.

    Demobilization and reintegration benefits must be designed for the ex-combatants’ family unit, not the individual demobilized, and consider the resettlement. Both the communities and combatants should be consulted during the design process.

    Construction of special facilities for demobilizing ex-combatants should be avoided.

    A Joint Support Unit created, for example, under the auspices of the UN, could make information available on the demobilization and reintegration process, promote cooperation among the many entities involved, and reduce duplication of effort among the host government, foreign governments, the field offices of UN divisions, regional and local government branches, local donor missions, NGOs, and international agencies.

    Insufficient information and other constraints make it reasonable to develop programs step by step with the participation of those concerned; this procedure can build confidence and help utilize the experience of ex-combatants.

    Lessons learned

    Program support must have a termination date, and organizers must make efforts to avoid long-term dependency of demobilized on support.

    Large-scale absorption of ex-combatants in public service and parastatals must be avoided.

    Advance planning is critical and needs adequate investment.

    Demobilization is more likely to succeed if it is voluntary. Regional security arrangements and confidence-building processes help provide the security and stability needed for demobilization.

    Combatants cannot be stereotyped as a homogeneous group; they are diverse and include winners and losers, regular soldiers and guerrillas, men and women, officers and rank and file, highly skilled and unskilled, each with distinct needs and potential.

    Officers’ leadership and organizational experience can be valuable to reconstruction and rehabilitation; however, their skills also can be applied to military or criminal ends. Some analysts favor greater benefits for officers while others insist benefits be equitable to all ranks.

    Reintegration programs need forward or backward integration into the formal or non-formal economies. Any training should be relevant to the private sector job market to which the trainee will be returning.

    In downsizing the government army, care should be taken to not exacerbate its ethnic imbalance as further discussed in another tool profile in this section.

    Initiatives to integrate disabled ex-combatants into normal life have been more effective than large-scale institutional care.

    References and resources

    GTZ, Proposal for the Reintegration of Refugees, Displaced Persons, and Ex-Combatants, August 1992.

    Kees Kingma and Vanessa Sayers, Demobilization in the Horn of Africa, Proceedings of the IRG Workshop, 4-7 December 1994, Addis Ababa, BICC.

    Ramesh Srivastava, Reintegrating Demobilized Combatants: A Report Exploring Options and Strategies for Training-Related Interventions, Vocational Training Systems Management Branch, International Labour Office, Geneva, 1994.

    Donald Rothchild, On Implementing Africa’s Peace Accords: From Defection to Cooperation, Africa Today, 1st and 2nd Quarters, 1995: 8-38.

    Refugee Policy Group, Challenges of Demobilization and Reintegration: Background Paper and Conference Summary, United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs, New York, June 1994.

    Creative Associates International, Inc., Other Country Experiences in Demobilization and Reintegration of Ex-Combatants, Washington, DC, March 1995.

    The World Bank, Demobilization and Reintegration of Military Personnel in Africa: The Evidence from Seven Country Case Studies, African Regional Series Discussion Paper No. IDP-130. October 1993.

    Nat J. Colletta, Markus Koster, and Ingo Wiederhofer, Case Studies in War-to-Peace Transition: the Demobilization and Reintegration of Ex-Combatants in Ethiopia, Namibia, and Uganda, World Bank Discussion Paper 331. Washington, DC, 1996..

    Nat J. Colletta, Markus Koster, and Ingo Wiederhofer, The Transition from War to Peace in Sub-Saharan Africa, The World Bank, 1996.

    Kimberly Mahling Clark, Fostering a Farewell to Arms: Preliminary Lessons Learned in the Demobilization and Reintegration of Ex-Combatants, US Agency for International Development, Center for Development Information and Evaluation, Washington, DC, 1996

  28. NobleBannerBlue Says:

    HYPOCRACY OF THE HIGHEST ORDER…. How about doing something for the people that lost their livelihoods in the 2006 coup.!!!!!!!!!!!!

    From FijiTimes

    Update: 3:11PM The Fiji Labour Party today remembers the people that lost their lives and trauma inflicted on members of the Peoples Coalition government held hostage for 56 days at gun point during the 2000 coup.

    FLP president Jokapeci Koroi, on the eighth anniversary of the May 19, 2000 coup, says the political mayhem then remains the darkest blotch in the history of Fiji.

    She said eight years on and certain supporters and financiers of the coup had still not been brought to justice.

    The ghost of 2000 will not be laid to rest unless all those responsible for the pain and suffering associated with the coup are held accountable for their misdeeds, says Mrs Koroi.

  29. Taukei Says:

    Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR)

    When a country is moving from war to peace, demobilization and reintegration issues should be addressed at the earliest stages of the peace negotiation process. Strong political will and leadership, expressed in terms of commitment, realism, and pragmatism, are crucial factors for successful program implementation. National reconciliation should be actively promoted
    through transparent policies and conflict resolution efforts at the community level. These can reduce suspicion and help rebuild trust.


    Ex-combatants should be released or discharged from military quarters as soon as possible so that they do not become a serious threat to security. Prior to discharge, they should receive information about civilian life— rights and duties, opportunities and constraints. If feasible, post-discharge orientation, with a focus on social support and economic opportunities, should be provided in the communities where ex-combatants settle.
    Especially in transition from war to peace, neutral international monitors and technical assistance can facilitate the design and implementation of demobilization programs.


    Entitlement packages, which provide a safety net during the transition from war to peace, should reflect the needs of ex-combatants and their families in different socioeconomic environments. Such packages help ex-combatants and their families bridge the difficult period between demobilization and reintegration. Monetizing the entitlement packages has several advantages over in-kind provision: transaction cost can be reduced, leakage can be better controlled, and beneficiaries can make flexible use of the entitlement. Using local banks for transferring cash in installments allows ex-combatants to access financial assistance throughout the reinsertion phase. Staggered payments made to beneficiaries through local banks also help spread benefits and ex-combatants throughout the country. The capacity of the banking system or alternate payment systems, especially in rural areas, must therefore be evaluated before transfers begin.


    Ex-combatants should be assigned to target groups and subgroups on the basis of their mode of subsistence and thus on their differing needs and aspirations. This allows for the development of a differentiated, relevant, and cost-effective approach. Ex-combatants should receive no more support than is necessary to help them attain the standard of living of the communities into which they are reintegrated.

    Reintegration in urban areas is more complex than in rural areas and requires a more diversified approach. All support measures should be based on a careful matching of opportunities and actual needs. Support measures should, to the extent possible, be demand-driven.

    Social Dimensions

    It is the interplay of a community’s physical and social capital and the ex-combatant’s
    financial and human capital that ultimately determines the ease and success of reintegration.
    Efforts to strengthen social capital— for example, by using existing community
    organizations and channels of communication— enable communities to take development into
    their own hands and facilitate reintegration of ex-combatants.
    Informal networks of ex-combatants— discussion groups, veterans’ associations, and joint
    economic ventures— are key elements for successful economic and social reintegration. Such
    associations can be extremely helpful when social capital has been depleted.
    A community is a critical adjunct to assistance for ex-combatants. Community
    sensitization and political awareness are paramount in this effort.
    Care should be taken that ex-combatants are not stigmatized as unfit for military service or
    as conveyors of disease, violence, and misbehavior.
    Institutional Concerns
    To put scarce resources to optimal use, program components should be ranked by
    simplicity of implementation, with the simplest components first on the list.
    Central coordination of DRPs by one civilian agency with overall responsibility, balanced
    by decentralization of implementation authority to district and communities through existing
    organizational structures, makes for a powerful institutional arrangement.
    Administrative costs need to be held down. The higher the transaction (administrative)
    costs, the smaller the resources available to ex-combatants.

    The effectiveness of program interventions in relation to ongoing development initiatives
    is maximized by careful coordination within government and among other project promoters.
    Once the major program objectives have been fulfilled, remaining activities should be
    integrated into the government’s mainstream development efforts.

    Elected representatives of ex-combatants, as well as field-based staff, can perform crucial
    roles in facilitating reintegration.
    Local communities should be involved directly in decision making, especially on important
    local matters, so that scarce public resources are allocated in a transparent and socially
    accountable manner.

    Management Aspects

    Staff training to improve skills and knowledge should begin before demobilization and
    should emphasize practical problem solving.
    The most important contribution of a monitoring and evaluation system is to consistently
    improve ongoing operations— by keeping abreast of major trends in the program and by regularly
    reporting to and advising management.
    Use of an external auditor improves management of funds. The external auditor, in
    addition to ensuring control of program resources and transparency, gives confidence to the
    donors and to the beneficiaries.

    External Assistance

    Timely availability of resources facilitates smooth operations. Donor budget cycles and
    disbursement and auditing procedures have to be closely meshed with implementation schedules
    for DRPs.
    Capacity building and close coordination among the government, NGOs, community-
    based groups, and donors are central elements of cooperation. Coordination of donor support by
    a lead donor has proved very effective.

    Economic Impact

    The peace dividend needs to be understood in social and economic terms, as well as
    financial terms. The reinvestment of some savings from military downsizing into the development
    of a disciplined, high-quality defense force can itself produce a peace dividend by increasing
    security, building confidence, and reducing public fear.
    It is useful to link a country’s overall macroeconomic reform program, especially as it
    concerns the public expenditure mix, to the planned reintegration program.

    Jump-starting the economy by rehabilitating critical infrastructure also can be linked to
    reintegration programs that involve training and employment schemes for both reconstructuring
    material assets and building human and social capital.
    Continental demilitarization is a precondition for reviving civil society, reducing poverty,
    and sustaining development in Africa. The realization of this objective hinges on disarmament, the
    demobilization of forces, and the reduction of the flow of arms into the continent, on the one
    hand, and on the reintegration of ex-combatants into productive civilian roles, on the other.
    Revitalizing civil society entails the promotion of local associations, community
    participation, and peer accountability, all of which reduce individual fear, enable collective
    condemnation of violence, and strengthen local security. These are the minimal conditions for
    encouraging people to reinvest in their communities both emotionally and financially.

    The Sacred Trilogy

    In the end, DRPs are important programs for not only freeing up resources, but also
    addressing the pressing needs of war-affected populations, and building the confidence of
    nationals to invest in their own lives and foreigners to invest in the countries.
    For the past three decades civil wars have destroyed lives, skills, and assets, undermined
    institutional competence and accountability, caused incalculable personal dislocation and
    suffering, and intensified ethnic hostilities. In sum, internal strife has wrought havoc on civil
    society throughout the world.
    There is now little doubt that development cannot be sustained without political stability
    and underlying security. Orderly demobilization, reinsertion, and reintegration of military
    personnel are central contributions to the restoration of civil society and the peaceful return to
    productive civilian life of hitherto destabilizing forces. Equally important are the establishment of
    a transparent legal system, a professional army and police force, and an independent judiciary and
    the implementation of economic reforms aimed at promoting growth and expanding employment
    The trilogy of security and good governance, the restoration of social capital, and macro-
    economic reform are the critical enabling conditions for the reconstruction process to be launched
    and progress to the stage of sustainable development.

  30. Taukei Says:

    Reconciliation: From War-torn to Civil Society

    At the end of this seamless web of war-to-peace transition, reintegration in its full sense implies reentry into political and social as well as economic life.

    Social capital goes beyond the basic level of human association and trust that welds a civil society together; it also encompasses organizations, networks, and unwritten mores and rules.

    Rebuilding social capital means a revitalization of civil society, and revitalizing civil
    society entails the promotion of local associations, community participation, trust and confidence
    building, and the establishment of peer accountability. It reduces the level of individual fear,
    enables the collective conditions that must be met if people are to reinvest in their communities,
    emotionally and financially. The state of social capital is also a barometer for external investors.

    When it comes to reintegration, donors have a role beyond promoting employment and
    training for ex-combatants or rebuilding service structures. This role is the promotion of civil
    society. In many fragile sociopolitical environments, NGOs and secular and religious groups are at
    work organizing reconciliation activities, open community meetings, and other activities for free
    and transparent public exchanges between formerly hostile groups and individuals.

  31. Bebenibogi Says:

    @ NBB – agree should include all victims, in fact the whole country, from all sides, who have suffered. And justice for all coups including 2006. One rule for all.
    @ Taukei – excellent research – with all due respect, is there a chance you could summarise for us here with external links for the details.

  32. Bebenibogi Says:

    I still maintain that Fiji needs a small army. They have some important non direct combat roles eg. ceremonial, search and rescue, EEZ patrols, engineering, logistics eg. in natural disasters, perhaps a small home guard (reserves) … I don’ know? The RFMF has done some great things equally outdone by some autrocious stuff.

  33. Tim Says:

    If I can put 2 cents worth in, the examples of Costa Rica and elsewhere are evidence that it can be done. The consequences of not doing it properly have been experienced in Africa. I completely understand LuanBoys’s feelings but what people might deserve and what is practical can be two different things and only prolong the agony.
    Also let’s not pretend that because the RFMF has been reduced from a once proud institution to something akin to Blackwater, it can be returned to what it once was – Frank (and the Military Council) have all put paid to that idea. A cultural change is a gradual process. But the fact remains that the RFMF is unsustainable unless they want to be the military whores of the world – they’ll soon even become an embarassment to the United Nations if Frank remains at their helm. Even if for economic reasons alone.
    The downsizing needs to be gradual. As contributors have already shown, there are a plethora of alternatives for military personnel to engage in ranging from law enforcement in civilian life, to engineering, to environmental occupations. As long as rank and file can see that there are alternatives, they’re likely to be less threatened by the prospect.
    Even if they see their futures in some Military role, it could, and should be seen in a regional Pacific Force.
    I noted MM’s suggestion that Aus and NZ might lead – I’m pretty damn sure that the “elite” Frank’s of this world would see that as a threat. Unfortunately the Australian and NZ Military have got his number well pegged. It might mean more of an international input where Aus and NZ did not lead in order to kick the process off and there is no reason why capable people from elsewhere in the Pacific shouldn’t be involved.
    Don’t forget the Military Council are paranoic – it has rubbed off from Frank. Which is probably why the likes of Michael Field suggest an amnesty.
    More later – screeming kids

  34. LUVfiji Says:

    Well, at least we have some level headed with us. Vinaka Bebenibogi! I totally agree with your contribution. Bless you!

  35. Linus Says:

    Man, I just read this in the F/Times on line

    Coup plunged nation into chaos: Party

    Monday, May 19, 2008

    Update: 3:26PM The 2000 coup plunged the nation into months of chaos, unleashed untold violence, terror, destruction and suffering to hundreds of innocent rural families.

    Suffering was from Muaniweni to Dreketi in the Northern Division, says Fiji Labour Party president Jokapeci Koroi.

    There can be no mitigation for the perpetrators of such heinous acts against the people of Fiji who were driven by greed, racism and lust for power, she said.

    Mrs Koroi denounced the recent call by ousted Opposition leader Mick Beddoes for amnesty for George Speight and his collaborators.

    The stupid brain-dead cow, wot the F#%K has this coup done for 18 months to ALL of Fiji. If that is the thinking [if it can think] of FLP Presi.! Then God saves us from the rest of their idiots.

  36. Tim Says:

    Back – yes there is justification for a small RFMF, although not necessarily in any way looking like it does at the moment.
    Geographically Fiji is a hub. If it carries on the path it is at the moment, that hub is likely to shift slightly eastwards.
    If the likes of Frank and the old guard that seem to think everyone owes them a living at the expense of what is important to Fiji, and only on the basis of some sort of inherited and ill-gained position rather than through achievement and mana, then the RFMF has a chance – i.e. as a downsized regional force – defensive, and involved in both local and regional protection of things Pacific.
    That’ll be when the rank and file realise Frank and cohorts have no mana other than that which comes with a gun and a small penis

  37. EnufDictatorship Says:

    budhau says:
    may 19, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    \’you can’t be doing it as payback for bainimarama and the soldiers who are in the army now\’…

    [this is not payback. it is rational thinking to nip the problem at the bud (or butt).]

    this can not be politicized – remember qarase had made if part of his election campaign – the white paper on defense – that would have reduced the size of the military by 50%.
    qarase was playing politics with this making it a election issue – flp was opposed to this.

    [Of course, FLP would bcos they are cowards like these military personnel who will threaten our lives with guns instead of taking it to the polls and be man enough to live with the results. case in point here..Jokapeci and her nonsense train of thought in the dailies today.]

    so the problem in not how we are going to downsize and ultimately eliminate the army – the question is whether we can agree that the army is no longer needed for our country.

    [ Well Budhau, u may be the only one that doesn\’t agree. really, i bet you, most layman ordinary citizens will see it fitting that we no longer need an army of this number to protect us bcos all they have been doing is threatening our lives/freedom/prosperity with their guns. period!]

  38. EnufDictatorship Says:

    @FijiGirl….Thanks for the vote-of-confidence Girl but I guess for now, I will just stick to my day-job and parenting! (wink wink)

    At least, the seeds are being sown in these blogs (take note upcoming politicians), and when the TIME is right, I may think of taking up politics..IF the other half is willing to support me, I guess…and IF I still have the ENERGEEEEEEEEE!!!!

    Maybe Taukei..can take it on further…he has my vote too..Go Taukei! Go Obama!

  39. NobleBannerBlue Says:

    Some development at last – hopefully this leads to a move towards democractic govt and a realisation that this IG has no idea what it is doing….

    Breakthrough: Bainimarama meets Qarase
    19 MAY 2008

    Fiji’s ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase faced the man who removed him today in a meeting brokered by the leaders of Fiji’s two largest Christian churches.

    The meeting between Qarase and interim PM Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama took place at the Parliament complex at around 4pm.

    Qarase said the meeting, which lasted 45 minutes, was facilitated by the head of the Catholic Church Archbishop Petero Mataca and the President of the Methodist Church Reverand Laisiasa Ratabacaca.

    “They have been working behind the scene for some weeks trying to get a meeting between Bainimarama and myself,” he told Fijilive.

    Qarase described the meeting as “informal” and “casual”.

    “We discussed one or two issues. It was a good meeting,” he said.

    “We have agreed to meet again in future to continue dialogue.

    “It’s a positive development. I hope it continues.”

    In the past weeks, the interim Government has admitted that in needs the support of Fiji’s political leaders to implement reforms and take the country forward following the 2006 coup.

    Bainimarama and the main political leaders are expected to meet at the end of this month.

    Fiji’s development partners, including the UN and Commonwealth are also expected to have representatives at the political forum.

  40. Tebara Says:

    We have to consider the economical impact the Military forces will have on our nation should the nation in the future decides to banish this institution.

    For so long, our Military forces have been serving in Peacekeeping duties under the UN flag. In Dec at the time of the military coup Fiji had 275 troops serving in UN Peacekeeping missions. A report published by the UN on April 2007 ranked Fiji 48th in its Military and Police Peacekeeping Contribution Operation well above Australia(67th) and NZ(80th).

    Post 2006 Coup with the lobbying of Clarke and Howard for UN to ban Fijis Military soldiers from participating in PK Operations, the UN was adamant to keep Fijis forces and issued a statement that it will study Fijis situation on a ‘Case by Case Basis’.

    We have a world reknowned peace keeping forces. I believe the solution is not on how we should banished and retrain the soldiers. Downsize the military if need be. Emphasis should be placed on accountability and having different defense force high ranking personnel subjected to rigorous training on what their roles within their boundaries are and what is expected of them from the public.

    Whole new system set in place, also targeting what is the role of the President within our society and in case of emergency of the nation. As his position was not voted in by the Public. Therefore, it is only fair and just that he/she should come under the command and leadership of the Prime Minister. He should never be above the PM in making decision that will drastically alter our nations cause. While at it, qualifications to the President as of a Chiefly status only should now be banished. WE need to put in place those we can trust our livelihood with rather than he who unashamedly milk money out of poor mans pocket.

  41. Mark Manning Says:

    I was pleased to read one article in the times today , stating that there should be no amnesty for people involved in the 2000 coup . Sadly though , there are still people not prosecuted for their part . It’s especially sad , given that people were killed .
    To have people still not held accountable after 8 years is part of the catalyst toward further coups .
    With no deterrent in place , let’s have another one because I know I won’t be punished .
    The forgiving nature within the Fijian community is one of it’s strengths , but in matters this serious , it’s the rule of law which must apply , not communal law . Or why else have the rule of law .
    If Fiji is to stop the coup culture , it must pursue all , from all coups and bring them to justice .

  42. Mark Manning Says:

    So let it be written , so let it be done !

  43. Katalina Balawanilotu Says:


  44. Tasiriki Says:

    HI…cud sum1 advise me on a dilemma???…As much as I do not support this regime…is it only right to snub a meeting or gathering in protest of their illegal regime….!!!!!…

  45. lauan boy Says:

    whose gives a shit what happen’s to the soldiers when the military is abolished…..did they ever consider these things when staging the coup and removing ppl from the civil service left, right & centre.
    the soldiers r trainned to survive any enviroment … surely they will survive unemployment…their families …. fuck them. shit who cares …. what about families whose fathers, breadwinners were lost as a result of the military torture & assault. those families who indirectly suffer hardship becoz the economy is declining, those of us who invested alot when the previous govt was doing very well and we dreamed that a coup would never take place again after 2000.

    like I keep saying – these soldiers [top to bottom] and the indians who supported this coup and u indians out there who silently practice racism…..u will all pay for this misery on the fijians and the community.

    mate yani bakola. se yawa na cici qo….totolo ga mai na ELECTION….or let me say – election or no election nomuni kawa na sotia na mate mai. moni sauma na cala levu kei na rarawa keimami sotava tu qo na i taukei.

    ni yavu sotia sonalevu lamusona.

  46. bodyguard Says:

    maleka ….

  47. anon Says:

    Hey lauan boy, relax mada.

  48. Orosi Qaranivalu Says:

    @ anon Sekai. Dina tiko vei Lauan Boy.

    @ Tasiriki, go ahead with your boycotting meetings and gatherings lots of people will be happy with those moves just make sure the media is there to take full view on camera so they can out it to the wire across the globe okay mate. Next time be crystal clear what exactly you want. Your statement is contradictory. Or are you one of those deflectors that Barafen and Jitoko made mention 2 weeks ago.

    Just imagine the Stadium in total freeze to free fiji for a full 5 minutes with the media at every angle to take it all in and then feed the world. Fiji Silenced will be one proud dude for putting out that idea.

  49. Taukei Says:

    Well put, lauan boy! Vinaka

    “like I keep saying – these soldiers [top to bottom] and the indians who supported this coup and u indians out there who silently practice racism
..u will all pay for this misery on the fijians and the community.”

    EVERYONE MUST PAY – everybody, one way or another.

  50. Tebara Says:


  51. Katalina Balawanilotu Says:

    Might have been better phrased by LB but nonetheless highly convincing

    @ OQaranivalu picture that ? 5 minutes of total ‘freeze to free fiji’ by the multitudes in that Stadium gives me the goosebumps . It will WOW the world! Healined KIDS FREEZE TO FREE FIJI. Will easily shake up the camp on the ground ni tamata rawarawa nona rere; recall Bai’s statement @ the IG’s meeting with the media council to Rika that his editorial following Hanah’s deportation scared him or something to that effect and we are bowing this lamusona of a being is almost embarrassing

  52. Litea Vuki Says:

    That is catchy

    Fiji Kids Freeze to Free Fiji

    What’s happened to the T-Shirts design by SV. Any movement there? Lots of Fijians in China and even right there in Beijing for theat matter who can reproduce cheaply.

  53. Vasiti Osborne Says:

    Discuss this further Jese and Jose . What are we doing to move the crowds onto the streets. Se va cava ra gone. Take our fight from cyber space to another level should be the most exciting agenda at this time eh?….

  54. Jese Waqalekaleka Says:

    2 childish.

    Au sala laki moce.

  55. Vasiti Osborne Says:

    Why? kua ni dro. Tiko mada. Tou talanoa.

  56. Jese Waqalekaleka Says:

    rawa ni da talanoa?

  57. Jese Waqalekaleka Says:

    Can I ask u Roko Tui Bau?

    What’s makes Barinimarama different?

  58. Jese Waqalekaleka Says:

    Maybe VO can Assist?

  59. Jese Waqalekaleka Says:


    se kuca?

  60. Jese Waqalekaleka Says:

    Sa donu?

    Qia kaya buto.

  61. Tasiriki Says:

    @OQ..if I sounded contraditory….that was not my intention……REST ASSURED!!!!….There are other factors affecting this dilemma…..


    U..see our position is one of peril really……we have been asked to perform for this upcoming which YOUR HIGHLY LEADER FRANK will be present….We have expressed our views to our organisation that to take part would be to PORTRAY to the public back home of OUR support to this ILLEGAL REGIME!!!. which I HIGHLY DONT!! …..Even though the many among us have given arguments that it is just performing & all this shit….We(my frens & I) have continually stressed that we refrain from even performing….

    The debate here is that we as the future of a prominet profession that is now spiraling downwardss..we should take a stand & Say NO to this illegal regime …even if it means sumthing as meagre as not performing…..


  62. FijiGirl Says:

    Tasiriki – Why don’t you perform, but do so wearing a teeshirt or other item which clearly proclaims your support for democracy in Fiji? Your item could read “Free and Fair Elections in Fiji Now” or “Fiji Constitution Is Supreme Law” or “Rule of Law – Unbeatable”.

    Sorry that my suggestions lack wit and zest, but I’m sure you can see what I mean.

    God bless Fiji

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