The opaque equation of how to best disarm rebels has stumped policy makers, frustrated governments, and caused continued violence. Cash-transfers, community reintegration measures,  and job training programs have all had fairly dismal results. Now, MONUC is on the cutting-edge of disarmament policy in the DRC. They’re using the hotline:

MONUC peacekeepers are using broadcasts from mobile radio stations, mobile phones and leaflets air-dropped over hostile territory, to encourage rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, FDLR to quit the bush in eastern Congo and accept safe passage to Rwanda. The news of peaceful homecomings and the mass distribution of mobile telephone numbers to call when rebels want to surrender their weapons, made it possible for rebels like Colonel Ngoboka Rachid of the rebel Group ‘Raliement Pour Unite’ et la Democratie’ (RUD) to surrender to MONUC in the remote village of Mashuta in Luofu, North Kivu last month.

Facilitating access for rebels who want to disarm is key. Setting up a hotline is a great way to do that. I imagine the message on the helpline starts something like:

Than you for calling MONUC’s 1-800-I’m-A-Rebel hotline. If you are a member of the FDLR, press 1. If you are a member of the APCLS, press 2. Mai Mai, press 3….


Filed under Uncategorized

3 responses to “1-800-I-Am-A-Rebel

  1. As always, love your wit and tone. But MONUC’s been doing this awhile, no? I have in hand leaflets dropped in July 2008… and the radio station thing has been going on awhile. Is there something MONUC-strategic behind pushing this as a recent thing?

  2. grant

    Jina – You’re absolutely right; these types of campaigns have been going on for a while now. However, their recent coverage in the media has started emphasizing the ‘call-in’ option for rebels. I imagine that most rebels aren’t reading MONUC.com, so there is no policy change. Really, I think they are trying to shake up their public image by re-representing their DDR policies and such.

  3. I Grant. I love this piece. The idea sounds amazing though just like the previous commenter says, I’m a little bit dubious of the results of this initiative.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s