Jubilant Agreement supporters celebrate outside Belfast Waterfront Hall following the meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council. The council voted to back their leader David Trimbe, to enter a power-sharing government with Sinn Fein by 480 votes to 349. * Members of the Ulster Unionists' 858-strong ruling council voted by 480 to 349.

Disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration efforts

How Peace Came to Northern Ireland

July 2017, Number 08.03

“The effective disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of groups that previously supported violence is key to the long-term resolution of any conflict, especially the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The DDR process is meant to give breathing room to political actors by taking violence — and the means to carry out violence — completely out of the equation. In Northern Ireland, the intent was to disarm paramilitary organizations and to take previously violent individuals and reintegrate them peacefully, economically and politically. As described by Alpaslan Ozerdem of the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University, the official end of hostilities to a conflict does not guarantee a lasting peace, but rather it signals the beginning of a long and complex peace-building process. The process creates a significant number of former combatants who must be reintegrated into society, and many societies, including Northern Ireland, lack the economic strength to successfully reintegrate such large numbers into the workforce. Ozerdem also states that if left without a job or a new role in post-conflict society, restless former combatants can threaten stability and increase the possibility of the resumption of hostilities...”

Excerpt from Andrew Upshaw, “How Peace Came to Northern Ireland,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 8, No. 3, 2017: 36-41.

Capt. Andrew Upshaw is a graduate of PASS 2015.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.