Skip to main content

Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration in Ethiopia: What to Expect

January 31, 2023
Júlia Palik


In analysis for Political Violence At A Glance, an IGCC-supported blog dedicated to political violence and its alternatives, Júlia Palik, a senior researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, analyzes what disarmament, demobilization, & reintegration in Mozambique, the Philippines, and Nepal portend for peace between Ethiopia and the TPLF.

In November 2022, the government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) signed a peace agreement to end two years of conflict which killed thousands and displaced millions of people. The Pretoria agreement calls for the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of the TPLF. It stipulates an overly ambitious timeline according to which TPLF fighters have to disarm heavy and light weapons within 30 days of the signing of the agreement. Two weeks after the deal the parties specified that the TPLF is to disarm when foreign forces—i.e., fighters from Eritrea and the Amhara region—leave Tigray. While the TPLF did not disarm by the initial deadline, in early January, TPLF members began to hand in their heavy weapons. Although the process has started, the Tigray presidential spokesperson said that disarmament could take months, if not years to complete.

What can previous DDR processes tell us about the likely outcomes of the Pretoria deal?

DDR programs are generally thought to prevent conflict recurrence, but the global evidence to support this claim is thin. Yet donors continue to fund DDR projects that may not be able to deliver the proposed outcomes.

To better understand the impact of DDR programs, our team has been collecting cross-national data on DDR provisions in peace agreements. While this work is still underway, we’ve learned four key lessons that provide clues about how the TPLF’s DDR process may fare.

Read the full blog post at Political Violence At A Glance.