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By Nat J. Colletta

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If necessary, these subgroups can be disaggregated further. For instance, the disabled can be categorized as less severely, moderately, or more severely disabled. Within each of these subgroups, ex-combat-ants from either faction should receive equal treatment, unless the terms and conditions of service differ explicitly. Multiple support strategies based on such categorization could be designed to be mutually reinforcing and could be presented as a needs-based, differentiated, relevant, and cost-effective menu-style approach.

In such circumstances a preliminary profile can be prepared on the basis of data gathered in focus group interviews conducted during encampment and merged with general information on countrywide economic development. Concurrently, a rapid qualitative assessment of the community and organizational structures can be undertaken. In principle, the survey of ex-combatants could include the identification of the needs of spouses and children, even though ex-combat-ants may not be able to report accurately on the needs of their family members.

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 reconstructing material assets and building human and social capital. Continental demilitarization is a precondition for reviving civil society, reducing poverty, and sustaining development in Africa.

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