Reintegration of Former Soldiers of the Haitian Armed Forces
thesisposted on 2012-12-13, 00:00 authored by Nixon M. Camilien
Reintegration of Former Soldiers of the Haitian Armed Forces NIXON MOMBRUN CAMILIEN Department of Criminology, Law and Justice University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, Illinois (2012) Chair: John Hagedorn This is a study about problems with the reintegration of former soldiers of the Haitian Armed Forces (FAd’H). In dialogue with the relevant literature, I applied three variables measuring reintegration through interviews to a sample of 32 former FAd’H soldiers, namely 1) employment status, 2) ties to former commanders, and 3) stake in the political process. I also used written documents and informal conversations to enhance the analysis. The research found that FAd’H did not embrace demobilization and reintegration; instead, they advocate and pursue remobilization more for economic than ideological reasons. There exist networks of communication that allows FAd’H soldiers to maintain a military identity and sustain hope of resuming their military career. In addition, the demobilization and reintegration program (DRP) that was implemented to facilitate the reintegration of soldiers as civilians was at best ineffective for the long term reintegration of demobilized FAd’H soldiers. This failure of the DRP to have a long term positive impact raises serious questions about theories and implementation of Demobilization, Disarmament, and Reintegration (DDR). In the end, this research establishes that the government should officially retire all FAd’H with a financial settlement and a legally binding agreement. This would address the grievances of demobilized soldiers and cut the risk of spoilage activities by taking away the legitimacy of their grievances. Then, the constitutional issue must be addressed by either amending the constitution (Article 276-2) to abolish FAd’H or by recruiting a new generation of soldiers. This would delegitimize any future use of the name of FAd’H by illegal armed groups.