The sensitization mechanisms for foreign armed groups are multidimensional. This mechanism is to ensure that these illegal armed groups are sensitized to the DDRRR processes, unfolding developments in their home countries, packages and benefits they will accrue when they enter the voluntary DDRRR process. The DDR/RR Section’s objective is to ensure that ex-combatants of foreign armed groups return home in peace, dignity, and security. As a result, various sensitization components have been put in place to give impetus to this initiative. They include:
Mobile Radio Stations: There are 14 mobile radio stations deployed in strategic locations in North and South Kivu, and Oriental provinces. These stations are vital to the sensitization efforts because they enable the DDRRR section to reach out to its clients in remote locations. Considering that these illegal foreign armed groups are always on the move, these mobile stations are so portable that they allow the teams to follow and target them with specific messages produced by national and international staff. Each mobile radio broadcasts covers about 50 kilometers radius. The mobile radio stations compliment the UN radio, OKAPI, especially in areas where its signals do not cover.
Leaflets: The production of leaflets is a component of the sensitization mechanism. In the past two years, nearly 500 thousand leaflets targeting the FDLR, LRA and the ADF armed groups have been produced and distributed. The messages are written in the languages of the combatants. These leaflets explain how to enter the DDRRR process, how to contact MONUSCO, where they should go, and what they should expect once they enter the voluntary DDRRR program. Most of these leaflets are distributed through airdrops.
Photo-flyers: The Public Information cell of the DDRRR section produces flyers containing photos of ex-combatants who turn up in the DDRRR transit camps in eastern DR Congo and Rwanda. The photos are distributed by helicopters and DDRRR sensitizers in the field. Opinion poll indicates that the combatants prefer these flyers because they are anxious to see their friends, relatives, and loved ones on the flyers. The photos are meant to convince those who continued to remain in the forest that their colleagues have returned home. The back of each flyer carries a special message encouraging the remaining combatants to enter the DDRRR process.
Face to face interaction with combatants in the forest: Most of our sensitizers are trained and deployed into the field where they can easily have contacts with our clients. This proximity helps us to sensitize and convince them to enter the voluntary DDRRR process. Our sensitizers are usually escorted by contingents of MONUSCO deployed in the area.