In the past few years, several countries in sub-Saharan Africa conducted large scale demobilisation. This is a positive sign that would create opportunities for sustainable peace and human development. However, demobilisation is a complex process. It is closely linked to security issues, and the impact of demobilisation depends largely on whether former combatants are able to reintegrate into society. Demobilised soldiers and guerrilla fighters usually have great difficulties to re-establish themselves in civilian life. Frustrated former combatants may jeopardise the peace and development process. Based on recent experiences, this article identifies some of the risks involved in demobilisation and several conditions that have to be met if demobilisation is to attain a lasting and positive impact on peace and development in Africa.