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News Roundup: 2 September - 8 September By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR Weekly | Sep 8, 2013

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U.S. Lifts Restrictions on Bilateral Assistance to Mali

Following President Keita’s inauguration as President of Mali, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State signed a determination affirming that democratic transition has occurred. This will see the restoration of aid to Mali after restrictions were placed in the wake of the 2012 military coup. Aid will largely prioritize security sector reform to instill professional norms and reassert civilian authority, accountability mechanisms, and the rule of law – Marie Harf, U.S. Department of State.

EU-Lebanon: new support to improve security and social cohesion

The European Union announced new financial support to Lebanon, much of which will support the Lebanese security sector and improve the effectiveness and democratic control of the Lebanese security agencies. This assistance is part of the EU’s Multi-Annual Indicative Programme 2011-2013, a central pillar of which is security sector reform – European Union Press Release.

Swaziland’s Independence Day, security-police style

Independence Day in Sawziland has been marred by police and military interference in the Global Inquiry Panel, a forum that is in the country to hear about ongoing labour and human rights violations. Several arrests were made without warrant and the meeting was closed down. This is a continuing trend in Africa’s last monarchical state that bodes ill for the prospect of true democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law – Daily Maverick

South Sudan: Minister of Defence Promises Reform in South Sudanese Army

The new minister of defence and veteran affairs, Kuoul Manyang Juuk has promised to reform the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) by increasing salaries and weeding out ghost names. This comes amidst fears that President Kiir may begin targeting opposition with the support of the army - AllAfrica

Strong Judicial System Requires Upholding the Rights of the People; CJP

The Chief Justice of Pakistan stressed their responsibility to uphold individual rights in the face of new challenges to the judicial system. This includes social changes affected by factors like rapidly expanding technological services. He called for procedural and administrative reform as part of a larger process that has seen over 126 proposed reforms sent to the government by the Law and Justice Commission for implementation – Associated Press of Pakistan



How to Advance the Rule of Law Abroad

Rule of law reform is seen as essential to securing western foreign policy objectives in other countries. However, to date, success has been limited. This policy brief offers a series of recommendations that target international actors, practitioners and program designers to improve the record of “second generation” reform. Recommendations go beyond the delivery of aid to utilize a variety of tools, including diplomacy, enmeshment and bottom-up approaches – Rachel Kleinfeld, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The North Caucasus: The Challenges of Integration (III), Governance, Elections, Rule of Law

This Crisis Group report examines root causes of the ongoing violence in the North Caucuses. The report highlights deficits in democracy and good governance and points to repressive counter-terror tactics in Chechnya and Dagestan. Recommendations include the establishment of an independent judiciary and the rule of law to fight corruption, end abuses and restore confidence in the state – International Crisis Group



A Strategy to Reduce Gun trafficking and Violence in the Americas

High-powered weapons continue to flow from the United States to Latin America and the Caribbean, fueling violence, criminality and insecurity. U.S. Congress has refused to pass legislation to curtail this and are reluctant to accept multilateral treaties such as the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA). Absent such legislation, this policy innovation memorandum outlines various steps that the Obama administration can still take to stem the flow of illegal weapons – Julia E, Sweig, Council on Foreign Relations.

Military Assistance to Myanmar: Need for Balance

Recently the United States and Australia have resumed military assistance to Myanmar in response to democratic reforms in the country. This analysis argues that military assistance should be targeted and measured, as the military in Myanmar still has a long way to go to professionalize its military and bring it under civilian control. It is argued that assistance should help end human rights abuses by providing education and training, before continuing with further capacity-building – Christine M. Leah, Eurasia Review.

Nigeria: Turning the Tide of Violence?

The Nigerian Army has begun encouraging the formation of civilian vigilante groups to assist in the fight against Boko Haram. Al Jazeera’s Inside Story questions whether vigilante groups like the Civilian Joint Task Force add to the army’s ability to fight the insurgency, or merely escalate the violence through the unchecked use of force and by inviting further reprisals from Boko Haram. A number of experts and analysts join the discussion to debate the question of vigilantism in Nigeria’s conflict – Al Jazeera, Inside Story.

ISSAT/DCAF Introduction to Security Sector Reform

ISSAT/DCAF is now offering a free e-learning course developed in collaboration with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). This course provides an overview of SSR and its key principles, actors and contexts that are structured into four introductory lessons – DCAF/ISSAT