News Roundup: 6 January - 12 January By: Matthew Redding | SSR Weekly | Jan 13, 2014

Want to keep up to date on the SSR field? Once a week, the SSR Resource Centre posts pertinent news articles, reports, projects and updates on SSR related events over the past week. Click here to sign-up for the SSR Weekly newsletter and have the News Roundup delivered straight to your inbox every week!


Erdogan Purges Police at Risk of Threatening Turkish Democracy

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has conducted a series of purges and reassignments within the police force and judiciary that critics say is aimed at quelling a corruption investigation. Critics are labelling this as a sign of Erdogan’s increasing authoritarianism, while the Prime Minister has justified the purges as necessary in order to prevent the formation of a “state within a state” from inside these institutions – Charles Recknagel, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Backing the New Development Deal for Fragile States

This article discusses the creation of the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States, reviewing how it came into existence as a result of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding forum. The purpose of the New Deal is to address questions concerning aid effectiveness and to help prevent aid dependency. The New Deal places a heavy emphasis on supporting nationally-owned and led development initiatives to “test and strengthen” national institutions.  Aid provision should then be adjusted based on national context and with a mutual level of accountability between donors and recipients. It highlights Somalia as the first country to sign a New Deal agreement as well as the fragility assessment in Liberia that has taken place in preparation for a unique New Deal agreement there. The article concludes with calls for further support for the new deal on fragile states – Siafa Hage, The Guardian

Kenya to Eliminate Police Prosecutors as part of Judicial Reforms

The government of Kenya has begun phasing out police prosecutors in favor of state prosecutors to ensure that every case will eventually be prosecuted solely by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP). Achievement of this goal faces several challenges, including the fact that remuneration has been unable to keep up with the personnel needs of a rapidly expanding judiciary. The changes are said to be a measure to ensure that there is more access to justice for citizens and to replace the less competent police prosecutors – Juliet Onyango, Zegabi – East Africa News

Project Links Jail, Police and Judiciary

The Supreme Court of India has initiated a police and judicial reform project in which three pilot programs have begun in two districts of Delhi. The initiative seeks to enhance interoperability between the police, judiciary and jails to integrate agencies such as courts, police stations, prisons and forensic labs. These institutions will all operate within the same judicial data grid, an information system which is intended to make available relevant information regarding pending cases, allow judicial administration to design solutions for problem areas and help in resource management, all using innovative tools like SMS – Pradeep Thakur, The Times of India

Turkish Police Power needs to be Limited, Report Says

The Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) recently released a damning report titled “The Spirit of the Police Laws in Turkey: Legislative Discourses, Instruments and Mentality” on the police and their brutal use of force during protests in 2013. The report called for sweeping reforms to bring democratization efforts in line with the protection of individual human rights, as opposed to state security in Turkey. The report highlights other negative appraisals of Turkish policing by the EU and points to practices like “state of emergency” policing entrenched through anti-terror laws as examples of state, as opposed to citizen, security. Although some positive developments seen in the modest changes to anti-terror laws were cited as encouraging, they were still seen as short-term, rather than transformative.

ECOWAS pledges support for Mali, Guinea Bissau reforms

In its most recent newsletter, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) stated that they will continue to support the transition process in Mali and Guinea-Bissau. Thus far, support has taken the form of assessments, human rights monitoring, electoral assistance and the Security and Defence Sector Reform Programme in Guinea-Bissau. Continued assistance in these areas is planned, along with further assistance in disaster relief management and early warning assessments – Augustine Aminu, Daily Times


The European Union and Occupied Palestinian Territories: Statebuilding without a State

This book analyses the present European Union (EU) approach to state-building, both in policy and operation before examining in detail the EU’s role as a state-builder in the case of the Occupied Palestinian Territories following the 1993 Oslo Accords. Examining security sector reform, judiciary sector reform and the rule of law, the book brings the ‘voices from the field’ to the forefront and measures the contribution of the EU to state-building against a backdrop of on-going conflict and a polarised social setting – Dimitris Bouris

Gender Equality in Peacebuilding and Statebuilding

The aim of this Guidance Paper is to provide practical programming guidance to mainstream gender into international efforts in support of peacebuilding and statebuilding processes. This includes an integrated ‘high-level’ theory of change which sets out the building blocks for supporting gender-responsive peacebuilding and statebuilding. This is premised not on prescriptive best practice, but on guiding the elaboration of programmatic theories of change to underpin intervention choices that enable a best-fit approach adapted  to context-specific conditions – Pilar Domingo and Rebecca Holmes, Overseas Development Institute


Security Sector Reform Resource Centre

Centre for Security Governance eSeminar Report – Libya: Dealing with the Militias and Advancing Security Sector Reform

The Centre for Security Governance (CSG) has produced its first eSeminar Summary Report from its inaugural eSeminar on militia demobilization and security sector reform in Libya. The report is being released in conjunction with the recorded videos of the speaker’s presentations and the discussion period, available individually on YouTube at the links provided. The report provides a summary of the speaker’s presentations and synthesizes the primary conclusions drawn from the presentations, the discussion period, and the polling questions posed to the participants throughout the event. The eSeminar series is ongoing and the next event “Afghanistan National Security Forces beyond 2014: Will they be Ready?” will be held in early February – Matthew Redding, Centre for Security Governance


Commitment to Development Index 2013

The Commitment to Development Index is a tool that ranks 27 of the world’s richest nations on the quality and effectiveness of aid provided to lower-income states. The ranking system examines seven particular areas of aid provision: Quantity and quality of foreign aid: Openness to exports; Policies that encourage investment and financial transparency; Openness to migration; Environmental policies; Promotion of international security; and Support for technology creation and transfer. This is an important resource for helping to ensure donor state accountability and aid effectiveness – Center for Global Development

Analysis: The U.S. is giving up on Middle-East Democracy – and That’s a Mistake

This analysis by Shadi Hamid critiques the U.S. approach to the Arab Spring countries, which has allegedly become too “militarized” and is neglecting necessary democratic and institutional reforms. Hamid asserts that the Obama Administration’s approach to crises in the Middle-East has been ad-hoc and too heavily focused on counter-terror measures. The effect has been a retrenchment of authoritarian practices and violent upheaval. He then argues for a new Multilateral Endowment for Reform (MER) that would provide a significant amount of financial support to reform key institutions such as the security and justice sectors, law enforcement agencies and the judiciary, and would complement “retail” aspects of democratic politics, such as elections and campaigns – Shadi Hamid, Government Executive

Arab Police Reform: Returning to Square One?

This op-ed argues that security sector reform, particularly of the police in most Arab Spring countries has stalled, stymied by various factors, including partisan transitional politics in countries like Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen. It outlines the various obstacles to reform experienced in these countries and states that a truly successful transition depends on comprehensive and effective security sector reform. To allow security forces to continue down the path of increasing impunity will mirror the very conditions that led to the revolutionary calls that sparked the Arab Spring – Yezid Sayigh, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

#ForesightAfrica: Top Priorities for Africa in 2014

The Brookings Institution brought together a diverse panel of leading experts on Africa to discuss the greatest challenges Africa will face in 2014. The panelists included: Ambassador Robin Renee Sanders, former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Congo and Nigeria; Makhtar Diop, Vice President for Africa at the World Bank; John Prendergast, Co-Founder of the Enough Project; Amadou Sy, Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institute; and Bright Simons, President of mPedigree Network. The discussion centered on the steps necessary to maintain and advance economic growth and the challenges and strategies to overcoming increased instability and conflict in Africa and included a focus on the importance of improved security sector reform. The video can be viewed online at the link provided – Katrien Hinderdael, The Enough Project