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News Roundup: 21 July – 27 July By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR Weekly | Jul 28, 2014

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Security Sector Reform Resource Centre

Surrender or tactical deceit – has the FDLR really given up the fight?

Is the UN’s Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), which famously routed the M23 rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last year, now snatching defeat from the jaws of a complete victory against all disruptive forces in the region? –Peter Fabricius (Republished with permission from the Institute for Security Studies)

No Military Reform for Egypt

Egyptians are worried that their country could be heading towards further instability. But, when it comes to national security matters, Egyptians agree that the territorial integrity of the country must be preserved. This is where the Egyptian army knows and understands that it can rely on strong popular backing. Security sector reform is needed for Egypt, but it is unlikely that President Sisi will make any decision that could threaten the military’s interests. –Barah Mikail

ISIS’ Success in Iraq: A Testimony to Failed Security Sector Reform

The pace with which the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Shām (ISIS) was able to seize territory in Iraq since June 2014 has been mindboggling. What has been a stunning military success for the foreign mujahedeen of ISIS, can only be described as a humiliating defeat for Iraq’s security sector. –Andreas Krieg



Turkey: PKK disarmament not far away, deputy PM says

According to the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Turkey’s Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), an outlawed rebel group, may begin disarming. This new development comes after recent signs that a peaceful solution to resolve the Kurdish issue may be possible. –Hurriyet Daily News

Central African Republic factions announce ceasefire

After almost a year of conflict in the Central African Republic, two of the country’s armed groups have signed a ceasefire agreement. The agreement was reached in neighbouring Congo-Brazzaville and was signed by the predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels and the largely Christian militia known as the “anti-Balaka.” –BBC

Kenya: Agency keeps sharp eye on security crackdowns

A new body has formed in Kenya to monitor the country’s security agencies. The Independent Policing Oversight Authority, formed by a number of grassroots organizations, will specifically be watching the police and military for human rights abuses. –Fred Mukinda, Daily Nation

DRC: NGOs against MONUSCO drones for humanitarian work

A number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have declined an offer from the UN mission MONUSCO to use drones for humanitarian information gathering. They indicate that it would blur the lines between military and humanitarian forces, since MONUSCO is a party to the conflict. –IRIN News

Ukraine: EU establishes mission to advise on civilian security sector reform

The European Union (EU) announced last week the creation of a new civilian advisory mission to work with the government of Ukraine on security sector reform and strengthening the rule of law. The mission, named the EU Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform in Ukraine (EUAM Ukraine), will carry a two-year mandate with €2.68 million already allocated for start-up costs. –EU Neighborhood Info Centre

African Union: Disarmament Process to Begin in CAR

The African Union is planning to launch a disarmament process in the Central Africa Republic (CAR). The new initiative, which will be carried out jointly by the UN and 6,000 African Union troops, is the result of a ceasefire agreement signed on July 23. –FARS News Agency

South Sudan rebels break ceasefire – UNMISS

According to officials from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), South Sudanese rebels violated a ceasefire agreement last week by attempting to recapture an old headquarters. The rebels responded by declaring that they acted only in “self-defence.” –BBC

Targeting CAR’s predators

A new report from the UN’s sanctions committee provides a detailed inventory of the individuals and groups implicated in major human rights abuses in the Central Africa Republic (CAR). The sanctions committee report complements previous work done by the UN panel of experts on CAR. –IRIN News

From Tigers to Barbers: Tales of Sri Lanka’s Ex-Combatants

This article presents stories of former fighters from Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers currently taking part in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs across the country. –Amantha Perera, Inter Press Service



Why Do Peacebuilding Interventions Often Fail?

Despite a growing body of research and many previous examples, peacebuilding interventions nevertheless often fail. This article presents an interview with Severine Autesserre, whose new book explores peacebuilding in the Democratic Republic of Congo. –Laura Seay, The Duck of Minerva

Avoiding victor’s justice in Cote D’Ivoire

It is always difficult to ensure that post-conflict justice is based upon the principles of justice, and not vengeance. This tension is especially prevalent in Cote D’Ivoire where opponents of the current regime say the treatment of former president Laurent Gbagbo is tantamount to “revenge by the winning side.” –Liesl Louw-Vaudran, Institute for Security Studies

Lessons from Bosnia: what is the real impact of peacekeeping?

Using data from the Bosnian war, this article explores the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations. Using the case of Bosnia during the 1990s, it argues that there was no significant connection between the presence of UN peacekeepers and the reduction of violence. –Stefano Costalli, London School of Economics Research on South Eastern Europe

Analysis: Conflict dynamics on Kenya’s coast

More than a hundred people are dead following a series of attacks by gunmen along Kenya’s southeastern coast over the past six weeks. There is no consensus on who is behind the attacks. –Obinna Anyadike, IRIN News

Is cantonment the key to success in Mali’s negotiations?

The government of Mali and rebels from the country’s north began talks last week in an effort to resolve a long-standing conflict. If these talks are to be successful they should focus on “cantonment,” a process that would restrict the movement of armed groups after extracting them from the conflict zone. –Ibrahim Maiga, Institute for Security Studies



Security Sector Reform, Local Ownership and Community Engagement

Despite a recognition that local ownership is key for successful security sector reform (SSR), there is gap between the notion of local ownership and its implementation in active SSR programs. This article explores many of the obstacles to successfully embedding local ownership, including limited capacity, time and cost constraints, and a lack of expertise. –Eleanor Gordon, Stability: International Journal of Security and Development