New SSR Logo - Final-page-0 (2)

News Roundup: 11 August – 17 August By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Aug 18, 2014

Want to keep up to date on the SSR field? Once a week, the CSG’s Security Sector Reform Resource Centre project posts pertinent news articles, reports, projects, and event updates on SSR over the past week. Click here to sign-up and have the SSR Weekly News Roundup delivered straight to your inbox every week!

Security Sector Reform Resource Centre

The Lesser Evil: When Does it Make Sense to Intervene on Behalf of Incumbents

The ability of violent groups to create positive and intentional change is frequently overstated, and only in rare cases of extreme state weakness or government brutality does a rebel group’s ascent to power potentially offer a less violent future. –Danny Hirschel-Burns

Goodbye Libya, and welcome to the Islamic Emirate of Banghazi

Without an army or effective civil service to exert its authority, Libya has been relying on a hodgepodge of local militia groups to guard key institutions and to keep itself in nominal power. Unsurprisingly, this has proved an unreliable foundation on which to construct a new state: and it’s already falling apart. –Simon Allison (republished with the permission of the Institute for Security Studies).

SSR, Local Ownership, and Community Engagement

Local ownership is widely considered to be one of the core principles of successful security sector reform (SSR) programmes. Nonetheless, a gap remains between policy and practice. —Eleanor Gordon

Roadblocks to a Professional Security Sector in South Sudan

South Sudan’s security sector faces a multitude of issues, including lack of funds, lack of equipment, low institutional capacity, as well as poor training and education. Thus far, the government has made certain improvements in policy formation and in the provision of resources, equipment, and training for its forces. However, they have yet to successfully address two issues crucial for the achievement of a professional security sector:  disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR), which would help reduce the size of the armed forces, and ethnic patronage and ethnic imbalance within the army and police. —Margarita Yakovenko

Understanding Russia’s Proxy War in Eastern Ukraine

Since April 2014, Russia has been waging a proxy war in eastern Ukraine, through its increasingly escalating support of pro-Russian separatists. Although Moscow has repeatedly denied supporting the pro-Russian separatists, it is clear that these rebel militias are not some rag-tag grassroots self-defence organizations, but are actually well trained, well equipped, and seasoned fighters. –David Meadows


Centre for Security Governance

The CSG is pleased to partner with the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Wilfrid Laurier University’s Global Studies Department for an eSeminar series on “Contemporary Debates on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding,” funded by the International Development Research Centre.



Somalia: Cabinet meeting ratifies disarmament operations, calls arms dealer and militias to hand over their weapons

Somalia’s governing cabinet has rafted the country’s disarmament process and called on arms dealers and militias to set aside their weapons and surrender them to the ministry of national security. –RBC Radio

U.S. to bolster air, navy activity in northern Australia: source

As part of its “pivot” to Asia, designed to increase cooperation with regional ally Australia and project power into the Asia-Pacific region, the United States is planning to increase its military presence in Australia. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry were in Sydney last week to finalize an earlier agreement reached between President Obama and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. –Reuters

John Kerry: South Sudan ‘Well Past Moment Where Enough is Enough’

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has come out strongly in criticism of both sides involved in the conflict in South Sudan for not taking the peace process seriously enough and repeatedly failing to meet jointly agreed-upon deadlines. –Voice of America

UN troops disperse Haiti protestors supporting Aristide

UN troops came into conflict with protestors in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince last week. The protestors, who were largely supporters of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, had set up barricades outside his home, fearing his imminent arrest. –BBC News

Indonesia offers to mediate in sea row

Indonesia’s newly elected President has vowed that he will work with other countries in the region to help find diplomatic solutions to the numerous maritime disputes currently simmering in the Asia-Pacific region. –Bangkok Post

UN threatens S. Sudan leaders with sanctions

Following reports of an influx of new weapons into South Sudan, the UN has threatened the country with a new round of sanctions if the civil war does not stop. South Sudan is currently on the brink of a widespread famine, owing largely to months of fighting between the government and rebels. –Al Jazeera

Colombia sends more troops to ELN rebel stronghold

Colombia’s military has announced plans to send additional soldiers to one of its eastern provinces to deal with an influx of violence from the ELN, Colombia’s second biggest rebel group, which has been fighting the Colombia government for five decades. The announcement came hours after a prominent local politician was shot dead by ELN gunmen. –BBC News

Myanmar’s Incomplete Political Transition Is Not ‘Hunky-Dory,’ Says Kerry

There are increasing concerns about the stability of Myanmar as well as the progress of the country’s reforms. This concern was echoed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week, who affirmed that there is still significant progress to be made in Myanmar. –Christina Larson, Bloomberg Businessweek

President Park calls for reform of military culture following bullying deaths

Following three new soldier suicides this week, South Korea’s president has reemphasized the need to reform the country’s military culture, and deal with the problem of bullying within the armed forces. –Arirang News



Drug control efforts go local in Myanmar’s Kachin State

A new approach is being taken in Northern Myanmar to deal with the problem of rampant drug cultivation and use. Local authorities are introducing new crop-substitution programs and community-led campaigns to alter perceptions around drug use, in an attempt to deal with the drug problem. –IRIN News

Does the Ebola Epidemic Threaten Liberia’s Peace?

The Ebola crisis has presented as a major test to Liberia’s security sector, as the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) continues to drawdown. So far, security incidents have been relatively minor. But there are serious concerns about whether or not Liberia’s domestic security forces will be equipped to handle any further escalations. –Sabrina Karim, Huffington Post

Governments and CSOs: A peacebuilding partnership?

Partnership with civil society organizations is one way that US officials can avoid having their efforts to foster peace and development throughout the world be demised as meddling in the cultural belief systems of recipient countries. —Jeff Tyson, devex



Reforming the SPLM: A requisite for peace and nation building

A key aspect of any comprehensive plan to bring peace to South Sudan will require transformation and reform of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). Of particular importance is ensuring that the SPLM’s political structures are demilitarized, that its militias are demobilized, and that it develops a truly meritocratic and structured processes for leadership and decision-making. –Paula Cristina Roque, Institute for Security Studies

Obama’s Bombshell

Air strikes in Iraq may pose serious problems for Obama in the future. Though they may be necessary to achieve U.S. objectives in Iraq, they could bring with them a wide range of unintended consequences. –Steven Simon, Foreign Affairs

Cape Town’s protection rackets: A study of violence and control

This paper provides an analysis of protection rackets, a form of organized crime that has flourished in Cape Town’s central business district since the 1990s. It argues that the prevalence of protection rackets is a reflection of weak state capacity to enforce many of the security initiatives that have been in place since 1999. –Khalil Goa and Charles Goredema, Institute for Security Studies

Security Cooperation Amidst Political Uncertainty: An Agenda for Future Research

This paper examines the issues in providing U.S. security assistance in the context of political uncertainty, for instance to a non-state actor or besieged government. It is an especially relevant topic given current events in Iraq and Syria. –Larry Hanauer and Stephanie Pezard, RAND Corporation