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News Roundup: 18 August – 24 August By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Aug 25, 2014

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Security Sector Reform Resource Centre

Against the Odds: The Case of Greater Western Intervention in Syria and Iraq

With the conflict in Syria well into its third year, it seems that a military resolution, whether implanted by regional or international forces, is not an option that will likely be implemented. Western intervention in this conflict can only be useful if an Iranian-Saudi regional deal is brokered through diplomatic means and if Western states dedicate greater resources to contain the conflict from expanding to other states in the region. –Erwin Van Veen

Backgrounder: The Emergence of the Islamic State

The recent and rapid advancement of the Islamic State (IS), formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, across northern Iraq through cities like Mosul stunned the international community as well as global security experts and policy makers. It is most important to note that the advancement of IS should prompt a re-examination of US policy towards Iraq’s security sector development because, despite the resources that have been invested in Iraq over the years, very few obstacles have impeded the advancement of IS. –Matthew Morgan

Cameroon and the Growing Threat of Boko Haram Contagion

Prior to the strengthening of the Cameroonian government’s initiative to directly address the threat of Boko Haram, the insurgent group enjoyed unfettered access to Cameroonian territory which was often used as safe havens in order to evade Nigerian counter-insurgency efforts. However, Boko Haram’s operational activity in Cameroon has increased in its sophistication, largely in response to Cameroon’s explicit efforts to reduce the group’s influence in the country. –Ryan Cummings (republished with permission from the Institute for Security Studies)

Timor-Leste: The Continuing Challenge of Police Building and Security Governance

Twelve years after gaining its independence, Timor-Leste continues to encounter political instability exacerbated by the logistical inefficiency of the Timorese police force as well as increasing number of violent clashes in the country. The instability of the country’s security sector has led to heightened tensions between the state police (PNTL) and the military (F-FDTL). –Deniz Kocak


Security Governance Group

SGG Senior Associate Robert Perito has co-authored a new US Institute of Peace report with Tariq Parvez, titled “A Counter Terrorism Role for Pakistan’s Police Stations.”



South Sudan ceasefire monitor dies after officials held by rebels

The peace process in South Sudan is further complicated after a member of the East African regional monitoring body, which is responsible for overseeing the ceasefire in South Sudan, dies while being in captivity of the rebels in the north of the country. –Aaron Maasho, Reuters

Thai junta leader appointed new prime minister by hand-picked parliament

Thailand’s parliament voted overwhelmingly on August 20 to pick General Prayuth Chan-ocha as the new prime minister of the country. Political analysts are calling the appointment as an indicator of the strengthening of the military’s power over Thailand’s political arena. –South China Morning Post

Iraq forces repel IS forces near Baiji refinery

The Iraqi government forces have stated that a massive attack on Islamic State (IS) forces has been carried out near the Baiji refinery near Tikrit, which has been the site of violent exchanges between IS forces and the Iraqi forces. –Albawaba News

Chadian Army frees 85 Boko Haram Hostages

Eighty five men who were held hostage by Boko Haram since August 10 have been rescued by the Chadian forces after convoys were stopped near a checkpoint near Lake Chad. –Kimeng Hilton Ndukong, All Africa

Former war lord Abdi Nur escapes from the Mogadishu Operation

The Somali government and the African Union have targeted former warlords as part of the disarmament security operation in Mogadishu. Abdi Nur has been confirmed to be in Gruciel, after fleeing Mogadishu and is wanted by the Somali government for illegal possession of weapons in Mogadishu. –All Africa

Ukraine rebels parade captured soldiers

In direct mockery of Ukraine’s Independence Day, pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk paraded dozens of captured Ukrainian soldiers. Meanwhile in Kiev, President Petro Poroshenko was addressing a large independence rally with promises of victory over the rebels. – Al Jazeera

Libya’s airport takeover widens political split

After taking control of airport in Tripoli, Islamist-led armed groups have announced the restoration of Libya’s previous parliament, which effectively separates Libya’s political system into two separate bodies. –Al Jazeera



Does Afghanistan need a unity government?

The Independent Electoral Commission of Afghanistan has announced that the audit of 63 percent of the ballot votes has been completed and the race between the candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani continues to remain close and a clear winner still has not been chosen. In an uncertain political climate, the continued political tension over the 5-month long election has not served to aid the people of Afghanistan. But is the establishment of a unity government brokered by the US a feasible option for Afghanistan? –Massoumeh Torfeh, Al Jazeera

What happened in Rabaa?

As Egyptians mark the one year anniversary of the Rabaa massacre, Human Rights Watch has issued a report of the investigation conducted in the aftermath of the massacre. The report surmises that Egyptian security forces committed crimes against humanity in August of 2013 in the face of political tensions that ensued after Mohammad Morsi was deposed from his position. In the light of Rabaa’s one year anniversary, what has changed in Egypt? –Muhmmad Mansour, Fikra Forum



Post-Crisis Trends in Private Capital Flows to Developing Countries

This publication analyzes the post-crisis trends in private capital flows to developing countries, focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable low income countries. Its central argument is that post-crisis trends in low income countries are positive. –Judith Tyson, Stephany Griffith-Jones and Dirk Willem te Velde, Overseas Development Institute 

Iraq: Displacement Tracking Matrix- Interim Report, 21 August 2014

The publication tracks the number of internally displaced individuals in Iraq since January of 2014, with a special focus on Iraqi displacement after the rapid advancement of the Islamic State across Iraq. –International Organization for Migration



Marsad Libya

A non-partisan and independent online platform funded by the DCAF Trust Fund for North Africa, Marsad Libya monitors the state of Libya’s security sector in an effort to provide accessible information, including relevant media reports, research, analysis and books.