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News Roundup: 15 September – 21 September By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Sep 22, 2014

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Security Sector Reform Resource Centre

Waiting for the African Standby Force: another aborted start in Kigali?

News of the African Standby Force (ASF) usually starts with the sentence ‘there has been tremendous progress,’ followed by the disclaimer, ‘but.’ It is about time to respond to such claims, which also apply to recent troop and equipment contributions from a number of African states. –Olaf Bachmann

Policing the Past and Present in Northern Ireland

The Northern Irish peace process appears to be in turmoil. The current political impasse in the polity stems from the inability of local parties to agree on several issues including welfare reform, parades, flags, and notably dealing with the past. –Branka Marijan and Seán Brennan

Indonesia’s State Intelligence Agency: Reform and Its Challenges

Indonesia’s president elect Joko Widodo is now busy drafting the cabinet lineup for his upcoming administration, which will take power in October 2014. These days almost everyone talks about candidates for such high-profile portfolios but almost no one talks about possible candidates for the Chief of Indonesia’s State Intelligence Agency (Badan Intelijen Negara or BIN). –Beni Sukadis

Time to get serious about Ebola

The decision by President Obama to commit significant military assets to help combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is an encouraging development in an international response that has been, at best, inadequate. Hopefully, this example of high-profile American leadership will encourage other members of the international community to accord the Ebola crisis the attention – and the response – that it deserves. –Thomas Dempsey



Yemen clashes between Shi’ite rebels and tribesmen kill 22: sources

Recent reports out of Yemen indicate that twenty-two people have been killed in fighting between tribesmen aligned with the government and Shi’ite Muslim rebels. –Reuters

Uganda police seize ‘explosives from al-Shabab cell’

Security officials in Uganda have raided an al-Shabab cell they claim was planning imminent terrorist attacks in the capital city of Kampala. Nineteen people were arrested as part of the operation. –BBC News

Ukraine strengthening its cyber security

As part of their growing support to Ukraine’s defence sector, NATO foreign ministers recently endorsed an aid package that will help improve the country’s cyber defence system. –Alex Statko, Southeast European Times

UN takes charge of Central African Republic peacekeeping force

The African Union has completed its handover of the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, which will now be led by the United Nations. Advocates and human rights groups hope that the transition will mean a more effective and engaged effort to protect civilians from attack. –Crispin Dembass-Kette, Reuters

Libya meeting rejects military intervention

15 countries bordering or surrounding Libya as well as the country’s fledgling elected government have all unanimously rejected the idea of a military intervention to restore stability. Officials from Libya and the surrounding countries all concluded that there is no military solution to Libya’s current crisis. –Al Jazeera

Somalia: Jubalanda Peace-building conference underway in Kismayo

Somalia’s President made his second visit to the port city of Kismayo last week to help launch a peacebuilding conference. Addressing the assembled delegates, he urged all participants to engage in serious dialogue. –Garowe Online

UN peacekeepers pull back from four Golan positions amid tension

Following clashes between peacekeepers and Islamic militants fighting under the banner of the Islamic State, the UN mission in the Golan Heights, known as UNDOF, has relocated four positions on the Syrian side of the Syrian-Israeli border. –Louis Charbonneau and Michelle Nichols, Haaretz

China’s security chief stresses judicial reform

A senior security official in China has come out in favour of judicial reform, arguing that it must combine “top-level design” with the realities in local communities. –Global Post

Kurds say Islamic State seizes Syrian villages near Turkish border

Islamic State fighters are advancing rapidly towards the Syrian border with Turkey, seizing 16 villages last week, according to Kurdish military officials. –Reuters

Washington is Quietly Arming Lebanon

As the United States ramps up its campaign against the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, it has also begun to arm Lebanon, hoping to shore up an erstwhile ally on another front in the war against Islamic extremism. –Joseph Trevithick, Medium

Turkey opens border to Syrian Kurds fleeing ISIL offensive

Amidst significant upheaval in the country’s border regions, hundreds of Syrian refugees fleeing attacks from the Islamic State have been allowed to cross into Turkey.–Daily News



SADC keeping a close watch on events in Lesotho

The South African Development Community (SADC) is closely watching the situation in Lesotho after successfully intervening to prevent a military takeover at the end of August. —Institute for Security Studies

Cutting corners in the South Sudan peace process

This article explores the latest peace agreement in South Sudan, mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Specifically, it discusses the possibilities going forward if terms of the IGAD agreement are violated, as has often happened with past agreements. –Emmanuel Kisiangani, Institute for Security Studies

Floods in India and Pakistan offer a chance for peace-building

Flooding in the contested Kashmir region between India and Pakistan offers a unique chance for the two countries to build peace, after years of periodic low-intensity conflict in the region. –Saleem H Ali and Malini Mehra, The Guardian



South Africa and the United Nations: Strengthening opportunities for effective peacebuilding

This paper explores the various ways that South Africa can expand and strengthen its engagement with the UN, specifically around peacebuilding. In particular, it argues that South Africa has a lot to offer to the UN’s peacebuilding operations, especially based on the success of its own peaceful transition to democracy in the 1990s. –Amanda Lucey, Sibongile Gida and Gustavo de Carvalho, Institute for Security Studies

Seize the Peace—Four Issues to Target Now in the CAR Peace Process

This new report from the Enough Project analyzes the challenges facing the current peace process in the Central African Republic (CAR), and identifies four areas that could improve the process going forward. –Kasper Agger, Jacinth Planer and Holly Dranginis, Enough Project

Rethinking Peacebuilding: Transforming the UN Approach

This report argues that the United Nations must transform its approach by putting peacebuilding at the centre of its operations. Doing so would help the UN to deal with the transformation in peace operations that has taken place since the end of the Cold War, from separating opposition armies to securing a comprehensive peace. –Michael von der Schulenburg, International Peace Institute



Celebrating International Day of Peace: Taking Peace to the Pentagon (Event—KW Region)

Dr. Lisa Schirch, Director of Human Security at the Alliance for Peacebuilding and Research Professor at Eastern Mennonite University, will be giving a talk at the University of Waterloo on Thursday September 25.  Her talk will focus on security sector reform and the Pentagon, drawing on her work with the US military.