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News Roundup: 22 September – 28 September By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Sep 29, 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

Killing of al-Shabaab Leader Throws Future of Militant Group into Question

On September 1, the leader of the Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabaab, Ahmed Abdi Godane, was killed in a US-led drone strike. Godane’s death has raised various concerns over al-Shabaab’s response and how the militant group will function under its newly-appointed leadership. While the killing of Godane may represent a significant victory to some, the impact of his death may result in an increase in terrorist assaults in the region in the short term. Long-term implications are harder to assess. –Gabrielle Reid (republished with permission from the International Peace Institute)

Understanding the New War of Post-Liberation Libya

Libya is entering a dangerous new phase in its post-liberation politics. While rival militias fight for key political and economic footholds across the country, those members of the legislature still occupying their seats and a number of senior government officials have decamped from Tripoli and fled to a Greek car ferry in the eastern town of Tobruk. Although a precise understanding of this current Libyan conflict is obscured by rapidly unfolding events and a constantly shifting patchwork of alliances, it is clear that the next few months will be formative for the country’s future. –Eric Muller


Centre for Security Governance

The Centre for Security Governance has just published eSeminar Summary No. 3 on “New Frontiers in Security Sector Reform: Countering Technology-Driven Threats.” This short report summarizes the presentations of all three panelists from its last eSeminar event, synthesizes their main conclusions, and further explores some of the issues discussed during the question and answer period. The eSeminar Summary can be accessed here.



Venezuela’s Maduro launches civilian disarmament plan

Venezuela’s President has announced a new 47 million USD plan to disarm civilians in the country. The new plan, announced last week, would create 60 new disarmament centres in an effort to reduce violent crime in Venezuela, which now has the second highest peacetime murder rate in the world, after Honduras. –BBC News

EU Mission for DR Congo’s Security Sector Reform Extended

The EU’s security assistance mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo was extended last week by the European Council. The mission, known as EUSEC RD Congo, provides advice and assistance for security sector reform and will now remain active until at least June 30, 2015. –RTT News

Japan PM to push for permanent seat at the UN Security Council

Speaking in front the UN General Assembly this past week in New York, Japanese Prime Minister Abe renewed his push for both Security Council reform, as well as for a permanent seat on the council for Japan. –Michiyo Ishida, Channel News Asia

Kuwait beefs up security against IS threat

As the West and its regional partners ramp up their air campaign against Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, Kuwait has implemented new security measures to keep the security situation at home under control. –ONEINDIA News

Turkey clamps down on Syria border after Kurdish unrest

Less than a week after Turkey opened its borders to refugees fleeing the fighting against the Islamic State in Syria, the country has closed a number of its border crossings. –BBC News

Mexico to return to UN peacekeeping

Mexico’s president has announced that, despite its continued fight against drug traffickers in its own country, it will begin contributing again to UN peacekeeping operations, in an effort to help the global body meet rising demand. –Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui, Business Recorder

Japan and China Resume High-Level Maritime Talks

In an effort to resolve a longstanding territorial dispute, Japan and China met last week to discuss maritime issues. –Chun Han Wong and Alexander Martin, The Wall Street Journal

Ukrainian president announces eight priority areas for reforms

Newly elected Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has outlined his country’s key priorities for reform, including decentralization of power, fighting corruption, and reform of the judicial system. –Interfax Ukraine

Vietnam seeks to buy US weapons and says China should not be alarmed

Vietnam has expressed its interest in buying weapons from the United States, hoping that a warming relationship between the two countries will supersede American fear of alarming China. –South China Morning Post

Kenya returns Shabab suspects to Germany

According to recent reports from German prosecutors, Kenya has extradited two alleged members of the Somalia-based al-Shabab terrorist group. Both men are German citizens, part of a growing phenomenon of “foreign fighters” joining terrorist organizations across the world. –DW

DRC: UN Chief Presses Kabila on FDLR Disarmament

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has urged the DRC’s President Joseph Kabila to continue pushing forward with the country’s disarmament plan, especially with respect to the FDLR rebels that have plagued the country’s eastern provinces for years. –All Africa



AFRICOM’s Ebola response and the militarization of humanitarian aid

A number of humanitarian actors have expressed concern about the militarization of humanitarian aid. In the current Ebola crisis, however, most of these concerns have been trumped by the exigency of stopping the spread of the virus. This article discusses the broader implications of the US response to Ebola, which primarily utilizes AFRICOM, its African military command. –Kim Yi Dionne, Laura Seay, and Erin McDaniel, Monkey Cage Blog (Washington Post)

A Hybrid Approach to Building Security and Justice after Conflict: Incorporating Community Security Structures into Security Sector Reform (SSR) Programmes

While security sector reform (SSR) is increasingly a part of peacebuilding programs in post-conflict situations, its focus is often on building state institutions, and as a result pays less attention to building relationships between individuals and the state. As a result, there are limits on the extent to which the community is engaged in the SSR process. —Eleanor Gordon, PAX In Nuce



Ending Libya’s Civil War: Reconciling Politics, Rebuilding Security

Libya is once again in the midst of a civil war that finds its origins in the “balance of weaknesses” between the various armed groups and political and social factions that have emerged since the revolution. Restoring stability and rebuilding Libya will be impossible without establishing a far-reaching and sustainable process of political inclusion and reconciliation. –Frederic Wehrey, The Carnegie Endowment

Crime in the Global Economy: Profit, Survival, and Rule

Organized crime has become a significant characteristic and catalyst for instances of violence and conflict across the globe. The revenues generated from illicit activity fuel corruption, terrorism, and exploitation in may conflict-affected states. –Erwin van Even, Clingendael Institute

Lining up for the presidency in the Central African Republic

The Central African Republic (CAR) remains in a state of instability, as the President struggles to govern and rebel groups control large swathes of the country. Upcoming president elections will be significant. However, despite a high number of candidates expressing their interest in running, it remains unclear which of the candidates has the ability to reunite the country. —David Smith, Institute for Security Studies