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News Roundup: 17 November – 24 November By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Nov 24, 2014

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Security Sector Reform Resource Centre

The Boko Haram Ceasefire and the Chadian Gambit

On 17 October, the Nigerian government unilaterally declared that it had entered into a ceasefire agreement with Boko Haram Islamists.  Yet, nearly two weeks after the declaration, insurgent attacks have continued unabated across the north east, while Boko Haram have ironically sought to kidnap more adolescent girls as opposed to releasing those already held hostage. —Ryan Cummings


Centre for Security Governance

CSG Fellow Michael Lawrence has published a new report which examines UN peacekeeping in Sierra Leone by looking at how successful the UN mission has been at engaging “vertically” with civil society organizations. It argues that UN mission in Sierra Leone achieved very modest success in fostering “vertical integration,” leaving the country’s stability vulnerable to shocks. United Nations Peace Building in Sierra Leone—Toward Vertical Integration?



EU to launch advisory mission for civilian security sector reform in Ukraine

The Council of the European Union and the government of Ukraine finalized a deal last week that will authorize a two year EU civilian security sector reform advisory mission in Ukraine. The mission will be launched on December 1st. —APA

DRC: Police Operation Kills 51 Young Men and Boys

According to reports from Human Rights Watch, 51 youth were killed in what was dubbed an anti-crime campaign in the Democratic Republic of Congo between November 2013 and February 2014. —Human Rights Watch 

Foreign Governments Have Hacked U.S. Grid, NSA Head Says

According to top U.S security officials, more than one foreign government has been able to gain access to key American infrastructure assets. —Chris Strohm, Bloomberg

U.N. Security Council adds Libya’s Ansar al-Sharia to terror list

A Libyan militant group, accused of masterminding the 2012 Banghazi attacks responsible for the death of four American diplomats, has been added to the UN Security Council’s list of terrorist organizations. —Al Arabiya News

Darfur: amid mass rape allegations, UN-backed event promotes role of women in peace process

Last week the UN’s mission in Darfur, UNAMID, organized a conference designed to highlight the importance of female leaders and an integrated gender perspective to peacebuilding. UNAMID is still in the process of investigated the mass rape of 200 women and girls in Northern Darfur. —UN News Centre.

Turkey: PKK rules out government’s talk of disarmament

A spokesperson for Turkey’s Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) has denied reports that the group is open to a process of disarmament, as reported in the Turkish press last week. —Today’s Zaman

UN adopts resolution on international police

Following a unanimously approved Security Council resolution recognizing their importance to UN interventions, police will now make up a larger share of UN peacekeeping forces in future deployments. —The Japan News

NATO Military Committee Chairman’s visit to Ukraine highlights NATO-Ukraine intensified partnership

During a visit to the country’s capital Kiev this past week, senior officials from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) reaffirmed the alliance’s support for Ukraine. —NATO

UNHCR is alarmed about ignored humanitarian catastrophe in DRC’s Katanga province

In the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) South East, approximately 400,000 people have been displaced from their homes in what the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHCR) is calling a humanitarian catastrophe. —UNHCR

Colombian government reaches agreement with FARC to release captured general

Less than a week after the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) captured a Colombian general, the rebel group has announced his release. The general’s capture and subsequent release, brokered by Cuba and Norway, has presented a problem for the rebel group who is in the midst of peace talks with the Colombian government in Havana. —MercoPress

Cambodia: UN expert voices concern over judicial independence amid ‘arbitrary’ arrests

Following a series of suspicious arrests of civil society activists and opposition politicians, the United Nations is calling on the government of Cambodia to respect the rule of law. —UN News Centre

Guinea Bissau says it remains ‘fragile’ despite some progress

Despite some progress in the West African nation, Guinea Bissau’s Prime Minister told the UN Security Council last week that the country is still fragile and requires support from the international community. —AFP



Reflections on the Arab uprisings 

There is considerable interest in the current status of Arab state that witnessed uprisings in 2011. Though the ultimate results of the Arab Spring remain unclear, the current political situation across the region is bleak. —Marc Lynch, Monkey Cage Blog (The Washington Post)



U.S. Policy to Counter Nigeria’s Boko Haram

Boko Haram, the militant Islamist group operating in Nigeria, threatens to destabilize all of western Africa, argues this new report from the Centre for Preventive Action. Despite the regional threat, however, the group’s grievances are primarily local and so U.S. policy-makers should not treat the group as simply another actor in the so called “global war on terror.” —John Campbell and Ralph Bunche, Council on Foreign Relations

Defeating ISIS

Over the past year, the Islamic State has captured large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria become and the target of a new international military campaign designed to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the group. In this new policy memo, published by the Council on Foreign Relations, the authors argue that rather than degrading or destroying ISIS, the US-led international coalition should prioritize defeating or neutralizing the group. —Max Boot and Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Council on Foreign Relations