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News Roundup: 25 November - 1 December By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Dec 1, 2014

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Centre for Security Governance

Publication Announcement—SSR 2.0 Brief No. 2: “A Window of Opportunity for Reforms in the Congo’s Security Sector”

The Centre for Security Governance (CSG) has just published its second SSR 2.0 Brief. This brief, written by CSG Senior Fellow Nina Wilén, examines the narrow window of opportunity for reforms in the Congolese security sector, arguing that there a need for renewed and reinforced collaboration between Congolese and international partners.



Mexican President Proposes Security Reforms in Wake of Student’s Killings

In response to the gruesome kidnap and murder of 43 college students and widespread violence throughout the country, Mexico’s president has introduced a reform program designed to “radically restructure” Mexican police forces. —Sputnik News 

France suspends delivery of warship to Russia

Following months of speculation and indecision, the government of France announced last week that it is suspending the delivery of a warship to Russia. —Sylvie Corbet and Lori Hinnant, Associated Press 

Turkey sends arms to Iraqi Kurds: Arbil official

As part of a broader campaign to combat Islamic State militants, Turkey has begun sending weapons to Iraqi Kurdish forces and training Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq. —Harriet Daily News

Britain suspends DR Congo police aid after abuse allegations

Following allegations that police in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) killed or abducted dozens of people during a supposed anti-gang crackdown, Britain has suspended aid that was earmarked for police forms in the DRC. —The Sun Daily 

Ukrainians to Decide on NATO Membership in Referendum

The government of Ukraine has announced that it will resolve the contentious debate over NATO membership through a referendum, to take place at the end of the decade. —James Neuter, Volodymyr Nerbyany and Daryna Krasnolutska, Bloomberg 

Kenyans rally in Nairobi to protest insecurity

Hundreds of Kenyan protestors, including opposition members of parliament, senators, university students and activists, took to the streets outside the President’s office last week to protest his inability to deal with insecurity in the country. —World Bulletin

Obama widens post-2014 combat role for US forces in Afghanistan

According to senior administration officials, President Barak Obama has approved a plan to give American commanders a greater role in fighting the Taliban following the end of the country’s current mission next month. —Steve Holland and Airways Harooni, Reuters

Lithuania agrees to supply Ukraine with military aid, Poroshenko says

In an effort to increase cooperation between the two countries, the government of Lithuania has agreed to provide limited military aid to Ukraine, which will include conducting joint exercises and Ukrainian use of the Lithuanian military academy. —RT News

Myanmar: Recent Fighting Raises Doubts About Government’s Commitment to Peace Building

Recent violence between the government of Myanmar and armed ethnics groups in the country is raising fresh doubt about the government’s commitment to peacebuilding. —Eleven

Former Rwandan rebels transferred to Congo transit camp

As part of the country’s disarmament process, rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were moved from disarmament camps in the eastern provinces, to a northern transit camp. Eventually the disarmed rebels will be relocated to a third country, according to the UN mission in the country. —Aaron Ross, Reuters

Palestinians in Gaza Refuse to Disarm

Hamas leadership in the Gaza strip said last week that neither it, nor other armed factions in the Palestinian territory will abandon armed resistance against Israel. —Al Jazeera

Colombia’s FARC Rebels Hand Over 2 Prisoners to Red Cross

Colombia’s FARC rebels returned 2 soldiers they were holding prisoner to the Colombian government last week. The exchange was made through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as well as diplomats from Cuba and Norway—the two guarantors of the Havana peace process between the Colombian government and FARC. —Latin American Herald Tribune

Lebanon: Long-awaited Bekaa Valley security plan implemented

A new security operation has gone into effect in several northern locations in Lebanon. The included areas are prone to high-levels of crime and spillover from civil war in Syria. —Esperance Ghanem, Al Monitor

North Darfur: UNAMID begins campaign against recruiting child soldiers

The hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur, operated jointly by the African Union and United Nations, has launched a new campaign last week designed to prevent the recruitment of child soldiers. —Radio Dabanga 

East African states agree to accelerate security sector reforms

According to Kenyan security officials, a group of East African states have jointly agreed on a set of security sector reforms, part of a broader effort to strengthen peace, security and sustainable development. —Shanghai Daily

Security Council extends UN Guinea-Bissau office for three months

Following pleas by the country’s Prime Minister, last week the United Nations Security Council extended the mandate of Guinea Bissau’s Integrated Peace-Building Office (UNIOGBIS), for a period of three months beginning December 1, 2014. —UN News Centre

Jamaica to lead UN group seeking major reforms to the Security Council

A Jamaican diplomat will lead a high-level UN panel dedicated to negotiating for major reform of the Security Council. The goal of the negotiations is broader representation on the Council for smaller and less powerful states. —Tony Best, New York CaribNews



Is the Force Intervention Brigade neutral?

The Force Intervention Brigade (FIB)—the actively aggressive arm of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO)—was a crucial factor in the UN’s ability to defeat the M23 rebel group last year. However, there is growing concern about the neutrality of the FIB, and whether or not it was used by the DRC to eliminate a group backed by a political enemy, the government of Rwanda. —Peter Fabricius, Institute for Security Studies (ISS)

The Cyber Security Syndrome

There is a tension in international politics today between the historically entrenched idea of the Westphalian nation-state, and emerging norms of international responsibility and citizenship. Nowhere are these tensions felt more than in cyberspace, where it may be difficult to find a middle ground. —Ron Deibert, Open Canada

Rethinking Models of African Peacebuilding Lessons from Nigeria

African states have a long history of domestic conflict resolution, especially using indigenous traditions, customs and values. As a result there is value in reviewing these practices to assess their relevance for present day peace making. —Chris Kwaja, Social Science Research Council



A Window of Opportunity for Reforms in the Congo’s Security Sector?

This new briefing note examines current opportunities for reforming the security sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It argues that the UN mission in the country, MONUSCO, has an opportunity to act as the central facilitator for security sector reform in the country, an opportunity that should also incorporate a thorough process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. —Nina Wilén, The Centre for Security Governance



Conclusions of the Africa Forum on Security Sector Reform, Addis Ababa, November 2014

The African Forum on Security Sector Reform (SSR) took place in Ethiopia this past week. It was organized by the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), and a number of other important stakeholders. View the outcomes of the meeting here. –African Union