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News Roundup: 16 December — 22 December By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Dec 22, 2014

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South Sudan Talks to Resume

South Sudan’s government and main rebel group returned to the negotiating table last week in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, as the country’s civil war entered its second year. —Sudan Tribune

China Lodges Protest After Obama Approves Taiwan Frigate Sale

China has registered a formal grievance with the United States, following an American arms sale to Taiwan of four Perry-class frigates. Chinese officials said the sale was closely tied to the most sensitive dispute between China and the United States. —Reuters

Kenyan Leader Enacts Security Law Even After Parliament Protests

Kenya enacted a new security law last week, despite concerns from human rights advocates and the political opposition that the new law will curtail civil liberties. —David Malingha Doya, Bloomberg

Myanmar Military Largely Untouched by Reforms

Despite the wide-ranging social and political reforms that have taken place in Myanmar, the country’s military remains largely untouched, wielding the same political and economic clout that it always has. —Voice of America

Central African Republic: Security Council Appeals to Rebels to Lay Down Arms

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has renewed its calls for immediate and permanent disarmament in the Central African Republic, and condemned a recent resurgence of violence. —UN News Centre

Poroshenko Orders New Mobilization, Military Spending Increase

Ukraine’s government unveiled plans last week to increase security sector spending by approximately five percent of the country’s GDP. The increased funding will go hand-in-hand with growing mobilization in 2015. —Kyiv Post

DRC: Hundreds of M23 Rebels Escape Repatriation

Approximately 1,000 fighters associated with the Congolese rebel group, M23, escaped last week from a temporary encampment in Uganda were they were awaiting repatriation to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). —Al Jazeera

Myanmar Government and Armed Rebel Groups to Resume Peace Talks

Myanmar’s ruling military junta is planning to resume its negotiations with armed opposition groups in the country, with the goal of reaching a comprehensive nationwide cease-fire agreement. —Radio Free Asia

Security Council Extends Mandate of UN Liberia Mission

The United Nations Security Council extended the mandate of the UN mission in Liberia, UNMIL, emphasizing that its mandate should be a focus on civilian protection, humanitarian assistance, and reforming the justice and security sectors. —UN News Centre 

Qatar: Sector-Specific Cyber Security Drills Planned

Qatar has announced that it is launching a fresh round of cyber-security readiness drills for private and public sector organizations. The goal of the drills is to build capacity, and ensure that the country is adequately protected against emerging cyber threats. —The Peninsula

Central African Republic Fighting Kills At Least 28

The Red Cross reported new fighting between Muslim and Christian fighters last week in the Central African Republic, leading to 28 new fatalities. —BBC News

Expanding Defense Budgets Feed Fears of Middle East Arms Race

Despite rapidly collapsing oil prices, the arms race currently unfolding in the Middle East shows no signs of abating, leading to fears across the continent of the effects of increasing militarization. —Metin Turcan, Al Monitor

Sudan Reintegrates 2,575 Ex-Rebel Soldiers

The Sudanese commission responsible for the country’s disarmament, demobilization and reintegration program announced last week that it had integrated 2,575 former soldiers in 2014. —Al-Sammani Awadallah, Sudan Vision

Serbia in Co-Op with NATO Made Progress in Security Sector Reform

According to participants of a conference in the nations capital, Serbia has made significant progress in reforming its security sector over the past ten years, with the help of NATO. —InSerbia News

NATO Begins to Train Ukrainian NCO Corps

In an attempt to improve the country’s military professionalism, enlisted Ukrainian soldiers have begun NATO-led training that will teach them how to become sergeants, using standards that are common in NATO member countries. —Alex Statko, South East European Times



Making Sense of Tripoli: The Institutional Catch 22

Common media and policy explanations of Libya’s most recent round of fighting, are often inaccurate, incomplete, and incorrect. They fail to account for the timing of the conflicts, or correctly identify the political and institutional roots of the current crisis. —Karen Milligan, Jadaliyya

Africa Must Shape International Peacebuilding

As the United Nations begins its review of the UN peacebuilding architecture and peacekeeping programs, African states must play an important role, as they are the primary beneficiaries of UN peacebuilding efforts.  —Gustavo de Carvalho, Institute for Security Studies

South Sudan’s Terrible War is a Year Old, And There’s No Peace in Sight

Over a year after violence broke out between fighters loyal to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir’s Dinka-dominated government, and Vice President Riek Machar’s rebel faction, comprised primarily of Nuer fighters, there is no end in sight. —Peter Dorrie, War is Boring



Eastern Ukraine: A Dangerous Winter

An already treacherous conflict in Ukraine is expected to become even deadlier as winter sets in to Eastern Europe. Weak administrative structures in the separatist-held areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as a general unwillingness by both sides in the conflict to respect a cease-fire, is leading to fears of a new humanitarian crisis. —International Crisis Group

The Central African Republic’s Hidden Conflict

While most attention has focused on pacifying and peacebuilding in Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic (CAR), many of the rural areas to the west and centre of the country have exploded into widespread violence. Away from the majority of international attention, this fighting has formed a “conflict-within-the-conflict” that is destabilizing the country. —International Crisis Group