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News Roundup: 2 February - 8 February By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR Weekly | Feb 9, 2015

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Security Sector Reform Resource Centre

Making Sense of the White Army’s Return in South Sudan

In this Centre for Security Governance Paper, Brian Adeba explores the implications of the civil war in South Sudan. He hones in on the White Army, the Nuer self-defense formation, and its role in exacerbating the ethnic divisions in the country. He further presents a number of recommendations on how to mitigate the potential for conflict, including a comprehensive disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) program.

SSR, DDR and SALW Tools for Peacebuilding

Margarita Yakovenko presents the Peacebuilding Centre’s good practice for peacebuilding and human security toolkit. The tools compiled by the Peacebuilding Centre are intended to enable practitioners to find practical approaches to a myriad of issues that often arise in their work.

Reading List: Security Corruption and Governance Recommended Readings

James Cohen presents a reading list of five important pieces on the impact of corruption on security and peacebuilding.



S. Sudan rivals ink power-sharing deal in Ethiopia

South Sudanese President Silva Kiir and opposition leader, rival Riek Machar signed an IGAD-led power-sharing agreement 2 February, committing themselves to further negotiations to end the ongoing conflict in the state. — Tesfa-Alem Tekle, Sudan Tribune.

Parliament to address security reform package

The Turkish Parliament introduced a Domestic Security Reform Package. The package is intended to establish a balance between citizens’ freedoms and security, and enhance the civilian identity of the state. — Merve Aydogan, Daily Sabah

US ponders sending weapons to Ukraine forces

US administration official stated the government is considering providing weapons to Ukraine to aid in its fight against Russian-backed separatists. — Al Jazeera

Government must prove its reform process is correct: UNFC

Myanmar’s United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) is calling on the government to demonstrate its commitment to the reform process, and ensure the reforms are headed in the right direction. The UNFC is demanding the government display its commitment to peace talks by halting its military offensive and investigating the murder of two Kachin nationals. — Eleven Myanmar

Canada to help reform Ukrainian army

Canadian Defense Minister Rob Nicholson said Canada will join the US-Ukraine Joint Commission on Defense Reform and Bilateral Co-operation. Nicholson noted this move would enhance co-ordination of Canada’s ongoing assistance provision to Ukrainian Armed Forces. — The Canadian Press

Poroshenko wants faster judicial reform

Ukrainian President Poroshenko is pressing for the acceleration of judicial reform in the state, namely calling for the finalization of bills on the right to a fair trial and laws on the judicial system. — Kyiv Post

The Taliban comeback

Article discusses the return of Taliban militants in Afghanistan’s Kunar province following the late-December withdrawal of US-led troops. — Bilal Sarwary, Al Jazeera

Chad troops enter Nigeria to fight Boko Haram

Chadian forces have crossed into northeastern Nigeria, beginning their offensive against Boko Haram militants in the town of Gambaru. — Al Jazeera

The EU will help Ukraine reform Security Service and police

An agreement has been reached between Ukraine and the European Union on the status of the Consultative EU mission. The mission intends to reform the civil security sector of Ukraine, specifically the Advisory Mission will help to reform the Interior Ministry, which administers the police, National Guard, the Security Services of Ukraine and the border guards. — Vestnik Kavkaza

War takes precedence over reforms in Ukraine

Article discusses the current dilemma facing Ukrainian officials, namely that amid intensifying conflict and violence in the east, elected officials are having to place greater attention to military issues, rather than implementing reforms they were elected to pursue. —Frank Hoffman, Deutsche Welle

Most Yemeni parties agree presidential council to ease power struggle

The majority of warring factions in Yemen have agreed to set up a one-year interim presidential council to ease the tensions and power-struggle that led to the president and government’s resignation on 22 January. — Mohammed Ghobari, Reuters

U.S. and Europe Working to End Ukraine Fighting

Article discusses the US and European responses to intensified conflict in Ukraine. Notably discussing the American considerations to send arms into Ukraine, and Western diplomatic efforts in Moscow. — Andrew E. Kramer and Eric Schmitt, New York Times

Thailand, China bolster military ties as US relations splinter

China and Thailand have agreed to strengthen military cooperation through expanded joint training, technology sharing, and arms sales. China insists it will not interfere with domestic affairs in the state, but will provided political support to maintain good relations between the two countries. — Wassana Nanuam and Patsara Jikkham, Bangkok Post

UN urges more regional military coordination against Boko Haram

The UN Security Council has called on leaders of West and Central African countries to increase their military coordination and enhance their capacity to more efficiently fight the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in northern Nigeria. — Reuters

U.N. wants 1,030 more peacekeepers for Central African Republic

UN Secretary General has requested from the Security Council an additional 1,030 peacekeepers to be deployed in the Central African Republic amid continued fighting and security concerns for senior UN officials in the country. — Michelle Nichols, Reuters

UN to Congo: Remove generals accused of abuse or lose support

The UN threatened to withdraw its support for a Democratic Republic of Congo offensive against Rwandan rebels if two of the government’s generals accused of human rights abuses are not removed from their posts. — Michelle Nichols, Reuters

U.N. Mali mission struggling in desert north with no peace to keep

Article discusses the ongoing challenges faced by UN Peacekeepers in northern Mali, with insecurity and tensions mounting following clashes between UN soldiers and northern rebel groups in late-January. —David Lewish and Adama Diarra, Reuters

U.N. chief warns South Sudan’s warring leaders to put people first

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called on South Sudanese rival leaders to place the needs and interests of the civilian population, noting it is the only way to ensure sustainable peace in the country. — Reuters

U.N. plan for local ceasefires in Syria ‘frozen’: diplomats

The UN plan for local ceasefires in Syria has stalled, as Syrian government officials emphasize they will not make concessions to armed groups. The United Nations and the government have said the talks are ongoing, but diplomats highlight there has been no progress. — Sylvia Westall, Reuters

Iraqi cabinet approves draft law to set up national guard

Iraq’s cabinet approved a draft law on Tuesday 3 February to establish a national guard. While Sunni political figures in the country highlight this as a key step towards national reconciliation, observers highlight that divisions on the issue remain, and approval by congress does not guarantee approval in parliament. — Reuters

Libyan troops try to block PM visit, may signal rift with government

Troops loyal to a Libyan general attempted to prevent internationally-recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni from visiting the eastern city of Benghazi as a show of support for Libyan soldiers fighting Islamists in the region. Observers suggests this attempt could signal divisions within the military alliance between the al-Thinni government and General Haftar in Benghazi. — Ayman, Al-Warfalli, Feras and Bosalum, Reuters

Yemen’s Houthi rebels announce government takeover

Yemen’s Shia Houthi soldiers announced Friday 6 February they have dissolved parliament and created a five-member “presidential council” which will form the transition government for two years. UN refused to acknowledge the Friday announcement, stating it is a unilateral decision and does not meet the standards set by the UN envoy to Yemen. — Al Jazeera

Poroshenko points to importance of US support for Ukrainian reforms

Ukrainian President Poroshenko stated the central role of US support for the implementation of reforms, emphasizing the need for continued cooperation between the two countries. — Kyiv Post

Disciplinary proceedings underway in Bulgaria’s Security Sector: minister

Bulgarian Interior Minister Veselin Vuchkov disciplinary proceedings are currently underway in the country’s Security Directorate, signaling efforts at security sector reform in the country. — FOCUS News Agency.

Guinea-Bissau situation ‘fragile’ after return to constitutional order, UN envoy tells Security Council

UN envoy for Guinea-Bissau noted the situation in the country remains fragile and continued support from the international community is still needed. He noted that while progress has been made in security sector reforms, more assistance is required to secure their sustainability. — UN News Centre

Shiite rebels take power in Yemen, fan fears of civil war

Yemen’s Shiite rebels announced their formal takeover of the country Friday 6 February following their dissolution of parliament and their establishment of a two-year transitional government, the Revolutionary Committee. This move has heightened fears of further violent and civil war in Yemen. — Associated Press



While military junta buries democracy, the Thai state is failing

Thailand’s Opposing parties and National Legislative Assembly have pursued their aim of ridding the state of the Pheu Thai Party and the Shinawatra family to the detriment of the political-economic well-being of the state. — Gavan Butler, The Malaysian Insider

Time to engage Myanmar’s military

Article calls on the U.S. to engage with Myanmar’s military at this crucial moment in the country’s civil-military transition. The author argues that as the military remains the most important political actor, the international community must engage, accept and acknowledge their central position in the state’s political architecture. — Adam P. MacDonald, Asia Times Online

South Sudan peace: Deal? What Deal?

Despite seeming progress in the South Sudan peace talks, observers and analysts remain skeptical the most recent round of negotiations will amount to a genuine commitment to peace. — IRIN

Africa’s maritime security wish list for 2015

Article discusses recent developments in African maritime security, specifically in relation to piracy issues. Timothy Walker notes that while instances of piracy and other maritime security concerns are in decline, continued attention must be paid to maritime security issues in Africa in the coming year. —Timothy Walker, ISS Today

Libya’s War-Weary Make Peace?

Discusses the ongoing conflict and political conflict in Libya, and the potential for peace amid negotiations among rival factions in Geneva. — Frederic Wehrey, Foreign Affairs

Special Report – How Cairo is taking the fight to Sinai militants

This Reuters Special Report discusses the ongoing and recently intensified Egyptian campaign against Islamist militants in the Sinai. — Reuters

An Elusive Peace in South Sudan: Letter from Bentiu

Article discusses the possibilities for peace and explores ongoing divisions in war-ravaged South Sudan. — Jérôme Tubiana, Foreign Affairs

Burmese military still controls politics as reforms falter

Article analyses the civil-military transition in Burma, exploring the stalled reform process and its impact on the future of transition in the state. — Jennifer Duggan, Irish Times

Sex Scandals shake Israeli police

Article discusses recent sex scandals within the Israeli police force. The article highlights the string of dismissals and scandals have decimated the force’s leadership. — Ben Caspit, Al Monitor

Arm Ukraine and You Risk Another Black Hawk Down

Eugene Rumer and Thomas Graham argue against sending weapons and other military aid to Ukraine to help the national army fights Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. — Eugene Rumer and Thomas Graham, Financial Times



Preserving Ukraine’s Independence, Resisting Russian Aggression: What the United States and NATO Must Do

This Brookings report presents an analysis of conflict in Ukraine, based on discussions with senior NATO officials in Brussels, and senior Ukrainian civilian and military officials in Kyiv. The report focuses on the need for increased aid to enhance Ukraine’s military capacity, and US should consider providing further military assistance in concert with NATO. — Setven Pifer, Strobe Talbott, et. al., Brookings

Southeast Asia from Scott Circle: Myanmar’s Military Still a Wild Card as Elections Loom

This Center for Strategic and International Studies publication discusses the crucial role of the military in the upcoming elections in Myanmar. The author argues the military’s behaviour in the lead up and following the elections will be a crucial determinant of the future of the country’s civil-military transition and reform process. — Phuong Nguyen, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Train + Equip = Peace? Stabilisation Requires More than Capacity Building

This SWP publication explores whether or not Germany should provide arms to the Kurdish pershmerga forces fighting the Islamic State (IS). The article discusses Germany’s continued desire to avoid direct military involvement, while maintaining a responsible foreign policy. The article centrally argues providing weapons and training can be a positive step, however it must be done with a clear understanding of the conflict environment and in view of the region’s long-term needs. — Claudia Major, Christian Molling, Judith Vorrath, SWP (German Institute for International and Security Affairs)

The Last Bastion of the Syrian Revolt: Southern Syria Offers Non-military Venues to Strengthen the Moderates

This SWP publication explores conflict in Syria, arguing greater attention by international actors should be placed on the south of the country, as this region could be a vital area through which to prevent the complete disintegration of the state and where greater support can be provided to moderate rebels. — Khlaed Yacoub Oweiss, SWP (German Institute for Strategic and International Studies)