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News Roundup: 8 February - 15 February By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR Weekly | Feb 16, 2015

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Security Sector Reform Resource Centre

Reading List: Democratic Policing Security Sector Reform

Simon De Saint-Claire lists essential reading on the Democratic Policing aspect of Security Sector Reform.




Obama says still weighing decision on arming Ukraine forces

US President Obama is holding off on a decision to arm Ukrainian forces until the end of ongoing negotiations concerning peace in eastern Ukraine.  — Andreas Rink and Aleksandar Vasovic, Reuters

Afghans worried by U.S. interest in security spending

A US move to publicly release classified data on Afghan security spending has many concerned it will be used to justify greater US involvement in the country, if the funds are found to be inappropriately spent. — Shadi Khan Saif, Turkish Press

Niger troops sent to ‘crush’ Boko Haram

Niger’s parliament has unanimously approved sending troops to Nigeria as part of a regional offensive against the violent Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram. — Al Jazeera

Russian military on the move ahead of Ukraine talks in Minsk

600 Russian troops reportedly began military exercises in Crimea on Tuesday last week ahead of high-level negotiations in Minsk concerning ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. — DW

Parliament to continue discussing Domestic Security Reform Package

The Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) will continue to discuss the new and controversial Domestic Security Reform Package. — Merve Aydogan, Daily Sabah

Gov’t vows to pass security reform package to ensure domestic safety

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated the government would pass the controversial Domestic Security Reform Package, despite heavy criticism from opposition parties. — Nurbanu Kizil, Daily Sabah

Kidnappings, Murders Continue in Guerrero State, Mexico

Violence in the Mexican state of Guerrero, where 43 students disappeared in September 2014, continues, despite the promise of security sector reform by President Enrique Pena Nieto, with the recent murder of five and the kidnapping of three others. — teleSUR

Justice Minister plans to complete reform of Ukrainian judicial system in two years

Ukraine’s Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko has agreed to reform the country’s judicial sector within two years. — Kyiv Post

EU Advice to Ukraine to speed up reform process

The European Union has advised Ukraine to enact its political reform process as agreed upon in the financial aid provided by the European Union. — Ghana News Agency

Head of EU advisory mission: there is hope for reform in Ukraine

The Head of the European Union Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform Kalman Mizsei praised the current Ukrainian government as one of the “most professional in the history of the country”, suggesting optimism for the enactment of needed reforms. —   Kyiv Post

Aid billions yet to make a difference in fragile states, UK watchdog says

A recent report by the UK group Independent Commission for Aid Impact (Icai) stated aid programs have had little positive impact on fragile states. — Mark Anderson, Guardian

‘Glimmer of hope’ for Ukraine after ceasefire deal

Discusses the agreement reached at talks with German, French, Russian and Ukrainian officials suggest hope for conflict resolution in eastern Ukraine. Observers note however heavy fighting continued following the agreement. —  Vladimir Soldatkin and Pavel Polityuk, Reuter

UN pulls out of DR Congo rebels’ disarmament

The UN withdrew support from a planned offensive against rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after the government refused to let go of two generals accused of human rights violations. — BBC/Reuters

300 more child soldiers released from David Yau Yau

Some 300 child soldiers were released from Sudanese Cobra faction in Pibor last week. — Radio Tamazuj

At high-level debate, UN officials urge boosted efforts for security sector reform

UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson called for greater international emphasis on security sector reform as a key component of peace, security, development and human rights. — UN News Centre

‘Yemen is collapsing before our eyes,’ UN chief warns, urging international support to end crisis

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon noted the deteriorating situation in Yemen, calling on the international community to act to prevent further bloodshed and crisis. — UN News Centre

47 Govt Troops Killed, Tens of Thousands Flee Heavy Fighting in Shan State

Violent clashes continued between Burma’s armed forces and ethnic Kokang rebels in Shan state. — Saw Yan Naing, The Irrawaddy

Colombia’s FARC Pledges Not to Recruit Fighters Under 17

The Colombian government and FARC rebels concluded another round of peace talks last week, which ended with the FARC rebel group announcing they will no longer recruit soldiers younger than 17 years old. — Latin American Herald Tribune

Arms shipment to Lebanon to arrive in April

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced the shipment of French weapons and military equipment to Lebanon, as part of the Saudi grant, will arrive in Lebanon on 1 April. — Jean Aziz, Al Monitor

Kurds reject proposed rival force in Kirkuk

The proposed law to establish a National Guard in Iraq has generated tensions between Kurds and other communities in northern Iraq. The Kurds would prefer to remain in full control of their territory rather than be integrated into a National Guard. — Mohammed A. Salih, Al Monitor




Why democracy may have to wait in the Central African Republic

Continued insecurity and violence in the Central African Republic has led many to suggest further delays for parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for July and August this year. Many believe national security should take priority over a democratic process. — Crispin Dembassa- Kette, IRIN

Turkey’s Evolving Syria Strategy

Aaron Stein discusses Turkey’s complex and dynamic alliance strategy in the ongoing conflict in Syria. — Aaron Stein, Foreign Affairs

The Rise of the Child Terrorist

Mia Bloom and John Horgan discuss the recent increase of use of young children in terrorist activities by extremists groups including IS, Boko Haram and the Pakistani Taliban. — Mia Bloom and John Horgan, Foreign Affairs

In Post-Mubarak Egypt, Police Still Kill With Impunity

The violent clashes between soccer fans and riot police at a stadium in Cairo are but one example of the persistence of police violence and impunity in Egypt. Analysts suggest these recent clashes leave little hope for security sector reform in the country. — Michael Wahid Hanna, World Politics Review

Misunderstanding Myanmar’s military

Tim Heinemann responds to the argument that stability and reform in Myanmar requires engaging with the military and accepting their prominent political role. He argues the country’s military is a fundamentally repressive force, and engaging it would not aid the country’s future. — Tim Heinemann, AsiaTimes Online

Iraqi tribes slowly become ‘state within a state’

Article discusses the tribal phenomenon in Iraq, arguing that while political parties in Baghdad attempt to court various tribes for electoral gain, the tribes themselves have largely developed into “a state within a state”, out of reach of the power and authority of the central government. — Adnan Abu Zeed, Al Monitor

This is a make-or-break moment for Ukraine

Angus Roxburgh discusses ongoing peace talks and their potential to bring peace and end bloodshed in eastern Ukraine. — Angus Roxburgh, Guardian

Military of Infancy: Does Liberia Really Have An Army?

Discusses the state of Liberia’s armed forces. — Martin K. N. Kollie, The Perspective

Alarm Grows Over Turkish Security Legislation

Opposition parties and the European Union are calling on the Turkish government to review and reconsider its recent domestic security package, which risks limiting civilian freedoms and greatly increasing police power. The government insists the legislation will ensure domestic safety. —  Dorian Jones, Voice of America

Is Turkey becoming a police state?

Discusses whether Turkey’s proposed new domestic security legislation will turn the country into a police state given the extensive powers given to security forces through this legislation. — Semih Idiz, Al Monitor

Silencing the Shinawatras

Discusses the recent impeachment of former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Matthew Wheeler argues what is needed in the country now for continued progress is unity, the move to impeach the former Prime Minister he argues, is a step in the wrong direction. — Matthew Wheeler, Foreign Affairs

Gender and State Building in Libya: Towards a Politics of Inclusion

Discusses the politics of gender relations in the ongoing state building process in Libya. — Zahra’ Langhi, Libya Herald

Why South Sudan’s children are fighting again

Discusses why thousands of children continue to fight in South Sudan, the recruitment process and the possibility of sustainable demobilization and reintegration for these children. — IRIN

The West Should Arm Ukraine

Alexander J. Motyl discusses why and how the West should arm Ukraine amid ongoing violence in the east. — Alexander J. Motyl, Foreign Affairs

Unloved but unyielding: Burkina’s presidential guard could derail transition

Dorina Bekoe discusses how Burkina Faso’s military could derail the so far peaceful transition process. — Dorina Bekoe, IRIN

After Iraq

Patrick Martin discusses the current state of sectarian tension and division in Iraq following the US invasion, civil war, and ongoing sectarian conflict and armed insurgency. — Patrick Martin, Globe and Mail

A ceasefire in Ukraine: complex, but absolutely vital

Jeremy Kinsman discusses the complexity, and necessity of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, with or without a comprehensive peace plan. — Jeremy Kinsman, Open Canada

Four Years On, U.S. Should Push Bahrain to Reform Security Forces

Brian Dooley discusses the need for greater emphasis on security sector reform in Bahrain amid continued police violence and impunity. — Brian Dooley, The World Post

Police Corruption: A Threat to Afghan Stability, a Threat to Afghan Women

Catherine Powell discusses the danger rampant police corruption in Afghanistan poses to nation stability and safety of Afghan women. — Catherine Powell, Council on Foreign Relations




Mapping Bangladesh’s Political Crisis

This new Crisis Group report analyses the ongoing political crisis in Bangladesh, and its impact on future stability in the state. — International Crisis Group

Mass Rape in Darfur

This new Human Rights Watch report discusses the mass rape of some 221 women and girls during Sudanese army attacks in Tabit in October 2014. — Human Rights Watch

Boots on the Ground: The Realities in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria

Anthony H. Cordesman discusses the implications of soldiers fighting on the ground in foreign interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and calls for a revised strategy for these types of military operations. — Center for Strategic and International Studies

The Uncertain Transition from Stability to Peace

This recent Centre for Strategic and International Studies publications discusses the complexity of post-conflict transitions, and why some countries cannot seem to escape the endless cycle of violence. — Robert D. Lamb, Kathryn Mixon, and Sarah Minot, Center for Strategic and International Studies