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News Roundup: 16 February - 22 February By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR Weekly | Feb 23, 2015

Want to keep up to date on the SSR field? Once a week, the CSG’s Security Sector Reform Resource Centre project posts pertinent news articles, reports, projects, and event updates on SSR over the past week. Click here to sign-up and have the SSR Weekly News Roundup delivered straight to your inbox every week!


Centre for Security Governance

Peace-building in Haiti: the case for vertical integration.

Conflict, Security & Development has published an article by CSG Senior Fellow Timothy Donais and CSG Deputy Director Geoff Burt, which explores the ‘local turn’ in peacebuilding by examining ongoing efforts to confront community-based insecurity in Port-au-Prince’s slum neighbourhoods.


Security Sector Reform Resource Centre

Getting Ready for President Putin’s Successor

David Law explores the question of succession in Russia, and the possibilities of President Putin’s continued dominance in the decade to come.

The US – Cuba Rapprochement and its Broader Implications

David Law explores the recent US-Cuba rapprochement and its broader implications on country’s relationship with Russia,  and the domestic implications of this significant diplomatic shift.

ISSAT Blog: 10 tips for police internal oversight

The SSR Resource Centre shared ISSAT’s ten key tips for improved internal oversight of police services. He highlights that SSR is intended not only to improve justice and security sectors, but centrally it must allow for greater accountability and good governance of security forces.



China approves police reform plan aimed at improving force’s efficiency and public image

China’s Communist Party and the Politburo Standing Committee have both endorsed a series of reforms to the state’s law enforcement and security sector as a means to “improve efficiency and salvage its public image.” — Li Jing and Teddy Ng, South China Morning Post 

Shiite militias mixed blessing in Iraq, Syria

US experts have expressed growing concerns about the multiplication of Shiite militias on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria. Their primary worries include growing Iranian influence that may exacerbate sectarian tensions in the region. — Barbara Slavin, Al Monitor

Anbar officials reject Shiite popular mobilization forces

Iraqi officials in the Anbar province have become increasingly concerned with increased instances of sectarian revenge operations carried out by members of Shiite popular mobilization forces. — Omar al-Jaffal, Al Monitor 

UN Security Council demands Houthis step aside in Yemen

The UN Security council unanimously adopted a resolution calling on the Houthi rebels in Yemen to relinquish control of the government, calling it an “illegitimate seizure of power.”— Al Jazeera

Project office for reforms to be set up in Ukraine – agreement with EBRD

The Ukrainian government has agreed to set up a project office for reforms, tasked with support the government and the parliament to enact the necessary reforms in the country. — Interfax Ukraine

Govt Declares State of Emergence, Martial Law in Kokang Region

The Burmese government declared Tuesday 18 January martial law and a state of emergency in the Kokang Self-Administered Zone following clashes between government armed forces and Kokan rebels. —  The Irrawaddy

US and Ankara agree to train Syria rebels in Turkey

Turkish and American foreign ministry officials announced they have reached a tentative agreement to train and equip moderate fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). —  Al Jazeera

Parliament discusses security bill aligned to EU standards

The Turkish parliament has officially begun discussing the controversial domestic security reform bill, with the government insisting it is central to guarantee public safety, while opposition parties argue it constitutes a violation of civil liberties. — Ayse Sahin, Daily Sabah

‘Peacekeeping should not become self-perpetuating enterprises’

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Asoke Kumar Mukerji, stated at the annual debate of the UN Special Committee for Peacekeeping that peacekeeping missions should not become “self-perpetuating enterprises”, noting the tendency of the Security Council to extend mandates. — Press Trust of India

Concern in Iraq grows over unregulated Shiite forces

The popular mobilization of Shiite forces in Iraq, amid ongoing violence, has left many Iraqis and observers conflicted on their value and importance in the war-torn state. —  Ali Mamouri, Al Monitor

Ukraine calls for UN peacekeepers

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has requested a UN peacekeeping mission be deployed to monitor the eastern Ukraine ceasefire. Pro-Russian separatist rebels however announced this move would present a breach of the ceasefire agreement between parties. — Reuters

EU to send armored cars to monitor Ukraine ceasefire

A high-level EU official announced the organization will provide armored cars and satellite imagery to monitor the ceasefire in Ukraine, but has not yet confirmed whether or not it will provide troops to a possible UN-mandated peacekeeping mission. — AP

Taliban, Afghan Officials to Meet for Peace Talks

A senior Afghan official has announced the government will meet with Taliban representatives for a first round of peace talks. This marks a resumption of previously stalled reconciliation attempts between the two parties. — Nathan Hodge and Saeed Shah, Wall Street Journal

Security Council extends UN Guinea-Bissau office for another year

The UN Security Council has renewed the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Peace-Building Office in Guinea-Bissau for one year, beginning on 1 March 2015 and lasting until 29 February 2016. The Office, the UN reports, will continue to provide training and support to the establishment of “effective and efficient law enforcement.” — UN News Centre

Libya, Egypt ask U.N. to lift arms embargo to fight Islamic State

Egypt and Libya have requested the UN Security Council lift the arms embargo on Libya, impose a naval blockade on regions not controlled by the internationally-recognized government, and support in building the country’s military capacity to help the country fight the Islamic State and other militant groups in the region. — Michelle Nichols, Reuters

Challenges and Opportunities for Regional Peacebuilding in the African Great Lakes

Presents highlights from a 12 February public event discussing the challenges and opportunities for regional peacebuilding the Great Lakes region of Africa. — The Hague Institute for Global Justice

Conflict Flares in Myanmar as Reforms Slip Into Reverse

Doug Bandow explores the ongoing violence and tensions amid stalled democratic and security sector reforms in Myanmar. — Doug Bandow, Huffington Post



Life after combat in CAR

Looks into the multitude of challenges faced by aid workers in disarming, demobilizing, and reintegrating former combatants back into society in the Central African Republic. — IRIN 

Only the military can reform Myanmar

Adam P. Macdonald argues that engaging Myanmar’s military is essential for genuine reform and progress in the state as the “military in Myanmar is currently the critical entity in the reform process and must be engaged by the international community.” —  Adam P. MacDonald, East Asia Forum

Deradicalization revisited

Omar Ashour explores the issue of deradicalisation discussed at the recent Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) hosted by the Obama administration. Ashour discusses his own experiences with deradicalization through his own personal research experience. — Omar Ashour, Washington Post

Thai junta lays groundwork for its own guided democracy

The Thai military government’s reform plan is moving forward, with groundwork currently being laid to ensure generals continue to influence Thai politics. — Saksith Saiyasombut and Siam Voice, Asian Correspondent 

Facing a Fragile Ceasefire

Rajan Menon and Kimberly Marten discuss the tenuous ceasefire in Ukraine, ongoing fighting in the strategic town of Debaltseve, and why arming Ukraine would be a “serious misstep”. —  Rajan Menon and Kimberly Marten, Foreign Affairs 

Countering Violent Extremism: The quixotic quest for a rational policy on terrorism

Jeremy Shapiro explores the issue of counter-terrorism and radicalization following the White House’s Summit on Countering Violent Extremism. — Jeremy Shapiro, Brookings

Ukraine’s President is Trapped With His Troops

Leonid Bershidsky discusses Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s key role in the preservation of the fragile ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. — Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg View 

What will happen if Ocalan calls for disarmament?

Article discusses recent developments in the Turkey-PKK peace process, and the possibilities for a sustainable peace agreement to be reached within the year. — Nagehan Alci, Daily Sabah

SADC NGOs see security issues ahead of Lesotho poll

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) – Council of Non-Governmental Organisations conducted an assessment between 11-15 February on Lesotho’s capacity to conduct free and fair elections at the end of the month. The report highlighted centrally that while elections are crucial for continued progress and stability in the state, the SADC needed to ensure a plan to prevent any interference by the security sector during the upcoming vote. — Amanda Dichabe, Mmegi Online

ISIS Is Not a Terrorist Group

Audrey Kurth Cronin explores the West’s Counter-terrorism strategy, arguing that ISIS presents an entirely different threat from terrorist groups like Al Qaeda. — Audrey Kurth Cronin, Foreign Affairs

Iraqis may fear Shi’ite militias more than Islamic State

Mohammad Bazzi discusses the role of Shi’ite militias in Iraq, both their demonstrated ability to push back Islamic State forces, as well as their increasingly brutal tactics waged against Sunni communities in Iraq. He argues these increasingly brutal militias must be restrained, otherwise they risk further perpetuating the cycle of violence and sectarian conflict in the country. — Mohammad Bazzi, Reuters

How to arm Ukraine without starting World War Three

Steven Pifer discusses the how and the why of arming Ukraine against Russian-backed separatist rebels in the east. — Steven Pifer, Reuters

A trench in Iraq exacerbates Sunni fears of sectarian partition

Reuters staff explore how the creation of a trench in central Iraq is perceived as yet another symbol of Sunni expulsions from regions under Shi’ite control. They highlight how this is but one example of deepening sectarian tensions in the state. — Reuters

Egypt’s Sinai struggle not going away anytime soon

Gregory Aftandilian assess why Egypt current security-crackdown strategy to counter the violent militant campaign by ISIS-affiliated group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis in the Sinai is not a sufficient, or efficient, strategy to end ongoing violence in the region. —  Gregory Aftandilian, Al Jazeera


The Impact of the Dark Web on Internet Governance and Cyber Security

Michael Chertoff and Toby Simon explore the reality of the Dark web and its implications on cyber security, as a means to deepen our understanding of the phenomenon and improve policy prescriptions to reduce the possible malicious effects. —  Michael Chertoff and Toby Simon, Center for International Governance Innovation

The Battle for Benghazi: The Limits of Stabilization by Military Means

Nizar Sarieldin discusses the ongoing conflict in Libya, and ways in which Germany and the European Union can and should support a unity government amid ongoing negotiations in Geneva. —  Nizar Sarieldin, German Institute for International and Security Affairs