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News Roundup: 9 March - 16 March 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR Weekly | Mar 16, 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

Free eSeminar - Untapped Resources: The Extractive Industry in Conflict-Affected Countries

On Wednesday March 25 from 1:00PM to 2:30PM EST, the Centre for Security Governance will host a free online seminar on the theme of ”Untapped Resources: The Extractive Industry in Conflict-Affected Countries.”This event will will be free to attend and open to the public. It will be held on the Spreecast platform, and will feature live panel presentations and an open discussion period where you can interact with the panelists:
- Dr. Andrew Thompson, Balsille School of International Affairs
- Tara Scurr, Amnesty International Canada
- Dr. Terry Mitchell, Balsillie School of International Affairs


Security Sector Reform Resource Centre

Learning from failure? British and European approaches to security and justice programming

Antoine Vandemoortele discusses a recent report by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) and its critique of the Department for International Development (DFID)’s work on security and justice in fragile and conflict-affected states. He further examines ways in which the international community can learn from this failure and work toward a more effective means for security and justice assistance in these fragile contexts.



Myanmar Police Clash With Protesting Students

Riot police in Myanmar forcefully dispersed students at a protest demanding education reform. The police are said to have beaten and detained several protesters. — Steve Herman, Voice of America 

Blasts hit police, army in Egypt’s Sinai; 2 dead, 46 hurt

A suicide bomb targeting police and military in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula left 2 dead and 46 wounded. — Ashraf Sweilam, AP

Poroshenko: Rebels have withdrawn significant amount of heavy weaponry in eastern Ukraine

In a sign both sides of conflict in eastern Ukraine are abiding by the terms of the ceasefire, Ukrainian President Poroshenko announced the rebels have withdrawn a “significant” amount of heavy weaponry from the front lines. — Deutsche Welle

Turkey ends tutelage by military with gendarmerie reform

Amid ongoing debate within the Turkish parliament over the controversial Domestic Security Reform Package, it was announced that control of country’s gendarmerie forces will be transferred from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to the Interior Ministry. — Ali Unal, Daily Sabah

Iraqi forces to recapture Tikrit ‘within 72 hours’

A spokesman of the Iraqi forces noted the city of Tikrit would be captured from Islamic State militants in “no more than 72 hours”. — Al Jazeera 

Myanmar protests: Inquiry to be held into security force’s crackdown on student protesters

Myanmar’s state media has announced it will launch an inquiry into the crackdown on student protesters. — AFP

Islamic State Begins Retreat from Tikrit

Discusses the ongoing retreat by Islamic State forces from Tikrit following the Iraqi offensive on the Sunni city. — Tamer El-Ghobashy, Wall Street Journal

Somalia: Former defense minister demand accountability in the security sector

A former Somali defense minister called for the introduction of checks and balances in the security sector to stem threats to the fragile government. — Somali Current

Call for disarmament yields positive results in southeastern Turkey

Sena Alkan discusses the positive impact of PKK leader Ocalan’s early-March disarmament call. — Sena Alkan, Daily Sabah

Xi calls for civil-military integration to boost defense

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for greater efforts to enhance the country’s national defense and combat readiness of armed forces by increasing civil-military integration. — Press Trust of India

John Kerry supports Egypt economic reform no new military aid

US Secretary of State John Kerry lauded Egypt’s economic potential and highlighted the US would continue to support the country’s economic recovery, however he made no mention of providing military aid to the country since it was suspended in 2013. — Nigel Wilson, International Business Times

Angry ex-combatants protest in western Cote d’Ivoire

Monday hundreds of ex-combatants in Cote d’Ivoire protested in the central-western town of Gagnoa demanding the payment of their reintegration allowance. — Xinhua 

ISIS accepts allegiance of Nigeria jihadists Boko Haram

Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has welcomed Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram’s pledge of allegiance. — AFP 

Mercenaries join troops to fight Boko Haram

Reports suggests hundreds of South African mercenaries have been hired by the Nigerian government to fight alongside government troops in the struggle against Boko Haram. — Vanguard News

UN envoy to Yemen warns of civil war

The UN special envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar has warned that continued political crises and violence in Yemen could lead to the disintegration of the state and the eruption of civil war. — Al Jazeera

No PKK disarmament unless Ocalan appears at congress

Cemil Bayik, the leader of the Kurdistan Communities’ Union (KCK) and the “number two” man in Turkey’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) stated the movement will not disarm unless leader Abdullah Ocalan attends the next PKK congress. — Cihan 

US envoy John Bass supports Turkey’s reconciliation process, disarmament of PKK

The US Ambassador to Turkey announced the U.S. is ready to support Turkey’s reconciliation process with the PKK following the early-March call for disarmament by PKK leader. — Daily Sabah 

Libya’s elected parliament asks U.N. to postpone peace talks by a week: spokesman

Libya’s elected parliament has asked the UN to postpone peace talks by one week in order to allow for more time to discuss a proposal to form a national unity government. — Reuters

Colombia and FARC agree to clear minefields; 11,000 people killed in 15 years

The Colombian government and Farc rebel forces have agreed to remove landmines from battlefields in the country, a sign of progress amid ongoing peace talks in Cuba. — MercoPress.

Santos suspends air strikes against FARC for 1 month

The Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced the military will suspend air strikes on Farc rebel sites for one month. — Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports

Liberia: Justice Minister Official Challenges Women Security Officers

Liberia’s Deputy Justice Minister Wheatonia Barnes announced that as UN troops withdraw from the country, women in the security sector should prioritize peace and security. — Winnie Dixon, Liberia News Agency

Militarisation of Iraqi society in intensifying

Wassim Bassem discusses the increasing militarization of Iraqi society amid ongoing conflict in the country. — Wassim Bassem, Al-Monitor

Mongolia, Iraq and Colombia representatives speak at disarmament conference

Representatives from Iraq, Mongolia and Colombia spoke at the UN conference on disarmament. Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs noted that given increasing challenges posed by terror groups and regional crises, progress on disarmament critical. — BioPrepWatch Reports



Yemen at the breaking point

Martin Reardon discusses the critical situation in Yemen amid ongoing political crisis. —Martin Reardon, Al Jazeera

Police killings in Brazil: ‘My taxes paid for the bullet that killed my grandson’

Amnesty International’s Alexandre Ciconello discusses instances of police brutality in north-eastern Brazil. — Alexandre Ciconelle, Amnesty International

Help Malians Fight Back

Stephanie Pezard and Michael Shurkin discuss the importance and necessity of international support in the ongoing crisis in Mali. — Stephanie Pezard and Michael Shurkin, U.S. News and World Report 

Lebanese groups affiliated with IS

Saada Alaweh unpacks the Lebanese groups which have pledged their allegiance to Islamic State, their supply chains and their weapons. — Saada Alaweh, Al Monitor

Iraq needs justice, not revenge

Ali Mamouri discusses the need for Iraq to seek restorative forms of justice over the current mindset of revenge amid ongoing sectarian violence. — Ali Mamouri, Al Monitor

3 ways to improve policing in America

Alison Burke discusses ways to improve policing in America following a series of incidents and protests concerning tense relations between communities of color and law enforcement. — Alison Burke, Brookings

Nigerian police neglect widows of cops slain by Boko Haram - study

Obinna Anyadike discusses continued corruption within Nigeria’s police forces, looking specifically at the force’s failure to compensate families of officers killed in offensives against Boko Haram. — Obinna Anyadike , IRIN

Fear still rules Myanmar

Article discusses the ongoing climate of fear in Myanmar following violent clashes between students and protesters early last week. — The Nation

Who are Yemen’s Houthis

April Longley Alley discusses the history of Yemen’s Houthis amid ongoing political crisis, in an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations. — Zachary Laub, Council on Foreign Relations

Accepting Al Qaeda: The Enemy of the United States’ Enemy

Barak Mendelsohn discusses the need for US revision of their policy towards al Qaeda amid ongoing violence in the Middle East by jihadi group Islamic State. — Barak Mendelsohn , Foreign Affairs

After crackdown on students, Myanmar’s will to reform questioned

Jared Ferrie discusses the violent crackdown on protesters in Myanmar and the government’s will to reform amid continued crises and attempts at democratization. — Jared Ferrie, Reuters

While the junta’s in power, everything can be called ‘reform’

Supalak Ganjanakhundee discusses ongoing political tension in Thailand, specifically highlighting the military junta’s continuing attempts to perpetuate their power and influence despite their claims about meaningful reform of political structures. — Supalak Ganjanakhundee, The Nation

What does the Boko Haram/IS alliance mean?

Obinna Anyadike discusses the possible implications of Boko Haram’s pledge of allegiance with Islamic State. — Obinna Anyadike, IRIN

Why did Lebanon’s security initiative fail?

Jean Aziz discusses a recent attempt by Lebanon’s director-general of General Security to free abducted Lebanese soldiers and drive the Islamic State from Lebanon, a move welcomed by Syria, but rejected by the United States and Lebanon. — Jean Aziz, Al-Monitor

To solve rising crime and radicalization, start with the youth

Sebastian Gatimu discusses the importance of political, social, cultural and economic participation of youth in Africa as central to curbing the rising crime and radicalization on the continent. — Sebastian Gatimu, ISS Today

South Sudan peace talks collapse, election called off

Sebastian Gatimu discusses the recent failure of South Sudan peace talks, and highlights the pressing need for national dialogue to find a path to peace in the country. — Sebastian Gatimu, ISS Today



Sudan: The Prospects for “National Dialogue”

This new Crisis Group briefing discusses the prospects for political dialogue and peace in Sudan amid continued conflict. — International Crisis Group

The Real Strategic Goal in Iraq and Syria: How Do You Bring Lasting Stability?

Anthony H. Cordesman discusses the need for a clear strategy on how to bring stability to Iraq and Syria amid ongoing conflict. — Anthony H. Cordesman, Center for Strategic and International Studies

The State of African Resilience

Jennifer G. Cooke examines the resilience of vulnerable populations throughout the African continent, amid unprecedented rates of economic growth on the continent. —Jennifer G. Cooke, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Red lines and al-Shabaab: negotiating humanitarian access in Somalia

This new Clingendael report discusses the experience of negotiating humanitarian access with Al-Shabaab in Somalia. — Joe Belliveau, Clingendael

The tricky business of using greater force in UN peace operations

This Clingendael policy brief explores debates over the need to use greater force in UN peacekeeping operations. — Nicole Ball, Erwin van Veen and Megan Price, Cingendael