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News Roundup: 16 March - 22 March 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR Weekly | Mar 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

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
-Bernard Taylor, Executive Director, Partnership Africa Canada
- 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.



EU to help CAR military

On Monday, EU foreign ministers announced their final approval for an EU mission to assist military reform in the Central African Republic. — SAPA

At Security Council, UN envoy cites renewed hope for Afghan peace process

At a briefing of the UN Security Council, the Secretary General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Nicholas Haysom, noted a number of “significant developments” in Afghanistan and suggested renewed hope for a peace process. At this same briefing, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution allowing UNAMA to remain the country until 17 March 2016. — UN News Centre 

KCK head sets out conditions for disarmament

Cemil Bayok, head of Turkey’s Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), and widely considered the “number two” of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party  (PKK), laid out in an interview on Monday 16 March the conditions that must be met by the government before the PKK begins a disarmament process. — Cihan

Iraq’s Shiite forces claim victory over IS

Sheik Akram al-Kaabi, leader of Hezbollah al-Nujaba, one of many militant groups fighting Islamic State forces in Iraq as part of the umbrella of Popular Mobilization Forces loyal to the central government in Baghdad, discusses in an interview with Al-Monitor ongoing conflict in Iraq, and the rise of the Islamic State. — Al-Monitor

Myanmar’s student protesters at odds with older activists as reforms stall

Jared Ferrie and Simon Webb discusses divisions and disagreements between student protesters and older activists in Myanmar, as government reforms stall and crisis intensifies. — Jared Ferrie and Simon Webb, Reuters 

Liberia: Senate Probing Liberia’s Preparedness to Take Over National Security

The Liberian Senate announced Tuesday 17 March the security and judiciary committee’s mandate to assess the state’s security apparatus’ preparedness to take over from the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in 2016. The committee will also examine the sector’s shortcomings and suggest what can be done to address these issues before 2016. — Cholo Brooks, Global News Network Liberia

Myanmar leader defends reform pace, army role

Myanmar’s President Thein Sein has rejected criticism on the pace of the government’s reform process, and defended the army’s hold over politics in the country. — AFP

Turkish Deputy PM hints of a ‘monitoring committee’ ahead of disarmament

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan suggested a “monitoring committee” may be put in place ahead of the PKK disarmament announcement. — Daily Sabah

Ahead of President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah’s Visit, CAP Outlines Needed Economic, Security, Corruption Reforms in Afghanistan

The Centre for American Progress presents recommendations on ways the U.S.-Afghan partnership should address Afghanistan’s most pressing reform agenda challenges ahead of Afghan President Ghani’s visit to Washington. — Center for American Progress

Ivory Coast to resettle 18,000 ex-combattants

Boureima Ould Aidara, a spokesman for Cote d’Ivoire’s Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Authority (ADDR) announced a plan for the resettlement of 18,000 ex-combattants. — Xinhua

Nigeria says has pushed Boko Haram out of all but 3 areas

The Nigerian army announced on Tuesday 17 March that it had repelled Islamist group Boko Haram from all three of the local government districts of the northeast of the country, further claiming victory for its offensive against the group. — Felix Onuah, Reuters

Breaking a decades-long trend, the world gets more violent

Peter Apps discusses recent data showing the world is in fact more violent today than in previous years, breaking a decades-long trend that saw global violence decreasing. —Peter Apps, Reuters



In War Against ISIS, Numbers Don’t Always Tell the Story

Robin Wright discusses the complex nature of the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, noting that despite the asymmetry in numbers and capabilities, factors such as motive, incentives and ideological commitment are central components of troop strength. — Robin Wright, Wall Street Journal - Washington Wire

Understanding instability in Libya: will peace talks end the chaos?

Floor El Kamouni-Janssen and Iba Abdo discuss the ongoing political crisis in Libya, and the feasibility of lasting peace coming out of the UN-sponsored talks in Geneva. — Floor El Kamouni-Janssen and Iba Abdo, Clingendael

Security Review or Oversight? The Critical Difference

Peter Jones discusses the ongoing debate over the Canadian government’s recent security legislation, focusing in on the fundamental difference between questions of security review, versus security oversight. — Peter Jones, Globe and Mail

Iraq’s Sunni Reawakening

Dafna H. Rand and Nicholas A. Heras discuss the need for the central Iraqi government to lay the political groundwork with local Sunni leaders before the government begins their offensive to retake the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants. — Dafna H. Rand and Nicholas A. Heras, Foreign Affairs

After Tikrit: What to Do With Iraq’s Shia Popular Mobilization Units

Michael Knights discusses Iran’s role in ongoing conflict in Iraq, specifically in the wake of the Iranian backed Shiite militias’ battle to take back the city of Tikrit from Islamic State forces in Iraq. — Michael Knights, Foreign Affairs

Myanmar regresses

This Bangkok Post editorial discusses intensifying crisis in Myanmar following the police’s violent crackdown on student protesters, noting the government’s slow progress on, and seeming unwillingness to enact reforms. — Bangkok Post

Indicators of increasing security chaos in the West Bank

Dr. Adnan Abu Amer discusses the intensifying “security chaos” in the West Bank following the Palestinian Authority’s decision to arrest Hamas supporters, and the subsequent armed clashes between youth and security forces in the area. — Dr. Adnan Abu Amer, Middle East Monitor

Military immunity: Colombia’s moment of choice

Thomas MacManus and Alun Gibbs discuss the challenges of post-conflict transitional justice in Colombia in the context of the current Senate Bill’s plan to reform the military justice system. — Thomas MacManus and Alun Gibbs, openSecurity

Tunisia’s security nightmare long predates the Arab Spring

Rory McCarthy discusses the roots of Tunisia’s security crisis in the wake of the tragic attack on the Bardo museum in Tunis. — Rory McCarthy, openSecurity

The double-edged sword of sanctions

Emmanuel Kisiangani discusses the early-March UN Security Council resolution on sanctions of individuals responsible for undermining peace in South Sudan. — Emmanuel Kisiangani, ISS Today

What does the Boko Haram-ISIS alliance mean for terrorism in Africa?

Martin Ewi discusses the implication of the recent pledge of allegiance between violent Islamist groups Boko Haram and the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) on terrorism across the African continent. — Martin Ewi, ISS Today

Lessons for U.S. police from an unexpected place – Northern Ireland

Terry Golway discusses the 2001 police reform in Northern Ireland, as a possible example of effective restructuring of US police following the U.S. Justice Department’s critical report on Ferguson’s police force. — Terry Golway, Reuters

Buddhist nationalists stoke hatred in Myanmar

Richard Bennett discusses ways in which hardline Buddhist nationalists in Myanmar are fueling religious intolerance, particularly against Muslim communities, and stoking hatred amid ongoing crisis in the country. — Richard Bennett, Al Jazeera

Aftermath of Botched Phillippines Raid Should Concern Washington

Gregory B. Poling discusses the January raid by the Philippine National Police in Mamasapano, on the southern island of Mindanao, that killed a wanted terrorist, and left some 44 police dead. He notes the raid caused major upheaval in the country, threatening to derail the peace process entirely. — Gregory B. Poling, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Antonio Garza: Establishing the rule of law is Mexico’s big challenge

Antonio Garza discusses the most pressing issue Mexico faces amid its wide-ranging reform agenda, namely the establishment of the rule of law. — Antonio Garza, The Dallas Morning News



Security Sector Reform in Guinea-Bissau: An Opportunity Not to Be Missed

This new Crisis Group briefing discusses Guinea-Bissau’s opportune moment for security sector reform, and the need for international partners to commit financial support to enact the needed reforms. — International Crisis Group

After Liberation Came Destruction: Iraqi Militias and the Aftermath of Amerli

This new Human Rights Watch report presents evidence militias looted the property of Sunni civilians, burned their homes and business and destroyed at least two villages in the aftermath of the Amerli battle in Iraq. — Human Rights Watch

Afghanistan at Transition: The Lessons of the Longest War

Anthony H. Cordesman discusses the civil and military lessons of the war in Afghanistan as of 2015, and the current problems the country now faces as most US and allied forces leave. — Anthony H. Cordesman, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Missed Opportunity: The Politics of Police Reform in Egypt and Tunisia

Yezid Sayingh the absence of effective reform in Egypt and Tunisia in establishing genuinely accountable police forces and security agencies four years after the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring. He notes centrally, that until reforms are enacted in these states’ security sectors, they will remain at risk of further instability. — Yezid Sayingh, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace