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News Roundup: 23 March - 29 March 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR Weekly | Mar 30, 2015

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Security Sector Reform Resource Centre

Increasing the momentum for police in African-led peacekeeping operations

Gustavo De Carvalho discusses a new paper by the Institute for Security Studies, identifying African approaches and perspective on the police-component of African-led peace support operations (PSOs).



Nine Year Old Girl Soldier Freed in Large Release of Child Soldiers in Jonglei State

United Nations Children Fund Communication Office John Budd noted the first 654 children have been released from the Cobra Faction in Jonglei state following a peace deal with the government. — Jok P Mayom, Gurtong

Ocalan asks fighters to end armed struggle against Turkish state

Jailed Turkish rebel PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan called for a spring congress to discuss ending the decades-long armed struggle against the Turkish state. — The News

U.N. envoy warns Yemen is ‘on the edge of civil war’

UN Special Envoy for Yemen warned an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council events in the country could lead to civil war. — Al Arabiya

Obama agrees to slow down U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

U.S. President Obama agreed to freeze troop level in Afghanistan at 9,800 through to the end of 2015, while also vowing to end the American war by the end of his presidency. — Greg Jaffe and David Nakamura, Washington Post

Yemen’s Hadi seeks UN military support to deter Houthis

Yemen’s President Hadi has requested from the UN Security Council a military intervention in support of his government as a means to oust the Houthi rebels currently in control of the country’s north and moving south. — Al Jazeera

Yemen asks GCC for military action against Houthis

Yemeni President Hadi has requested the Gulf Cooperation Council to intervene militarily against Houthi rebels in the country. — Al Arabiya

Erdogan warns no more steps toward peace without PKK disarmament

Turkish President Ergodan has warned that his government will not take any further steps concerning peace with the PKK rebels until they lay down their arms. — Rudaw

Court bars soldiers from polling stations

The Nigerian Federal High Court in Lagos restrained the Federal Government from deploying soldiers for the general elections planned for 28 March. — Vanguard News

U.S. Vows ‘Unwavering’ Commitment to Afghanistan

Following talks between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David, Defence Secretary Ashton Carter highlighted the US maintains its “unwavering commitment to a strong and strategic partnership with Afghanistan.” —Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

U.S. to Delay Pull-out of Troops from Afghanistan to Aid Strikes

Michael D. Shear and Mark Mazzeti discuss President Obama’s decision to maintain troop levels in Afghanistan as a strategy to bolster American counter-terrorism efforts in the region. — Michael D. Shear and Mark Mazzeti , New York Times

Ghani Thanks Americans for Sacrifice, Warns About Islamic State

During a speech to U.S. congress, Afghan President Ghani thanked the U.S for its ongoing involvement in Afghanistan, while simultaneously warning of the dangers of groups like the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL). — Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

EU restores ties with Guinea-Bissau five years after coup

Mark Anderson discusses renewed ties between the European Union and Guinea-Bissau. — Mark Anderson, Guardian

Saudi Arabia allies bomb Houthi positions in Yemen

Saudi Arabia and its regional allies have launched a military operation in Yemen against Houthi rebels. — Al Jazeera

Turkey passes Tough new security law, raising fears of election crackdowns

Jonny Hogg and Gulsen Solaker discuss the controversial security law passed by the Turkish parliament which greatly expands police powers and allows the use of firearms against demonstrators. — Jonny Hogg and Gulsen Solaker, Reuters

Exclusive: West holds off on Ukraine aid pledges, seeking reforms

Ukraine’s international partners are delaying plans to offer millions in aid to Kiev until officials demonstrate capacity and willingness to allocate funds efficiently. — Robin Emmott, Reuters

Security Council renews DR Congo Mission, reduces troop numbers by 2,000

The Security Council has voted to renew its mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo for 12 months, while also endorsing the recommendation to reduce the number of troops by 2,000. — UN News Centre

Central African Republic: Security Council boosts UN mission presence as tensions continue

The UN Security Council has agreed to boost their peacekeeping presence in the Central African Republic amid continued conflict. — UN News Centre




National reconciliation in Iraq remains elusive

Mushreq Abbas discusses the slow progress, and often differing interpretations, of national reconciliation in Iraq since the US invasion of 2003. — Mushreq Abbas, Al Monitor

How to make the transition from dictatorship to democracy

Sarah Mersch discusses the unfinished transition and reform process in Tunisia following the launch of Le Labo Democratique’s analysis of the Jasmine Revolution. — Sarah Mersch, Qantara

The key to real change in the Middle East : police reform

Mieczyslaw P Boduszynski argues the desire for legitimate government and stability in the Middle East requires wide ranging and serious police reforms. —Mieczyslaw P Boduszynski, The Conversation

Yemen melts down

Adam Baron discusses the increasing violence and devastation in Yemen. — Adam Baron, Foreign Policy

Volunteer efforts crucial for army reform

Military experts have noted the volunteers efforts in the country have become the driving force of defence and army reform in Ukraine. — Alex Statko, Southeast European Times

Commentary : Mexico’s rule of law

Antonio Garza discusses the importance of the rule of law for stability in Mexico. — Antonio Garza, The Monitor

Will Congress arm Iraqi Kurds ?

Julian Pecquet discusses the possibility the US congress will vote to bypass Baghdad and begin to provide direct support to Iraqi Kurds. — Julian Pecquet, Al Monitor

The Islamic State in Africa

Walaa Hussein discusses how the recent pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) by Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram has strengthened IS presence and influence on the African continent. — Walaa Hussein, Al Monitor

PM Barzani : Shiite militias should be regulated

In an interview with Al Monitor, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Nechirvan Barzani discusses ongoing conflict against the Islamic State, the rise of Iraqi Shiite militias, and relations with Baghdad. — Al Monitor

Nigeria’s election – “anything fit happen” 

Obinna Anyadike discusses tensions and possible challenges Nigeria will face ahead of the 28 March elections. — Obinna Anyadike, IRIN

Will Myanmar’s Military Reform?

Stanley Weiss discusses whether Myanmar’s military will follow through on its promised, and highly anticipated reforms as a crucial step towards the country’s democratisation process. — Stanley Weiss, Huffington Post

Was the Middle East Better Off With Its Dictators?

Lina Khatib argues many of the conflicts in the Middle East today are in fact the product of the “political, economic and social ills of dictatorships.” — Lina Khatib, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

America, Saudi Arabia, and the Strategic Importance of Yemen

Anthony H. Cordesman discusses the importance of the strategic partnership between the US and Saudi Arabia amid ongoing conflict in Yemen. — Anthony H. Cordesman, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Turkey: Draconian reforms give police wide-ranging powers to repress dissent

Amnesty International discusses the possible violent and repressive implications of the range of security reforms passed by the Turkish Parliament. — Amnesty International



EU Security Sector Reform Requires Revision to Achieve and Maintain Its Goals

This Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) publications assesses the EU’s various security sector reform attempts in post-conflict settings. — Beata Gorka-Winter, Polish Institute of International Affairs

The Recurring Rise and Fall of Political Islam

In this Center for Strategic and International Studies publication, Paul Salem analyses the trends of political Islam in the Middle East. — Paul Salem, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Yemen at War

This new Crisis Group briefing discusses complexities and various fronts of war and conflict in Yemen. — International Crisis Group