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News Roundup: 6 April - 12 April 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR Weekly | Apr 13, 2015

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Security Sector Reform Resource Centre

Could New Laws to Fight Terrorism Actually Help Fuel It?

David Cortright discusses whether new counterterrorism laws could in practice prove counterproductive by exacerbating the marginalization of communities more vulnerable to extremism.



Senior UN official calls for disarmament push amid uptick in global tensions

UN disarmament chief Agela Kane urged Member States to work to find common ground on disarmament issues, in terms of both nuclear weapons and conventional arms, in the current context of increased global tensions and violence. — UN News Centre

Opposition forces call for boycott of Sudan elections

A coalition of the political and armed opposition in Sudan called for a boycott of the ruling party’s planned 13 April elections, saying the government has obstructed the African Union’s pre-dialogue and aborted the German initiative to facilitate and negotiated settlement. — Sudan Tribune

SPLM-N rebels seize ballot boxes in South Kordofan

Rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation movement-North (SPLM-N) seized a vehicle in South Sudan’s South Kordofan state one week ahead of general elections. The group has called for the postponement of general elections in order to focus on a comprehensive negotiated settlement. — Sudan Tribune

Saudi-led coalition to get U.S. weapons boost

A senior U.S. official announced the U.S. will increase its weapons delivery in support of the Saudi-Arabia- led coalition against the Houthi-advance in Yemen. — Al Arabiya 

Georgia enjoys “laudable” meeting in Brussels

Georgia’s First Deputy State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Archil Karaulashvili presented the country’s Annual National Program 2015 to NATO member-states in Brussels. The presentation highlighted progress on military reform and foreign and security policies part of the attempt at eventual NATO integration. — Mushvig Mehdiyev, Azernews

Poroshenko ready for referendum on Ukraine’s state system

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced he is ready to hold a referendum on the country’s state system. — Interfax-Ukraine 

Government to remain until goals achieved - spokesman

Thailand’s deputy government spokesman Sansern KaewKamnerd stated the military junta government will remain in power until it has achieve its goals, or as long violent attempts to subvert the government continue. — Patsara Jikkham, Bangkok Post

Failure to amend Myanmar constitution ‘raises questions’ on reform: U.S.

U.S. officials stated concern over Myanmar’s failure to amend the military-drafted constitution, arguing it raised questioned about the credibility of reforms in the country. — Jared Ferrie, Reuters 

President Sirleaf Meets with the Chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, Ambassador Olof Skoog and Delegation

Liberian President Johnson Sirleaf met with the chair of the United Nations Peacebuidling Commission, Ambassador Olof Skoog to discuss UNMIL’s transition in Liberia, and how the transition plans can be most effectively implemented. — Executive Mansion Press Release

Assailants block Mexican police convoy, kill 15 officers in ambush

Suspected drug traffickers in Mexico’s Jalisco state killed some 15 police officers during an ambush. This brutal attack had one of the highest security forces death tolls in recent years. — Tracy Wilkinson, LA Times

Sierra Leone: President Koroma Hosts UN Chair of Peace Building Commission

Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma hosted the Chair of the United Nations Peace Building Commission Ambassafor Olof Skoog in Freetown. The two discussed the impact of the Ebola epidemic, and how the commission can held in addressing some of the challenges faced by Sierra Leone. — Government of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone: Policing the Police- UNDP Helps to Improve Internal Investigation Squad

The Concord Times discusses the progress in the country’s security sector reform since the implementation of the UNDP-Sierra Leone Access to Justice and Security Sector Reform Programme in 2014.— Concord Times

Police force set for shakeup in charter

Thailand’s Constitutional Drafting Committee (CDC) submitted a proposal to reform the policy force in the draft charter to be presented to the National Reform Council on 17 April. — Mongkol Bangprapa, Bangkok Post 

New Ukraine Doctrine embraces NATO

Ukraine announced a new security doctrine officials denouncing Russia’s ‘aggression’, and noted their intention to join the U.S.-led NATO military alliance. — Euractiv

U.N. vote as early as Friday on Yemen arms embargo: diplomats

The UN Security Council is likely to vote on a resolution to blacklist the son of former Yemeni President and Houthi leader, and impose an arms embargo on the rebels. — Michelle Nichols, Reuters

Liberia: Security Sector Demands More Money

Security institutions in Liberia are requesting a budgetary increase in order to maintain peace and order after the departure of UNMIL forces in 2017. —The New Dawn

Police Reform Group Begs Buhari to Sack IGP Abba

Nigeria’s Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) is demanding the removal of Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, over charges of human rights abuses and corruption, and the general overhaul of the state’s security services. — Ajomole Helen, Naij 

African Prisons chiefs meet in Kampala over peace, security reforms

The Commissioner Generals of Prisons in Africa met in Kampala to discuss issues of peace and security reforms in an effort to combat increased terrorism threats on the continent. — Francis Emorut, New Vision

Electoral success of HDP ‘will aid PKK disarmament’

Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairman Selahattin Demirtas noted that his party’s success in the 7 June elections would facilitate the disarming of the outlawed PKK party. — Anadolu Agency 

Suu Kyi attends high-level talks in Myanmar over reform course

Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with President Thein Sein and military leaders with the aim of paving the way for an election scheduled for November. — Deutsche Welle

Liberia’s US$104 Million Transition Plan for Life after UNMIL

The Liberian government has announced its transition plan for the departure of UN forces. The plan is set to cost some US$104.848 million with funds intended to be mobilized by the Liberian government. — Front Page Africa

Myanmar High Level Meeting Political Talks Consider Reforms

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with Myanmar’s top political and military leaders in what was described as a largely ‘successful meeting’, although there were no clear indications participants bridge their difference concerning political reforms ahead of planned November elections. — AP



The All-Arab Army? Why the Arab League’s New Force Spells Trouble

Michael Broning discusses the decision by the Arab League to establish a ‘unified Arab force’, and arguing its establishment risks exacerbating sectarian tensions in the region. — Michael Broning, Foreign Affairs

Kenya is losing the plot against Al-Shabab

In the wake of the tragic Garissa attack by Al-Shabab militants in Kenya, Abdullahi Boru Hakakhe discusses how corruption within the security sector and the absence of a concrete exit-plan from Somalia have combined to make Kenya a vulnerable terrorist target. —Abdullah Boru Halakhe, Al Jazeera America 

Corruption, lack of political for reform weaken Kenya’s ability to fight terrorists

In the wake of the Garissa attack, Joseph Burite and Ilya Gridneff argue Islamist militants are exploiting the Kenyan government’s failure to reform its security apparatus. —Joseph Burite and Ilya Gridneff , Bloomberg

Terrorist Turf Wars: Why al Shabab Attacked Kenya’s Garissa University College

Joshua Meservy presents an alternative explanation of al Shabab’s attack in Garissa, arguing it was a result of the groups weakened stature and its desire to assert itself in the face of strengthening Islamist movements such as ISIS and Boko Haram. — Joshua Meservy, Foreign Affairs 

Kenyan university massacre ‘a preventable tragedy’

Joseph Burite discusses a recent claim by a Kenyan human rights advocate that the bloody Al-Shabab attack on Garissa University and the 2013 attack on Westgate shopping mall could both have been avoided had the Kenyan government implemented security sector reforms five years ago. — Joseph Burite, The Sydney Morning Herald 

Have Myanmar’s Armed Force Gone Too Far?

Hunter Marston and Andrew Morgan discuss whether recent events involving Myanmar’s army, including the bombing of Chinese territory and the violent crackdown on student protester, suggest a return to military authoritarianism in the state. — Hunter Marston and Andrew Morgan, The Diplomat

Interview with Michael Brown, UN Senior Mediation Expert in Natural Resources and Land Conflict

In an interview with New Security Beat UN Senior Mediation Expert in Natural Resources and Land Conflict Michael Brown discusses the recently published guide to natural resources for conflict mediators by the UN Environment Program and Department of Political Affairs. — Linnea Bennett, New Security Beat 

Nigeria Elections 2015: Gubernatorial Contests Could Make or Break Fragile Democracy

Morgan Winsor discusses how Nigeria’s gubernatorial elections could derail the thus far relatively peaceful democratic process in Nigeria following the early-April election victory of opposition party All People’s Congress candidate Buhari. — Morgan Winsor, International Business Times

Pros and cons of Sierra Leone’s Ebola lockdowns

John Sahr Sahid discusses recent lockdowns in Sierra Leone as part of the effort to fight the Ebola epidemic. — John Sahr Sahid, IRIN

Oil-rich Delta poses first big test for Nigeria’s new leader

Obinna Anyadike argues one of the early tests of for Nigerian President-elect Muhammadu Buhari will be to handle the volatile oil-rich Delta region of the country, where former militia commanders pledged their support for outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan. — Obinna Anyadike, IRIN

Hear it from the people: What’s wrong in the Central African Republic

Crispin Dembassa-Kette discusses the local’s perception of brutal conflict in the Central African Republic. — Crispin Dembassa-Kette, IRIN

Will Politics Keep Peacekeepers from Harnessing Satellite Imagery?

Elodie Convergne and Michael R. Snyder discuss the International Peace Institute’s newest report on the value of harnessing satellite imagery for peacekeeping purposes. — Elodie Convergne and Michael R. Snyder, IPI Global Observatory

Communities key in countering Africa’s resource curse

Hawa Noor discusses possible policy solutions to Africa’s resource curse. Specifically, she points to the implementation of more inclusive, transparent and accountable governance surrounding the extractive industry in Africa. — Hawa Noor, ISS Today



Women, Violence and Conflict in Pakistan

Crisis Group’s newest report discusses persistent and widespread violence against women in Pakistan almost a decade after its democratic transition. — International Crisis Group 

Mind the Gap: The Lack of Accountability for Killer Robots

This newest Human Rights Watch report looks to implications of the absence of accountability mechanisms for the actions of fully autonomous weapons in both civil and criminal law. — Human Rights Watch