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News Roundup: 18 May - 24 May 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR Weekly | May 25, 2015

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Security Sector Reform Resource Centre

Paramilitary Violence and Policing in Northern Ireland

Branka Marijan and Sean Brennan analyze the impact of paramilitary activity and violence on the legitimacy and practices of the reformed Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). They argue that sustained efforts at relationship building between local communities and the PSNI are needed in order to guarantee that no gaps in policing are left that could be filled by informal security actors.



‘British FBI’ now fully operational in Northern Ireland

Established in 2013 in Northern Ireland, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has become fully operational. – The Irish Times

One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Thailand’s latest coup happened a year ago, on May 22, 2014. Steve Herman discusses the current political situation in the country. – Steve Herman, VOA News

Thailand | National Reform Council looks to resolve police reform splits

A new committee to ‘study and analyze’ police reform proposals will be created. – The Bangkok Post

Indonesian army chief says ‘two-fingered virginity test’ is key to determining a woman’s morality

Indonesian army chief has responded to critics by saying that ‘it’s a good thing, so why criticize it?’ following international condemnation of the use of invasive virginity tests for women who want to join the military. – Sophie McIntyre, The Independent

Defense spending bill provides boost to Jordan

U.S. Congress has passed a bill that could provide additional funds to support Jordan’s armed forces in the fight against the Islamic State. – Julian Pecquet, Al-Monitor

New Kiev patrol force the beginning of police reform

Ukraine’s traffic police will be operational next month. The new patrol force was created to address widespread police corruption issues. – The Irish Times

Stretched Afghan army falls back on militias to help defend Kunduz

The Afghan government is working with militia fighters and non-state armed groups in the fight against the Taliban, a strategy that might backfire according to critics and analysts. – Feroz Sultani and Kay Johnson, Reuters

Farc suspends truce after Colombia army attack

The Farc rebel group has suspended a unilateral ceasefire in place since December 2014, but will continue the ongoing peace negotiations with the Colombian government in Havana.– BBC

Adopting resolution, Security Council urges broader global cooperation to tackle illicit transfer of small arms

The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution calling for better cooperation against the “illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse” of small arms and light weapons (SALW). – UN News Centre



What Burundi’s crisis says about U.N. capacity to build peace

Using Burundi as a case study, Susana Campbell discusses two key lessons for reforming U.N. peacebuilding. – Susanna Campbell, The Washington Post

South Sudan: What went wrong?

The authors discuss the latest case of instability and violence in South Sudan and argue that only a ‘generational exit’ can lead to sustainable peace. – Peter Ajak and John Hirsch, IPI Global Observatory

Prisons ignoring the rights of Ivorian youth

This report provides an overview of Cote d’Ivoire’s criminal justice system. – Alexis Adele, IRIN

Soft approach to hardcore groups in Africa

Caroline Hellyer analyzes the variety of ‘soft’ approaches used by African governments to counteract the appeal of violent hardcore groups. – Caroline Hellyer, Al Jazeera

Train-and-Equip Alone Will Not Help Tunisia

Capacity building and train-and-equip security assistance can help improve Tunisia’s security sector only to a certain extent. To address Tunisia’s security problem, it is essential to investigate key institutional and structural issues. – Haykel Ben Mahfoudh, The Atlantic Council

Arming the Enemy in Afghanistan

The authors analyze how American weapons end up in the hands of the Taliban. – Jonathan Broder and Sami Yousafzai, Newsweek

Afghanistan | Why ‘Train, Advise, and Assist’ Should Begin with ‘Assess’

Morwari Zafar argues that the first step to building sustainable security forces in Afghanistan is to comprehensively assess the current capacity, and weaknesses, of its security institutions. – Morwari Zafar, Foreign Policy

Dispatches: Yet Again, Afghanistan Relies on Abusive Strongmen

Patricia Grossman argues that long-term security in Afghanistan cannot be achieved while the Afghan government relies heavily on militias, given the history of abuses by these unofficial armed groups. – Patricia Grossman, Human Rights Watch

Is Burundi still a credible peacekeeper?

The authors provide valuable insight on a key peacekeeping and security assistance question: ‘Is a fresh post-conflict state really the right candidate to receive international military training and support?‘ – Nina Wilén, Gérard Birantamije and David Ambrosetti, The Washington Post

Thailand | Transparency the key to fair justice for all

Thailand lacks concrete tools to measure the governance dimension of its justice system. The author argues that in order to best achieve good governance within the criminal justice system, it is essential to develop practical justice performances indicators. – Kittipong Kittayarak, The Bangkok Post



Enhancing U.S. Support for Peace Operations in Africa

Paul D. Williams analyzes U.S. support for peace operations in Africa and identifies four critical areas to improve: finance, personnel, assistance and policy. The author argues that the United States must work with the African Union to increase the effectiveness of peacekeeping. – Paul D. Williams, Council for Foreign Relations

The Politics of Disarmament and Rearmament in Afghanistan

Deedee Derksen argues that the four major international disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programmes started in Afghanistan since 2001 have all failed. The author argues that DDR must be pursued within a broader political dialogue as part of the Afghan peace process. – Deedee Derksen, USIP

Mali: An Imposed Peace?

Crisis Group’s latest report highlights the fragility of Mali’s peace agreement given that some armed groups, including the Azawad Movements Coalition, have not yet signed the agreement. This situation will ‘likely make disarmament impossible’. – International Crisis Group

Justice in Practice: South Sudan

A new report by the Justice and Security Research Programme (JSRP) analyzes the everyday experiences of justice in South Sudan. – Rachel Ibreck, JSRP