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News Roundup: 8 June - 14 June 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR Weekly | Jun 15, 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!


Security Sector Reform Resource Centre

Programming Tools: Another Way of Keeping External Control of the SSR Process

Senior Fellow at the Centre for Security Governance, Dr Anthony Welch suggests that “our love affair with SSR programming tools is just another way of keeping the decision-making in external hands and away from local leaders”. Dr Welch notes how externally induced funding and material support for security sector reform (SSR) programs, coupled with issues surrounding the conceptualization of the term ‘local ownership’ has fed into a system where the maintenance of local ‘support’ for SSR programs has taken priority over giving locals true and meaningful ‘control’ over the shape of SSR programs.



Senior Project Manager

The Security Governance Group (SGG) is looking to recruit a senior project manager to assist with the continued growth of the SGG. The position involves overseeing projects, raising funds, nurturing partnerships and engaging in overall strategic planning. The deadline to apply is 26 June, 2015.



TNI chief nomination seen as reform setback

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has been called upon by human rights groups to continue pursuing military reforms. The calls come following the President’s move to end the rotation system of military leadership—a previous reform aimed at preventing domination of the military. – Hans Nicholas Jong and Margareth S. Aritonang, The Jakarta Post.

Attacks on peacekeepers, civilians in Darfur increasing-U.N.

The UN has noted a continuation of violent attacks against peacekeepers and civilians in Darfur, while noting ‘negligible’ progress in peace efforts in Darfur and an increase in hostility from the Sudanese government to the UN operation. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recommended that there be no premature exit of UN forces from the region, granting a 12-month extension to the mandate of UN forces. – Louis Charbonneau, Reuters.

Under pressure from China, Kokang rebels declare Myanmar ceasefire

The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army declared a unilateral ceasefire on Thursday, following growing pressure from the Chinese government. The group noted upcoming elections and the country’s democratization process as factors in their decision. – Timothy McLaughlin and Hnin Yadana Zaw, Reuters.

Child soldiers among 12 Maoists killed in Jharkhand

Security forces in Jharkhand have killed twelve suspected Maoist rebels, including three children. The rebels were allegedly on route to extort money from local miners. A leading rebel with a substantial bounty on his head was amongst the dead. – Vishal Sharma, Hindustan Times.

China’s former security chief given life sentence for corruption

Zhou Yongkang, China’s former security chief has been given a life sentence at a closed-door trial. He is the most senior Communist party figure to be convicted of charges ranging from bribery and abusing power, to leaking state secrets. The sentence is part of Chinese President XI Jinping’s fight against corruption, a key theme of his presidency. – Tom Phillips, The Guardian.

Nigeria: Military Bows to Buhari, Moves Command, Control Centre to Maiduguri

Following calls from President Muhammad Buhari, the Nigerian military has begun moving its command center to Maiduguri, the Borno state capital. The move is intended to highlight the commitment of Nigeria’s new government to fighting Boko Haram in the region. – Vanguard, All Africa.

Nigeria’s Buhari meets peers to hammer out Boko Haram force

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, hosted leaders from Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger, in Abuja on Thursday in meetings aimed at finding a “way out” of the current war with Boko Haram. The nations are currently setting up a regional task force in the Chadian capital, Ndjamena. The countries aim to tackle small arms proliferation and weak government in their battle against Boko Haram. – Julia Payne, Reuters.

Colombia’s FARC rebels step up infrastructure attacks, kill 3 police

FARC rebels killed three police officers and cut off power to half a million people in the south of Columbia. The attack is part of a wider increase in violence—including the bombing of oil pipelines and the hijacking of oil tankers—“amid stumbling peace talks” in Havana, Cuba. – Helen Murphy, Reuters.

Afghan aid donors face quandary over future of police fund

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is locked in dispute with the UN over control of a Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan, from which police salaries are drawn. Afghan officials want the UN to move from a fund administrator to a monitor, while contributing countries are demanding stricter controls over the fund if its control is transferred. – Reuters.

UN deploys troops, helicopters to back Congo in fight with rebels

The UN has deployed troops, attack helicopters and drones to support a campaign by the Democratic Republic of Congo’s army against Ituri Patriotic Resistance Force fighters. This is the first military cooperation between the two since January, following a refusal by the UN to work with two Congolese generals accused of human rights violations. – Reuters.

U.N. hands Libya’s warring factions unity government proposal

The UN has handed warring factions in Libya a proposal for a unity government. The proposal calls for a “one-year-long government of national accord, where a council of ministers headed by a prime minister, and two deputies, will have executive authority based in Tripoli.” – Aziz El Yaakoubi, Reuters.

As presidential poll approaches, Côte d’Ivoire will continue to need UN support, Security Council told

The UN has been called on to continue to support security sector reform in Cote d’Ivoire. A “lack of equipment among Ivorian law enforcement and security institutions for the maintenance of public order” is said to pose a major challenge if UN support is withdrawn when the current DDR process ends on June 30. – UN News Centre.

Kenya: Obama Announces Sh6.3b New Security Partnership With Kenya, Five African Countries

US President Barack Obama announced a Security Governance Initiative, aimed at improving “security sector institutions capacities to protect civilians and confront challenges and threats, with integrity and accountability”. The program has been allocated $65 million in its first year. – Lydia Matata, All Africa.

Women, Peace and Security agenda in the spotlight at NATO

Kicking off ‘Gender Week’ at NATO Headquarters, the Science for Peace and Security Program hosted an event on women in the armed forces. The event concluded that Australia’s system of inclusion and diversification should become the ‘model case’ for other nations attempting such reforms. – NATO.

Colombia’s Congress approves 3rd attempt to transfer military crimes to military courts

Colombia’s Congress has approved a controversial reform that would give military tribunals jurisprudence over crimes committed by the military. Critics say this move will remove any independence and accountability that exists in the current system. – Emma Rosser, Colombia Reports.



“Hearts & Minds” on My Mind

Will H. Moore debates the legitimacy of America’s strategy of winning ‘hearts and minds’—a strategy Moore highlights as being in use at home as well as abroad. After explaining the merits of the strategy and the debate surrounding it, Moore argues that the strategy itself is not a negative, however its manner of implementation can make it so. – Will H. Moore, Political Violence @ a Glance.

Crucial days for the Kurdish peace process

Manuel Almeida analyzes the future of the Kurdish peace process, particularly in the wake of Turkey’s elections. Almeida argues that the memories of previous phases of the conflict will keep both parties on track to signing a peace deal. – Manuel Almeida, Al Arabiya.

India’s Myanmar Operation: A Signal of Intent

Rohan Joshi argues that India’s recent incursion into Myanmar signals a change of tactics by the Indian government. With public opinion shifting to support punitive action against terrorists and cross border operations made legal by a 2010 India-Myanmar treaty, Joshi sees this as the beginning of India’s new assertive nature. – Rohan Joshi, The Diplomat.

Conflict widows: agents of change and peacebuilding

Margaret Owen delivers a speech calling on the role of widows in peacebuilding to be acknowledged. Owens argues the unity between widows from either side of a conflicts divide can be the foundation of peace talks, while highlighting the need for more research to be carried out on the situation and role of widows in conflict situations. – Margaret Owen, Open Democracy.

Buhari must hold corrupt military officials accountable

Hilary Matfess argues that in the aftermath of a damning report by Amnesty International on corruption and war crimes committed by Nigerian military officers, and in light of ongoing battles with Boko Haram, Nigeria must hold corrupt military officers to account. This call is given extra weight as US security officials are said to be becoming wary of further financing the Nigerian military without reforms. – Hilary Matfess, Al Jazeera.

Drugs, divorce and despair: Somalia’s forgotten male war victims

Katy Migiro analyses a World Bank funded report that states following the fall of Somalia’s Barre government—the country’s biggest employer—many men, who were traditionally seen to be in charge of all household needs, have experienced a ‘personal catastrophe’ which has left many addicted to khat, divorced, abused by women, or susceptible to joining groups like al Shabaab. - Katy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Why Children Matter in Armed Conflict

Cassy Dorff uses the recent killing of a 6-year old boy in Mexico by 5 children as a launch pad to draw attention to the broader place of children within conflict zones. Dorff argues that an increased level of research is needed to understand how children’s agency is shaped by years living in and around conflicts. - Cassy Dorff, Political Violence @ a Glance.

Five Game-Changing Peacebuilding Policies

Executive Vice President of The Peace Alliance, Matthew Albracht, argues for the increased use of five peacebuilding tools. These tools include: Community peacebuilding, teaching peace in schools, humanizing justice systems, fostering international peace, and cultivating personal peace. The ‘humanizing justice systems’ approach is argued to help build peace by reorienting the justice system towards a restorative and healing focus, rather than solely punitive measures. – Matthew Albracht, The Huffington Post.

Women in Africa’s top brass: it’s not just about the numbers

Liesl Louw-Vaudran, discusses the place women hold within African armed forces. It is argued that although some African nations are making strong progress in integrating women into their armed forces, the process has in some areas devolved into a numbers game. It is argued that political will is needed to progress “gender equality beyond mere representation”, and end the need for “lengthy essentialist explanations” to justify women in the security sector. – Liesl Louw-Vaudran, The Institute for Security Studies.

Will ACIRC survive the AU Summit?

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) provides an analysis of the future of the African Unions (AU), African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC). The logistical issues faced in making the force truly ‘immediate’ are debated, as too are ACIRCs benefits over the African Standby Force (ASF). ISS sees three options going forward: the force could be disbanded, it could be merged with the ASF, or it could continue as is. ISS see ACIRCs future lying in a merger with the ASF. - The Institute for Security Studies.

A snapshot of Mali three years after the 2012 crisis

This analysis by the Clingendael Institute presents a snapshot of Mali, three years after the 2012 crisis. The analysis highlights pertinent political, security and economic trends in the region, and assess their consequences for Mali’s stability in the medium term. – The Clingendael Institute

Arrests of Venezuela Police for Kidnapping Show Limit to Security Reforms

Eight members of the Venezuelan police force have been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping. David Gagne argues that this highlights the failure of government attempts to “root out corruption and criminality within the country’s police, despite ongoing reforms that began almost a decade ago.” – David Gagne, InSightCrime.

Crucial UN Peacekeeping Is Stretched to ‘Absolute Limits’

United States Institute of Peace board Vice Chairman George Moose argued at the annual United Nations Association meeting that the overstretching of UN peacekeeping forces was a threat to human rights and stability throughout the world. Moose argued that revitalizing the force was of vital importance, and that a political compact is the only way to truly achieve this. – George Moose, United States Institute of Peace.



The Future of the Afghan Local Police

This important new report argues that the Afghan Local Police are often perpetuating crimes they are being paid to prevent. The author argues that greater governance and command structures are needed more than increases in the size of the force. – International Crisis Group.

Fragile Progress: The Record of the Millennium Development Goals in States Affected by Conflict, Fragility, and Crisis

This report focuses on the impact of the Millennium Development goals in countries affected by conflict, fragility, and crisis. Using case studies of Nepal, Afghanistan, Cambodia and Sierra Leone, the report highlights that any progress made remains ‘brittle, and subject to rapid setbacks’. The report analyszs what types of programs work best (eg. Providing midwife services), while strongly reiterating that policies must be tailored to each community. – John Norris, Casey Dunning, and Annie Malknecht, United States Institute of Peace and Save the Children.

Meeting report: Security and stabilization in the Sahel region

The Clingendael Institute published the findings of an expert seminar on the aftermath of the Malian crisis. The seminar aimed to find the best way forward for the Sahel region and focused on stabilization through security improvements. The report finds that a ‘regional continuum of insecurity’ exists, while the criminal economy has begun to generate more income than legitimate taxable trade. To remedy the situation and improve security, the report finds that bottom-up stabilization is required to build trust and local involvement in the provision of security. – The Clingendael Institute.

Cross-Cutting Report on Children and Armed Conflict

Security Council Report has published its seventh ‘Cross-Cutting Report on Children and Armed Conflict’. The report analyses the impact groups like ISIS are having on children in conflict zones, the continued work of the UN Security Council to include measures on children in its operations, and the impact of recent allegations of child abuse in Mali. – Security Council Report.



Ensuring Addis delivers for fragile states

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) are to stream a free online public event on June 18, from 15:00-17:00 (GMT +1 (BST)), on how to best provide aid to fragile states, particularly those that are resource-constrained.