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News Roundup: 6 July - 12 July 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR Weekly | Jul 13, 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

UN Security Council Targeted Sanctions in South Sudan; for whom and for what?

In our latest blog post, Matthew LeRiche analyzes the latest sanctions in South Sudan. These targeted sanctions announced by the UN Security Council with respect to the conflict in South Sudan, once again raise major questions regarding the use of targeted sanctions as peacebuilding tools. The current sanctions have problems in terms of their core conception, their non-political designations, the selection of the specific individuals, and most importantly the poor timing conflicting with progress in the peace talks. There is no doubt that accountability is an essential component to sustainable peace in South Sudan but sanctions of this kind applied in the manner they have are not a useful method of holding account.

Does International Institutional Protectionism and Rivalry diminish Security Sector Reform?

In this new blog post, Anthony Welch analyzes the bureaucratic logic of competition and rivalry between international organizations. “International and Intergovernmental Organizations have a shared desire to ensure peace and stability in post-conflict states. However officials in international institutions have their own agendas as to the conduct and outcomes of security sector reform (SSR).  It can be argued that these rivalries and contradictory agendas can significantly impede the pursuit of effective SSR programmes.”


Centre for Security Governance

The Centre for Security Governance published its third SSR 2.0 Brief, The Role of Disarmament,Demobilization & Reintegration in Countering Violent Extremism. The author argues that there is no policy guidance to address the DDR-CVE nexus. As this brief shows, there is a need for a new, innovative policy framework for DDR that better equips the concept to address the DDR-CVE challenge. A paradigm shift in policy is needed to reframe DDR as a conflict-prevention measure, rather than merely a post-conflict peacebuilding tool.



China to provide Afghanistan with security equipment and training

‘China has pledged to increase security cooperation with Afghanistan by providing security equipment, technology and training assistance’. – Mirwais Adeel, Khaama Press.

Georgian Parliament Votes On Interior Ministry Reform

The Georgian parliament has given the green light to the breakup of the country’s Interior Ministry. The reforms, said to be the first of many, decouples the security and intelligence bodies. – Liz Fuller, Radio Free Europe.

UN rights chief criticizes China’s ‘vague’ national security law

The UN expresses concern over new Chinese security laws that they say will leave the door open to further ‘restrictions of the rights and freedoms of Chinese citizens, and tighter control of civil society by the Chinese authorities’. – Taylor Brailey, Jurist.

The photogenic new police officers patrolling Kiev’s streets

With newly hired Ukrainian police now on the streets, the BBC documents the public’s reaction, and the hope (or lack of) the new officers give people that corruption is coming to an end. – Dmytro Zotsenko, BBC.

U.N. Security council blacklists six rival South Sudan generals

The UN has blacklisted six rival generals in South Sudan, 3 from each side, for ‘fueling the ongoing conflict and contributing to a devastating humanitarian crisis’. – Michelle Nichols, Thompson Reuters Foundation.

Libya: Rebel Government Announces Military Reform

Libya’s unrecognized rebel government announced a restructuring of its army into 11 brigades, with the aim being a more effective army of 5,000 militiamen. – Stratfor.

U.N. peacekeeping chief pushes for South Sudan arms embargo

UN ‘peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous has pushed the U.N. Security Council to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan and to blacklist more rival leaders in the war-torn country’, in an attempt to etch out a political solution to the country’s conflict. – Michelle Nichols, Thompson Reuters Foundation.

Colombia Farc rebels call unilateral ceasefire

Following a spike in FARC-government violence that threatened ongoing peace negotiations in Havana, FARC rebels have announced a one-month unilateral ceasefire. – BBC.

South Sudan Rebel Leader Calls on President to Resign

South Sudanese rebel leader, Riek Machar, has called for the resignation of the countries President, Salvir Kiir. If the President does not resign, Machar stated that: “citizens have the right to overthrow his government”. – Tom Odula, AP and ABC News.

Ugandan police arrest presidential aspirants on way to meetings

Former Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has been arrested. Police arrested Mbabazi for trying to holds meetings as part of his electoral challenge of current President Yoweri Museveni. – Reuters.

AU wary of tension in G/Bissau

The African Union has expressed concern over continuing political disputes amongst the country’s leaders. Calling for restraint to insure the country’s long term stability. – StarAfrica.

East Africa: EAC Leaders Call for Disarmament of Imbonerakure Militia

‘Leaders of the East African Community (EAC) have called for the immediate disarmament of Imbonerakure, a paramilitary youth group allied to Burundi’s ruling party’. – Collins Mwai, All Africa.

Gov’t to borrow sh2.4trillion for modern artillery

The Ugandan government has approved a $740.5 million loan from Russia, to purchase modern equipment to ‘further strengthen the country’s military and security infrastructure’. – New Vision.

India, Kazakhstan sign five key agreements

India and Kazakhstan have signed five key agreements including a defense pact to enhance military cooperation, a contract for the supply of uranium, and a commitment to unite in a fight against ‘terrorism and extremism’. – The Hindu.

Ex-dictator found mentally unfit for new Guatemala genocide trial

‘Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt has been declared mentally unfit to be tried again on genocide charges, two years after a historic conviction of the former strongman was thrown out on a technicality’. – Sofia Menchu and David Alire Garcia, Reuters.

Algeria president issues emergency plan to fight civil unrest

Algeria has announced a new ‘emergency plan’ to help tackle civil unrest in the southern city of Ghardaia. The plan puts the area’s ‘military commander in charge to work to ensure security, justice and development’. – William Helbling, Jurist.



Auditors praise EU work on Afghan police

In this interview Gustaf Wessberg, a European Court Auditor, controversially states that the EU funded police training mission in Afghanistan, EUPOL, has been an overall success. Wessberg does however highlight that the mission has failed to prepare adequately for the forces withdrawal at the end of 2016. - Andrew Rettman, EU Observer.

Military helps cut Honduras murder rate, but abuses spike

While the militarization of Honduras’ battle against gang violence has helped reduce gang related violence, this article highlights how the soldiers used in the program have begun to systematically violate human rights. Since the programs introduction, there has been ‘a litany of murder, rape and torture accusations by some victims and human rights groups against the military’. - Enrique Andres Pretel and Gabriel Stargardter, Reuters.

Reform of South Sudan Judiciary: where to start?

In this comprehensive analysis, Ajo Noel Julious K., a graduate of Harvard Law School and a legal advocate, examines the issues facing judicial reform in South Sudan. While noting corruption and nepotism as a major obstacle, Ajo also notes that the makeup of the Judicial Services committee makes it closely linked to the government, while the ability of the President to exercise his power of appointment is another major obstacles to reform. - Ajo Noel Julious K., Sudan Tribune.

The importance of local peacemaking in the Greater Horn of Africa

In this post, Kisuke Ndiku highlights how the causes of local conflicts in the Greater Horn of Africa are many and varied, before arguing that the best way to address them and ensure sustainable peace is to support local peacebuilders. - Kisuke Ndiku, Insight on Conflict.

Lords of the Tribes: The Real Roots of the Conflict in South Sudan

Using new primary data, Andrew S. Natsios outlines his view of the origins of South Sudan’s current conflict. Natsios, argues that the conflict is extremely complex, with discontent beginning long before violence erupted in 2013. In fact, Natsios argues, the beginnings of the war can be traced back to just after the South won independence in 2011, when tribal alliances began to break down. - Andrew S. Natsios, Foreign Affairs.

In Kabul, Political Gridlock Is ‘Worse’ Than Violence

With Afghanistan desperately in need of capital to improve governance, build the economy, and provide hope for a population exhausted by decades of war, Afghan business leaders have called for corruption to come to an end, in the hope of greater investment. – Thomas Leo Scherer, USIP.

Attacks Highlight Kuwait’s Delicate Security Balance

Andre Colling writes that recent bombings by ISIL in Kuwait have brought the country’s delicate security balance to the fore. Despite the Sunni-Shi’a divides being set aside in the attacks immediate aftermath, the government’s response risks increasing this dangerous religious rhetoric. Colling argues that if the government does not compromise with opposition factions, unrest will remain a long-term threat. – Andre Colling, International Peace Institute.

Seizing Assets Unlikely to Rid Paraguay of Narco-Corruption

David Gagne argues that an asset seizure bill currently being debated in Paraguay may not be a silver bullet for stopping narco-corruption in the country. Among Gagne’s arguments are the stifling effects on the laws effectiveness created by: corrupt security forces, the use of the bill to target political opponents, and bureaucracy. – David Gagne, In Sight on Crime.

How Can States and Non-State Actors Respond to Authoritarian Resurgence?

In this post, Erica Chenoweth interviews Maria J. Stephen—Senior Policy Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council—on how non-state actors respond to authoritarian regimes. Following an intricate and enlightening Q&A, Stephen highlights the role external actors have in the process, singling out President Obama’s ‘Stand With Civil Society’ initiative as an example of what should be done going forward. - Erica Chenoweth, Political Violence @ a Glance.

Taliban, Afghan officials hold peace talks, agree to meet again

Following the historic first meeting of Afghan Taliban and the Afghan government in Kabul, and the agreement that further talks would be held, this article provides an overview of the international reaction to the talks, and the divisions the talks are causing within the Taliban. - Jibran Ahmad and Hamid Shalizi, Reuters.

Karachi’s Heat Wave a Sign of Future Challenges to Pakistan’s Fragile Democracy

This intriguing article analyzes the effects of the recent heatwave in Pakistan on the country’s political and security situation. Tim Kovach writes that the heatwave has exposed major failings in government institutions, particularly the military. He writes that the Pakistani military have the ability to perform humanitarian missions in Pakistan, but that the fear of a military coup, emanating from a failure to reform the military since its inception, limits the government’s response, thus weakening its authority. – Tim Kovach, New Security Beat.

Women and Girls Endure Unspeakable Horrors during War and the UN isn’t Doing enough about it

While documenting the often horrendous treatment and conditions of women in conflict zones, Samer Muscati highlights how problems continue to be pervasive after the adoption of UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Muscati highlights how despite some progress being made in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in other states mass kidnappings of women have increased, with the women suffering negative stigmas even if rescued. –Samer Muscati, Human Rights Watch.

Egypt’s Harsh Crackdown Could Lead to Further Violence

Dr Omar Ashour argues that the recent crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Egypt could lead to a nationwide outbreak of violence. Dr Ashour argues that while the MB is weakened, it is not dead, and that the longer the standoff between the organization and President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi continues, the more unstable Egypt will become. – Dr Omar Ashour, Chatham house.

North Vietnamese veteran’s stories

This piece provides an overview of a project led by UBELONG, where veterans of the North Vietnamese Army, or Viet Cong, were interviewed and photographed. Among those interviewed is Le Ba Bon, a 63-year-old veteran who took the opportunity to state: “I have to let go of my hurt and pain. It’s time to look into the future and begin cooperating”. A powerful message for any combatants currently involved in peace negotiations. – Phil Coomes, BBC.

Yemen - A difficult calm

As a UN brokered humanitarian truce takes hold in Yemen, Khaled Abdullah tells the story of the destruction the truce hopes to end through the medium of photography. If an average picture says a thousand words, this piece tells a million regarding the division and suffering gripping Yemen. – Khaled Abdulah, Reuters.

Why the UN Sucks at Conflict Prevention

Andrew Mack highlights how the UN’s role ‘in preventing armed conflict has been mixed to poor.’ Mack argues that this failure emanates from: an increase in intra state conflict making it more difficult for the UN to intervene, a lack of resources, difficulty in assessing the success of mediators, and the difficult linking of development policy to conflict prevention. – Andrew Mack, Political Violence @ a Glance.

What Should We Do About Everyday Violence? A Problem Looking for a Solution

In this review of the newly released book, The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence, Andrew Blum writes of how the book provides a deeper insight into the links between poverty and violence and the epidemic of ‘sexual violence, police brutality and illegal detention’ that plagues the lives of many of the “global poor”. Finding fault with the books key argument, Blum states that while the book argues for increased security sector and judicial reform, it fails to tackle how this may be achieved in systems where the state does not hold a monopoly on power. – Andrew Blum, Alliance for Peacebuilding.



Striking for engagement: State-Citizen relations in peacebuilding in Sierra Leone

This report analyzes the state-citizen relationship in post-war Sierra Leone, and the implications this has on peacebuilding efforts. ‘The report analyzes, among other things: the scope and opportunities for citizens to influence government actions; the extent to which citizens take these opportunities and why; and the outcomes and impacts of such engagement. It focuses in particular on budgeting processes, local governance, consultations between government and civil society platforms, and the management of natural resources.’ The report finds that crisis management is key for peacebuilding and that state-citizen relations are highly dependent on the socio-economic wellbeing citizens. – International Alert.

North Caucasus: The Challenges of Integration (IV): Economic and Social Imperatives

This International Crisis Group report analyzes the roots of the conflict in the Northern Caucuses, long seen as one of Europe’s deadliest conflicts. While highlighting numerous obstacles to peace in the region, such as poor education, infrastructure and employment rates, the report sees the key obstacle as corruption. This corruption is argued to emanate from a lack of federal security and judicial control in the region. The paper argues that until this corruption is confronted, no amount of employment or education reforms will improve the overall picture. – International Crisis Group.

Under Attack and Above Scrutiny? Arms and Ammunition Diversion from Peacekeepers in Sudan and South Sudan, 2002–14

This paper analyzes the numerous peace operations undertaken in Sudan and South Sudan since 2002, a time when UN forces in the states topped 30,000. The core focus of the paper however is the documentation of the scale and scope of losses of arms and ammunition by peacekeepers in these missions. ‘At its heart, it addresses two questions: first, how many small arms and how much ammunition have peacekeepers in Sudan and South Sudan lost while on mission? Second, are losses of materiel (and of peacekeepers themselves) an unfortunate but unavoidable byproduct of the ‘cost of doing business’ inherent in accepting often very challenging mandates and operating in difficult environments?’ - Eric G. Berman and Mihaela Racovita, Small Arms Survey.

Southern Thailand: Dialogue in Doubt

This report analyzes ongoing strained peace talks between the Thai government and rebel groups in the country’s south. The report argues that if the talks are to be successful, the Thai government must build a new relationship with the regions inhabitants, something that will most likely require greater political decentralization. Other recommendations include: that the government should provide credible security guarantees to militant leaders willing to engage in the official dialogue process, and that militant groups should empower their political wings to develop innovative plans for reconciliation. – International Crisis Group.

Chad and the West: Shifting the security burden?

Following Chad’s recent deployment of troops to Nigeria, Mali and the Central African Republic, this Egmont report discusses ‘how such a poor country has managed to improve its armed forces to the point of being able to launch numerous adventures abroad, and the risks and opportunities associated with the current intervention in north-eastern Nigeria’. –Celeste Hicks, Egmont.

Containing Ebola: A Test for Post-Conflict Security Sector Reform in Sierra Leone

Cathy Haenlein and Ashlee Godwin write of the impact Ebola has had on the security sector in Sierra Leone. They argue that ‘the performance of the country’s security forces at the height of the crisis suggests that there are sound structures in place; while tempering this enthusiasm by highlighting how Ebola has shown that the Government of Sierra Leone’s national security architecture still lacks maturity.’ The paper goes on to assess what this experience can mean for future SSR programing. - Cathy Haenlein and Ashlee Godwin, Stability Journal.