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News Roundup: 13 July - 19 July 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR Weekly | Jul 20, 2015

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Security Sector Reform Resource Centre

Farmer-Herder Clashes Amplify Challenge for Beleaguered Nigerian Security

This new blog post, originally published on the IPI Global Observatory, analyzes current security challenges in Nigeria beyond Boko Haram. It focuses on agriculturalist-pastoralist clashes and the impact of these social tensions and violence on Nigeria’s agrarian economy, community and land issues as well as the creation of  self-defense forces and non-state security providers as a result of these farmer-herder clashes.


Centre for Security Governance

Paramilitary Violence and Policing in Northern Ireland

The Centre for Security Governance has just published its latest CSG Insight, “Paramilitary Violence and Policing in Northern Ireland” written by Branka Marijan and Seán Brennan. This article analyzes the impact of paramilitary activity and violence on the legitimacy and practices of the reformed Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).



Burundi facing mass atrocities unless UN acts swiftly, experts warn

UN human rights investigators have called on the UN to “take immediate action to prevent Burundi from sliding back into conflict”. The ‘instrumentalisation’ of the police and the detention of opposition figures were noted as major concerns. – The Guardian.

Denmark accused of violating Geneva Convention during Iraq War

The Danish military have set up investigations following accusations Danish soldiers violated the Geneva Convention by abusing prisoners of war in Iraq. – Kashmira Gander, The Independent.

Full-fledged UN peacekeeping mission in Somalia would be ‘high-risk undertaking,’ Security Council told

Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet has noted that despite ‘heroic’ advances against Al Shabaab by African Union forces, a UN mission to the country would be a ‘high risk undertaking’. Mulet also called on security services and police to be reformed to help end the conflict. – UN News Centre.

Central African Republic conflict ‘part-funded by European firms’

‘Global Witness has accused European timber companies of funding the war in the Central African Republic through lucrative deals with militia groups.’ – BBC.

Algeria attack: Soldiers die in Islamist ambush

11 Algerian soldiers were killed Thursday by ‘Islamist militant gunmen’ in Ain Defla, 240km from the capital, Algiers. – BBC.

Fatal stabbing in downtown Beirut sparks outrage

A fatal stabbing in front of crowds in central Beirut has raised major public concerns about impunity in the country for those linked to the rich and powerful. – Basma Atassi, Al Jazeera.

Afghanistan still most perilous country for aid workers-consultancy

With 54 attacks on aid workers last year, Afghanistan remains the most dangerous country for aid workers. – Magdalena Mis, Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Nigeria’s Buhari sacks top military chiefs as Boko Haram fight escalates

“Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian president, has sacked the country’s army, air force and naval chiefs after allegations of widespread human rights abuses by troops”. – Aislinn Laing, The Telegraph.

Ukraine President Calls for Disarmament of Armed Groups

“Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced Monday that he has ordered the disarmament of illegal armed groups around the country.” – Telesur TV.

17 Killed in Massive Venezuela Police Operation

“Over a dozen suspected criminals died during a massive anti-crime police operation carried out in various parts of Venezuela, raising troubling questions over who is holding security personnel accountable for the excessive use of force.”- David Gagne, Insight Crime.

Political arrests threaten to undermine Palestinian reconciliation

Fears that Palestinian reconciliation would collapse have risen following an unprecedented arrest campaign targeting the supporters and leaders of Hamas in West Bank provinces. – Rasha Abou Jalal, Al-Monitor.

General: US Considers Expanding Ukraine Training to Army

‘The U.S. is considering a plan to expand its military training of Ukrainian forces to include army soldiers’. – Robert Burns, AP and ABC News.

Colombia says to de-escalate war if rebels uphold ceasefire

“Colombia pledged on Sunday to de-escalate military action against leftist guerrillas if the rebels uphold their unilateral ceasefire”. – Marc Frank and Daniel Trotta, Reuters.



Raped, beaten and sold: Yazidi women tell of IS abuse

This BBC article tells the story of three Yazidi women, previously held by ISIL, who traveled to the UK to tell their stories to try discourage British Muslims from joining the group. The women spoke of the ‘selection process’ they underwent and the systematic abuse they suffered while held by ISIL. – Sue Lloyd-Roberts, BBC Newnights.

Peacebuilding Review Urges Long-Haul Approach for UN

Gert Resonethal, former Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the United Nations, and chair of the advisory group reviewing the UN peacebuilding architecture, analyzes a recent UN report on the architecture of peacekeeping missions. Amongst the reports assertions, Resonethal highlights its belief that it is “domestic stakeholders that are the primary actors that need to reach a common understanding on how to accommodate different views and interests without recurring to violence”. – Gert Resonethal, IPI.

Burundi: How Should the International Community Respond? – By Steve McDonald

This post argues that the international community should do more to stabilize Burundi. McDonald also argues that the international community should strongly encourage regional states to not engage in activities that will further destabilize Burundi, and warn the Burundian government that mass violence and human rights violations perpetrated by their security forces domestically could jeopardize their ability to serve in future UN peacekeeping operations. – Steve McDonald, African Arguments.

Q&A: Security and Democracy in Tunisia after Latest Attack

Daniel Brumberg provides his opinion on pressing security issues in Tunisia following the recent terrorist attacks. Brumberg continuously refers to a need to reform the security sector, from the judiciary to intelligence, in a democratic manner if Tunisia is to improve its current security situation. - Daniel Brumberg, USIP.

Putin, Propaganda, and the Path to Peace in Ukraine

This post analyzes the role of President Putin and his propaganda machine in the conflict in Ukraine. The article points to Russia’s denial of involvement as a way of prolonging the conflict, but also making room for a negotiated settlement down the line. – Rudra Sil, Political Violence @ a Glance.

Huge losses threaten Somalia’s Vision 2016

This article analyzes the threat to Somalia, and the African Union (AU) peacekeepers deployed there, posed by al-Shabaab. The articles states that unless the AU force is further supported by the UN, and reforms its approach to the fight, renewed attacks by al-Shabaab could jeopardize Somalia’s long-term security and development plans. – Institute for Security Studies.

Tools and Trends in Peace and Technology

Dmitriy Synkov discusses 5 technology areas and their application to peacebuilding. The use of crowdsourcing, for instance, is noted as being used “to monitor elections, protests, movements, conflicts, natural disasters, and peace processes, turning everyday civilians into voluntary information gatherers and providing organizations with eyes and ears from the field.” – Dmitriy Synkov, Peace Building Forum.

Saudis finally win control of a Yemeni city, but Houthis are far from defeated

Bruce Riedel argues that despite Saudi Arabia’s victory in reclaiming the southern port city of Aden from Houthi forces, the rebels are far from defeated. Riedel also notes the considerable resources being spent keeping anti-Houthi rebels on side, and the increasing importance of victory to the Saudi Royal family’s political standing within Saudi Arabia. – Bruce Riedel, Brookings.

What goals should guide international development?

Miriam Kelberg writes of the proposed changes to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which expire later this year. Kelberg draws particular attention to the increased calls for ‘good governance’ to be included as a new MDG. This goal would aim to improve anti-corruption laws, reform police services, and democratically balance government surveillance powers. – Miriam Kelberg, Wilson Quarterly.

Why are Some Mediations Successful and Others Not?

This article examines the benefits and components of mediation in conflict situations. It notes that “an agreement that creates a lasting, durable peace must provide balance between the parties to the conflict and address power inequalities”, before outlining four major challenges to achieving this balance. The article notes that peace agreements are 60% less likely to fail when they involve civil society and political actors. – Dr Evan Hoffman, Building Peace Forum.

The Resurgence of Nigeria’s Boko Haram

Given the recent resurgence of Boko Haram in Nigeria, this article analyzes the roots of this resurgence. Firstly, pervasive underdevelopment in northern Nigeria is highlighted. Secondly, the urgent need for reform in Nigeria’s security services is noted as creating a security vacuum within which Boko Haram has grown. – John Campbell, Council on Foreign Relations.

The biggest threat to African peace and prosperity comes from a dangerous idea

The Economist argues that the biggest threat facing African peace is now, so called, ‘radical Islamic terrorists’. This articles documents the number of deaths at the hands of the groups, and how they have grown to become a strong force countering government control, peace and development, particularly in Nigeria, Mali, and Chad. – The Economist.

Conflict to peace via women: Helping distressed women in J&K

This article documents the attempts being made to include women in Kashmir’s peace building projects. In particular, it focuses on the work of Ezabir Ali, including her work to allow the wives of ‘disappeared’ men to remarry, and provide psychological services to those affected by the conflict. – Raqib Hameed Naik, Two Circles.

Reparations: More than monetary compensation

‘For the first time in the history of the Bosnian War Crimes Court, judges have included compensation to a wartime rape victim as part of the Court’s ruling.’ For future reparations to be successful, Ashley Binetti argues they must be ‘transformative and include the voices of women and girls in their design; otherwise they risk reinforcing, rather than subverting, preexisting structural inequalities.’ – Ashley Binetti, GIWPS.

Toward landmark elections in Haiti: International partners reaffirm strong commitment

This piece documents the momentous tasks ahead for Haiti as elections near. It documents how 41,000 temporary staff are being hired to man 13,500 polling stations, where almost six million Haitians will choose 1,280 local administrations, 140 municipal administrations and 139 Parliamentarians. – UNDP.



Central Asia at a crossroads

This Saferworld report analyzes the increasing role of China and Russia in Central Asia, and the implications of this changing role for peace and security in the region. It analyzes the impact the shifting security dynamics are having on conflict drivers and dynamics, and how the region may play into the broader China-Russia relationship. – Craig Oliphant, Ivan Campbell, Bernardo Mariani, Maija Paasiaro, Xiaomin Tang, and Simon Mills, Saferworld.

The Challenge of Sustaining Peace: The 2015 Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture 

This panel discussion revolves around a UN peacekeeping report that recommended: promoting coherence at the intergovernmental level, across the UN system, and particularly at the operational level; deepening partnerships and providing predictable resources for sustaining peace; and improving leadership and broadening the sense of national ownership and inclusion among participating/affected nations. The participants discussed what the analysis means from the UN’s perspective and how the report might advance the cause of peacebuilding. The presentations were followed by a question-and-answer session. – International Peace Institute.

Afghanistan’s National Action Plan in UNSCR 1325- Women, Peace, and Security

The Afghan government has released its action plan for implementing UNSCR 1325. The report outlines the role of new governance structures, including the ‘Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, family courts, the EVAW Commissions in the center and provinces, and the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Abuse of Women and Children.’ The plan also outlines a plan for greater gender diversity in future peace plans. - Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Safety and Security Challenges in UN Peace Operations

This report analyzes the evolution of the UN system of ensuring safety and security to its staff while deployed, particularly following the 2003 bombing of a UN building in Iraq. Amongst the report’s recommendations is that the UN needs a comprehensive policy on crisis management, applicable across all peace operations and country teams, and that safety and security issues need to be approached holistically by the UN going forward. – Haidi Willmot, Scott Sheeran and Lisa Sharland, International Peace Institute.