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News Roundup: 20 July - 26 July 2015 By: Antoine Vandemoortele | SSR Weekly | Jul 27, 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

Wartime experiences making gender security policy: A feminist perspective on hybridity

In the latest contribution to our Academic Spotlight blog series, Laura McLeod provides a fascinating overview of her article, recently published in the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding. McLeod highlights how ‘locals and internationals talk about, and know about, wartime experiences in different ways’, and how these diverse experiences are both powerful and political, often shaping post-conflict policy. The article, a must-read for both practitioners and academics, focuses on the effects of different wartime experiences on the construction of gender security policies in Serbia. The blog highlights three key concepts—hybridity, experience, and gender—as providing a means of analyzing the complexity of wartime experience for peacebuilding processes. This full article can be accessed FREE via the SSR Resource Centre blog.

What’s in a World War: From World War I to the new Cold War

In this blog post, originally published on the CDA Institute Blog: The Forum, Centre for Security Governance Senior Fellow David Law argues that a new Cold War is underway. Beginning with an analysis of the world’s three major Twentieth Century conflict phases, Law goes on to argue that the world entered a new ‘Cold War’ in 2007. Although stating that this new Cold War ‘differs significantly from past world wars’, Law argues that ongoing conflicts in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and China’s increasing assertiveness, are all part of this new Cold War. This post is the first in a series of five related posts.


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).



U.S. to trace Nigerian stolen assets, boost military help

‘The United States will offer to help Nigeria’s new leader track down billions of dollars in stolen assets and increase U.S. military assistance to fight Islamic militants’.- Lesley Wroughton, Reuters.

MoD anti-rape campaign launched with shocking posters of ‘army sex attacks’

The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) has launched an ‘anti-rape campaign’, highlighting the need for consent within the military. The campaign follows an increase in rapes, with over 400 being reported, and the MoD suspecting many more that go unreported. – Jonathan Owen, The Independent.

Myanmar Military Chief Vows Non-Interference in Elections

Myanmar’s military has said it will accept the outcomes of upcoming elections, scheduled for November. – Prashanth Parameswaran, The Diplomat.

Saudi Arabia-led coalition calls ceasefire in Yemen after air strike kills 120 people

“The Saudi-led coalition has announced that it will start a five-day humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen.” – AP, The Guardian.

Iran offered Iraq an open cheque to help them battle Isis, says ambassador

Iraq’s Ambassador to the United States, Lukman Faily, has stated that ‘Iran offered Iraq an open cheque to help them battle Isis’. - Siobhan Fenton, The Independent.

EU devotes 23 million euros to support security sector reform

The European Union announced, Monday, the acceleration of a support program to aid security sector reform in Tunisia, worth 23 million euros. – Thompson Reuters Zawya.

‘Alarming’ stats show 309 police officers and PCSOs arrested for serious crimes

Figures show police officers in the UK have been convicted for sex crimes, assaults, drug use and indecent images of children. – Ruth McKee, The Guardian.

Fresh attack in north Cameroon town of Maroua ‘kills 19′

19 people have died following a suicide bombing in the northern Cameroon town of Maroua. Boko Haram are suspected to have carried out the attack. – BBC Africa.

Yemen’s ex-president in rare talks with UAE, U.S., UK 

“Representatives of Yemen’s ex-leader Ali Abdullah Saleh have held rare meetings with diplomats from his adversaries the United States, United Arab Emirates and Britain”. – Mohammed Ghobari and Noah Browning, Thompson Reuters Foundation.

Haiti - Security : «The country is ready to reform its army» Michel Martelly

The Haitian President has claimed the country is ready to reform its military, announcing a recruitment drive beginning in October. – Haiti Libre.

Cambodia jails 11 opposition activists for ‘insurrection’

11 members of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) were given jail terms of between seven and 20 years on charges of insurrection, according to their lawyers. – BBC.

Gambia’s Jammeh shores up power before fifth term bid

As Gambia marks the 21st anniversary of Jammeh’s rule, rights groups accuse the president of cracking down on opponents before an expected bid for a fifth term next year. – Emma Farge, Thompson Reuters Foundation.

Candid Voices on Women, Peace and Security: Consultation Impressions

The Women Peacemakers Program has published a review of consultations held amongst experts, from over 25 countries, on the women, peace and security agenda. - Women Peacemakers Program.

Informal Discussion on Selection and Appointment of the Next Secretary-General

Negotiations have begun to elect a new UN Secretary-General. After 8 male Secretary-Generals, groups have formed to advocate for a woman Secretary-General. – What’s in Blue.

Kenya kicks off biggest ever security operation for Barack Obama welcome

Treating the arrival of US President Barack Obama as it would any major showcase event, such as the Olympics, the Kenyan government launched its largest every security operation. – David Smith, The Guardian.



How Africans Brought ‘Africa’s Pinochet’ To Book (podcast)

This BBC World podcast outlines how Senegal has come to place Chad’s deposed leader, Hissene Habré in the dock. The podcast also analyzes the effects this move may have for justice on the continent, and particularly the role the International Criminal Court has in Africa. – BBC World.

Myanmar: New Front in an Old War

This article documents to growth in fighting between Myanmar’s military and the Arakan Arm. While noting the human costs of this escalating violence on locals, the article states that with “elections officially scheduled for November 8, challenges to the current constitution, student activists increasingly challenging the status quo, and a resurgence of conflict in several of the ethnic regions, the country is undoubtedly on the cusp of something big”. – Richard Potter, The Diplomat.

17 suggestions for supporting peacebuilding in fragile states

What role should civil society play in pre- and post-conflict peacebuilding? This panel of experts assembled by The Guardian attempt to answer this important question. - Rachel Banning-Lover, The Guardian.

It’s corruption, stupid: Terrorism, wildlife trafficking, and Obama’s Africa trip

This blog, based on fieldwork on terrorism, poaching, illegal logging, and charcoal production undertaken by Vanda Felbab-Brown and conducted in eastern Africa in 2013 and 2015, calls on President Obama to raise the issue of corruption in wildlife trafficking on his visit to Kenya and Ethiopia. The article highlights how this problem funds others, such as terrorism. - Vanda Felbab-Brown, Brookings Institute.

Guatemala’s Big Corruption Scandal, Explained

Looking at Guatemala’s probe into corrupt dealings by its customs authority, this article asks the question: ‘How did this corrupt network manage to steal millions of dollars in kickbacks, and how did investigators manage to take them down?’. – Arron Daugherty, In Sight Crime.

Militias in Syria & Iraq: A Blessing in Disguise?

In this article Barbara F. Walter argues that ‘while multiple militias complicate the negotiating process in the short-term, they could also make long-term enforcement easier, and therefore more likely. The more self-enforcing a political settlement is by the factions themselves, the more attractive it will be to them, and the more likely it is to hold.’ – Barbara F. Walter, Political Violence @ a Glance.

Managing intractable conflicts in the Middle East and South Asia

Stephen P Cohen and Maayan Malter argue that “U.S. approaches to top-down diplomacy have not produced conclusive results—or worse—over the last fifty-plus years” in the Middle East or South Asia. They argue that a “lack of trust in the other side causes embedded hard liners to derail” US backed programs. The authors go on to highlight issues that prevent ‘conclusive results’ emerging from US backed negotiations. - Stephen P Cohen and Maayan Malter, Brookings Institute.

Kurds push back against charges of ethnic cleansing

This article provides an eyewitness account of the situation in areas of Syria and Iraq liberated by Kurdish forces. The report claims to cast doubts on claims that Kurds are carrying out ethnic cleansing in the areas. – Verda Ozer, Al-Monitor.

Turkish airstrikes against PKK in Iraq throw two-year ceasefire with Kurds into jeopardy

Zia Weise and Chris Stevenson analyze the effects of Turkey’s military strikes against the PKK in northern Iraq on a two year long ceasefire between the two parties. They state that the PKK has effectively ended the ceasefire following Turkey’s bombing campaign. - Zia Weise and Chris Stevenson, The Independent.

Between Peacekeeping and Peace Enforcement - A conversation with Mvemba Phezo Dizolele (video)

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies has published an interview with Mvemba Phezo Dizolele. In the interview, Mr. Dizolele argues that African communities must take greater control of their own security and peacekeeping measures as the UN is too big and too slow to react efficiently. - Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

Bringing Up the Child: Local Conflict Prevention Mechanisms in Kenya

Alice Wairimu Nderitu analyzes local conflict prevention mechanisms developed and implemented in Kenya. In this piece, Nderitu writes of the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation Agreement, for which she credits Kofi Annan; and the Uwiano platform for peace. This latter initiative is highlighted by Nderitu as one of the most effective platforms for peace developed in Kenya. - Alice Wairimu Nderitu, Peace Building Forum.

To Support Ukraine, West Must Go Beyond Sanctions

James Sheer argues that to diminish Russia’s strength in negotiations over the conflict in Ukraine, NATO should provide military assistance to the Ukrainian government. Sheer interestingly highlights how Russia itself is fearful of exposing ethnic Russian servicemen to hostile Russian-speaking populations in eastern Ukraine for prolonged periods of time. – James Sheer, Chatham House.

Why the experts are worried about Burundi

This article highlights why many experts are becoming increasingly worried by the direction being taken by the government of Burundi. The author begins by highlighting the similarities between Burundi now and ‘rogue states’, and the previous success the country had in post-conflict development. Documenting the increase in violence, the article then goes on to analyze the chances for conflict resolution, and the role the international community should play. - Cara E. Jones, Monkey Cage Blog.

In Israel, Intense Combat Experience Decreases Support for Negotiations and Human Rights Organizations

This article examines how the experience of combat affects soldier’s attitudes towards civilians, human rights groups and conflict resolution. To limit these effects, the article underscores ‘the importance of combatant reintegration programs in reducing inter-group hostility, fostering respect for human rights, and creating the foundation for a viable, durable peace.’ -  Devorah Manekin, Guy Grossman, and Dan Miodownik, Political Violence @ a Glance.



They Burned it All: Destruction of Villages, Killings, and Sexual Violence in Unity State South Sudan

This Human Rights Watch report documents the often horrific actions of South Sudanese government forces, during an offensive made between April and June 2015 in South Sudan’s Unity State region. Based on more than 170 interviews taken in June and July, with survivors and witnesses, the report shows how more than 125 of these interviewees were displaced by fighting or attacks on their villages by government troops or allied militia from the Bul Nuer ethnic group, while 60 recalled unlawful killings of civilians. – Human Rights Watch.

The dubious joys of standing up militias and building partner capacity: Lessons from Afghanistan and Mexico for prosecuting security policy through proxies

In this intriguing paper, Vanda Felbab-Brown writes of the increasing use of ‘partners’, including non-state actors, by the US as a means of achieving and protecting US interests. While arguing that building up official state partner capacities is preferable, both partner types need to be included. The dangers and process of supporting these non-state partners are highlighted using examples from Mexico and Afghanistan. - Vanda Felbab-Brown, Brookings Institute.

Nigeria Security Tracker

‘The Nigeria Security Tracker (NST), a project of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Africa program, documents and maps violence in Nigeria that is motivated by political, economic, or social grievances’. The tracker is continuously updated to provide information on violence between ethnic groups, farmers, and herdsmen that has taken an overtly religious tone, militants in the Niger Delta, and killings by government soldiers. - Council on Foreign Relations.

Reform and Security Strategy in Tunisia

This International Crisis Group report analyzes security reforms underway in Tunisia in response to recent terrorist attacks. The report also makes recommendations, including: avoiding the temptation of assigning policing tasks to the national army; avoiding the political use of the terrorism threat; and, the acceleration of the creation of a professional development division for national security at the interior ministry. The full report is available in French. – Nadja Leoni Nolting and Michael Zumot, International Crisis Group.

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