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News Roundup: 10 August - 16 August 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR Weekly | Aug 17, 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

Academic Spotlight Blog Series

‘The new Academic Spotlight blog series features recent research findings on security sector reform and security governance published in international relations academic journals. It provides a venue to promote discussion within the academic-policy nexus and develop opportunities to share and exchange on key SSR issues and themes.’ The series also offers free and open access to the full academic articles upon which the blogs are based.

South Sudan’s negotiations for a new peace deal - Security, sanctions and security sector reform

Within the context of this week’s deadline in South Sudan to reach a new peace agreement, the SSR Resource Centre project is highlighting recent blog posts and key reports on sanctions, security sector reform and military integration in South Sudan. Read and Share!



South Sudan’s Salva Kiir and Riek Machar in peace deal deadline

Both sides are currently negotiating to push for a new peace deal before a deadline expires that could bring new sanctions. - BBC

Wave of deadly shootings rock Brazil’s Sao Paulo

At least 19 people have been killed and seven injured within the span of less than three hours in a wave of shootings in Brazil’s largest city Sao Paulo. –Al Jazeera.

Guinea-Bissau calm after dismissal of government

The UN envoy to Guinea-Bissau has stated that the country has remained ‘calm’ after the president dismissed the government over a row with the prime minister. – UN News Centre.

UN troops killed two, raped girl in C. African Republic - Amnesty

‘Amnesty International on Tuesday accused United Nations peacekeepers of raping a 12-year-old girl and killing a boy and his father during an operation in Central African Republic’s capital Bangui earlier this month.’ - Joe Bavier, Thomson Reuters Foundation.

U.S. believes Islamic State likely used mustard agent in Iraq attack: WSJ

“The United States believes Islamic State militants likely used mustard agent in an attack on Kurdish forces in Iraq earlier this week”. – Eric Beech, Reuters.

Nigeria’s Buhari Appoints Corruption Committee

‘Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a committee to advise him on the best way to tackle corruption and reform the legal system’- Reuters, VoA.

Uzbekistan Passes Law to Strip Citizenship from Terrorists

Both Uzbekistan and Tajikistan has reformed laws to allow terrorists have their citizenship removed. – Catherine Putz, The Diplomat.

AU warns of Burundi ‘catastrophe’

‘The African Union has warned of potential “catastrophic consequences” for troubled Burundi and the wider region if rivals do not resolve political differences peacefully. – AFP, News 24.

Iraq PM Pushes Massive Reform Plan as Protests Rage

‘Iraq’s cabinet approved a wide-ranging reform plan on Sunday that would abolish the three vice presidential posts as well as the office of deputy prime minister in order to slash spending and improve the government’s performance’. – Sinan Salaheddin, AP and

Myanmar gags media linked to Thein Sein, adding to concerns about reforms

‘Myanmar has gagged media linked to parliamentary speaker Shwe Mann after he and his allies were dramatically purged from the leadership of the ruling party by President’. – Asia One.

Iraq’s Anbar governor sacking all aides under Abadi reform plan

‘The governor of Iraq’s Anbar province said on Thursday he was sacking all aides as part of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s crackdown on corruption and incompetence.’ - Saif Hameed and Stephen Kalin, Reuters.

South Sudan rebel general rejects interim government with Kiir, Machar

‘A South Sudan rebel general has split with former Vice President Riek Machar and rejected his plans to join President Salva Kiir in a transitional government’. – Denis Dumo, Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Sri Lanka’s torture of Tamils persists despite war’s end - charity

‘The torture of minority Tamils in Sri Lanka by the police and military remains a major problem six years after the end of the civil war’. – Katie Nguyen and Douglas Busvine, Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Month-long blockade of aid routes lifted in South Sudan, allowing UN to access conflict-torn areas

‘The United Nations humanitarian wing has reported that the month-long restrictions on the movement of goods by air and river routes in South Sudan have been lifted’. – UN News Centre.



The New Great Game: How Regional Powers are Carving Up Syria

This excellent piece analyzes the states and other actors that are currently ‘carving up’ Syria for personal gain—whether that be for security or seeking to create a state. The piece documents the involvement of Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, the PKK, Israel and other Gulf States, and what these states seek to take from their role in Syria. – Andrew J. Tabler, Foreign Affairs.

An early warning on Africa’s early warning system

Noting that while the African Unions (AU) early warning system utilizes advanced warning systems, this does not mean it has an effective response system. Vasu Gounden argues that to improve this system and the AU response to warnings, the warning unit needs to be increased, it needs to be made a standing item on the AU agenda, and there needs to be a focal point for information collection. - Vasu Gounden, Institute for Security Studies.

What questions should the PSC ask in Darfur?

As the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) is provisionally expected to embark on a field mission to Sudan on August 19, this article outlines the challenges they will face and the areas they should seek to improve. The importance of the mission to the credibility of future UN interventions is also noted. - Institute for Security Studies.

Nigeria: Renewed Vigour against Gender-Based Violence

This piece outlines the impact of Nigeria’s Violence Against Persons Prohibition law on gender based violence (GBV). The article notes the financial cost of GBV, approximately 1.1-3.4 trillion naira, its impact on the spread of HIV/AIDS, and how it affects some 80 million Nigerian women. It then progresses to highlight the argument for ‘increased advocacy and partnerships between the international community, governments, multilateral organizations, private sector companies, and grassroots advocates’ to counter GBV. - Bertram Nwannekanma, All Africa.

Controversy Continues over Venezuela’s New Security Operation

Following the Venezuelan governments launch of its anti-crime initiative, Operation Liberation and Protection of the People, Hugo Perez Hernaiz and David Smilde analyze the impact the policy will have on crime and the controversy around the plan. Specifically, they note how human rights groups are claiming the plan is a means of tightening government control over Venezuelan society more generally. - Hugo Perez Hernaiz and David Smilde, InSight Crime.

True Grit: The Myths and Realities of Women in Combat

Megan H. MacKenzie writes of the evolution of the role of women in the US military, and the academic, combat and social shifts which will lead to women being able to hold frontline combat positions by January 1, 2016. - Megan H. MacKenzie, Foreign Affairs.

The truth behind Assad’s war on Syria

This powerful article from Bild documents the actions of President Assad’s forces in Syria. The article is based upon interviews with a doctor, judge, weapons expert and a pathologist who have all recently fled from Syria. – Katharina Windmaiber and Yasser al-Haji, Bild.

Colombia Training Paraguay Soldiers in Counterinsurgency

Arron Daugherty outlines the training program, run by Colombia, which trains Paraguayan security forces in counterinsurgency. Daugherty argues that a lack of oversight in the program means that ‘a great deal of money and effort is being spent without knowing if Colombian military expertise is actually making the security forces in other countries more effective’. – Arron Daugherty, InSight Crime.

Without Inclusion, No Hope for Peace in South Sudan

Kelly Case argues that although parties to South Sudan’s conflict mull over a proposed compromise agreement aimed at ending violence, there is little hope for ending the conflict. Noting the failure of neighboring countries to help end the violence, Case argues that an inclusive process, where women are included, is the only way a lasting peace can be formed in South Sudan. – Kelly Case, The Weekly Wonk.

Ukraine fears ‘big war’ as Russia sends in more troops

Adam Nathan writes of the evolving military situation in Eastern Ukraine. Nathan writes of how almost 9,000 Russian soldiers are now believed to in Ukraine and how this military movement is shaping Ukraine’s response to the conflict and making the government prepare for a major confrontation. – Adam Nathan, The Independent.

A New Cycle Begins in Turkey-PKK Conflict

This in depth analysis by Nigar Goksel examines the current state of affairs between Turkey and the PKK following the essential collapse of dialogue and peace agreements between the two parties. In detail, Goksel highlights why Turkey is responding so strongly to the Kurdish ‘threat’, and what it is the PKK are trying to achieve and why now. – Nigar Goksel, Crisis Group.

Taliban factionalism rises after Mullah Omar’s death

This article highlights the tensions and splits caused throughout the Taliban network by the recent confirmation that its leader was killed. The piece also notes the effects the news has had on Taliban relations and negotiations with Pakistan and Afghanistan. – Graeme Smith, The Interpreter.

The Afghan Government Should Let the Taliban Destroy Itself

In this opinion piece, Kambaiz Rafi argues that the death of Mullah Omar will lead to the slow disintegration of the Taliban. Rafi also argues that to allow this process occur, the Afghan government show not push militarily, but rather allow Taliban infighting take its full toll. However, Rafi also notes the dangers a Taliban collapse could have by creating a vacuum that ISIL could fill. - Kambaiz Rafi, The Diplomat.

Rebel-held Ukraine overhauls education system as it aligns itself with Russia

Jack Losh writes of developments in rebel held Eastern Ukraine. Specifically, Losh notes how the rebel government has altered the regions education system to mirror that or Russia, in an attempt to harmonize cultural traits between the two. – Jack Losh, The Guardian.



Promoting Rule of Law: Myth Versus Reality

This report argues that the silver day or bronze week approach—adapted from emergency medicine provision—are more effective than RAND’s golden hour approach in promoting the rule of law. The report goes on to argue the system of implementation this implies, including the who, how, and when questions involved in implementing rule of law initiatives. – Christina Murtaugh, USIP.

Understanding Shifts in Egyptian Civil-Military Relations: Lessons from the Past and Present

This report analyzes the power dynamics at play in Egypt’s civil-military relations. In doing so, it focuses on societal dynamics, loyalties in the officer corps and the appointment system for officers. This leads the paper to debate the prospects for future developments in the country’s civil-military relations. - Risa Brooks, Marsad.

Returning foreign fighters: Criminalization or reintegration?

This report by Charles Lister of Brookings analyzes the approaches being taken by numerous countries to the issue of foreign fighters, their threat to these countries, and whether countries should respond by punishing or reintegrating fighters who return. – Charles Lister, Brookings.

Global Governance Monitor: Armed Conflict

This detailed and overarching project from CFR outlines the major issues causing armed conflict, the regions it most affects, and the methods being used to tackle armed violence. The project also outlines the role organizations like NATO and the UN are playing in this rapidly evolving area. – Council on Foreign Relations.



Twitter chat: State of the World’s Emergencies

On Tuesday 18 August, from 14.00-15.00, the hashtag #ShareHumanity will be used to mark the launch of the State of the World’s Emergencies report. @bondngo and @devex will host the Twitter chat to explore some of the key challenges facing humanitarian organizations operating around the world.

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