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News Roundup: 7 September - 14 September 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR Weekly | Sep 14, 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

The Unity State Factor and the South Sudan Peace Agreement

This new contribution by Brian Adeba, an Associate with the Security Governance Group, analyzes the fragility of the recent peace deal signed in South Sudan. It focuses on a breakaway faction of hardliners led by General Peter Gadet, who denounced the agreement and vowed to continue fighting, casting additional doubt on the future of the deal. Looking at  the ‘dynamics of oil, sectionalism and political patronage in South Sudan and in particular in the oil-rich Unity State’, this contribution provides key insights on how this split might impact the deal in the long term.

A sub-national approach to statebuilding and security: the role of municipal institutions in Colombia’s DDR process

In this, the ninth contribution to our Academic Spotlight Series, Francy Carranza Franco provides a summary of research previously published in the journal, Conflict, Security & Development. The piece examines the Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) process in Colombia. Specifically, it examines how the program was built nationally, but consolidated at the sub-national level. The analysis of these policies provided by Carranza Franco, contributes to the understanding of the role that municipal authorities play in underpinning and redefining DDR nationally. The full journal article, upon which this piece is based, is available for free through the SSR Resource Centre website.




West Africa: Ecowas Defense Chiefs Meet On Regional Security

ECOWAs members are due to meet with the aim of finding a multinational approach to ending security related challenges within the ECOWAS member-nations. – Senator Iroegbu, AllAfrica.

Turchynov, EU Advisory Mission discuss security reforms in Ukraine

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov has met with the EU Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform in Ukraine to discuss the ongoing reforms. – Interfax-Ukraine.

UN Envoy Announces New Yemen Peace Talks Next Week

Warring parties in Yemen have agreed to take part in new peace talks in the region this week, the U.N. envoy for Yemen announced Thursday. – Edith M. Lederer, AP, ABC News.

Hundreds of inmates escape as Taliban raid Afghan jail

Taliban fighters have stormed a prison in the central Afghan city of Ghazni, killing police officers and releasing many prisoners. - Al Jazeera and agencies.

Afghan Air Strike Pushes Back Taliban from Raghistan Bazar

During the airstrike, at least 30 Taliban and 3 policemen were killed. - Faridullah Hussainkhail, Tolo News.

South Sudan parliament plans massive spending on military in spite of peace deal

‘The security sector will take 4.58 billion SSP of the 10.3 billion budget, according to figures announced in parliament last week.’ – Radio Tamazuj.

Qatar deploys 1,000 ground troops to fight in Yemen

Around 1,000 soldiers from Qatar’s Armed Forces have been deployed to Yemen, backed by more than 200 armored vehicles and 30 Apache combat helicopters. - Al Jazeera and agencies.

Turkey PM vows to ‘wipe out’ PKK fighters after attack

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has vowed to “wipe out” Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters from their mountain strongholds after 16 soldiers were killed in a rebel attack. – AFP, Al Jazeera.

Burundi: Army Chief ‘Escapes Assassination Attempt’

The head of Burundi’s armed forces has survived an assassination attempt in the capital Bujumbura, at least seven other people were killed in the attack. – AllAfrica, Al Jazeera.

100+ Venezuela Security Officials Accused of Extortion

Over 100 Venezuelan security officials have been linked to extortion this year, with some 38 extortion cases involving 121 security force members being reported in Venezuela between January 1 and September 3. – Arron Daugherty, InSight Crime.

Egyptian security forces kill 12 in tourist convoy

Egyptian security forces have killed 12 people, including Mexican tourists, after mistakenly targeting their convoy while pursuing fighters in the country’s Western Desert. - Al Jazeera and agencies.

Syrian rebels seize government airbase in Idlib

Al-Nusra Front announced it has captured a major airbase in northwestern Syria after a two-year siege by the group. - Al Jazeera and agencies.

Burundi: Opposition Leader Shot Dead in Capital

Patrice Gahungu, spokesman of Burundi’s Union for Peace and Development (UPD-Zigamibanga) opposition party, was shot dead on Monday night. – AllAfrica.

US reopens Somalia mission

The United States has reopened its diplomatic mission to Somalia. However, the mission will be located not in Somalia, but in the US Embassy in neighboring Kenya. – Reuters, The East African.



Tipping the Balance: The Role of Security Repertoires in Predicting Violence

Ore Koren writes of the desire amongst academics to have their work help prevent future violence. Koren, however, argues that taking militias into account, rather than traditional leader centered research, would provide a more predictive and operational output to help prevent violence. – Ore Koren, Political Violence @ a Glance.

Iraq’s moment of reform

Zalmay Khalilzad, former American ambassador to Iraq, writes of Iraq’s recent reform package and the challenges it faces. He notes the Shi’a-Sunni divide, funding, and Iran, as the most difficult of these challenges to overcome. -  Zalmay Khalilzad, Gulf News.

Abuses rise along with pro-Afghan government militias

This article examine the rise in abuses of human rights in Afghanistan, and draws a link between this rise and the rise of pro-government government militias. – Bethany Matta, IRIN.

The Real Reason China Is Cutting 300,000 Troops

Shannon Tiezzi critically examines why the Chinese government has decided to cut over 300,000 troops from its ranks. Tiezzi notes how the cuts are not a sign of China’s commitment to piece, but rather a sign of its desire to hold a stronger, modern military force. - Shannon Tiezzi, The Diplomat.

Forcing Kiev’s Hand: Why Russia Won’t Accept a Frozen Conflict in Ukraine

This excellent article documents the apparent will of the West to allow for a ‘frozen conflict’ situation to develop in Eastern Ukraine. It also outlines why this would not be an option for Russia, especially considering the costs involved in trying to keep the region’s economy afloat. – Samuel Charap, Foreign Affairs.

A downward spiral

This piece provides the reader with an overview of recent developments in Yemen’s war, including the movement of troops from other Gulf nations throughout Yemen. – The Economist.

Twenty years later, Turkey’s Kurds still search for their missing

This piece gives an excellent overview of the impact the families of those searching for missing loved ones in Turkey have had on the politics of the PKK, and Turkey more broadly. - Mahmut Bozarslan, Al-Monitor.

After mass rape by the Islamic State, Yazidi women still struggle to break the silence

This powerful article document the stories of Syrian women who have been raped and abused by IS fighters. It also draw attention to the impact this is having on the women long term. - Brenda Stoter, Al-Monitor.

Al-Shabaab has changed its tactics. AMISOM must do so too

This article documents the adaption of Al-Shabaab that has allowed it to resist AMISOM forces. Specifically, to overcome the adaptive nature of Al-Shabaab, the article argues that AMISOM forces need to establish a designated air support unit. - Muhyadin Ahmed Roble, African Arguments.

Special Report: How Many Fatalities Has the African Union Mission in Somalia Suffered?

Paul D. Williams analyzes the toll the AU’s involvement in the fight against Al-Shabaab has taken on the force in terms of casualties. - Paul D. Williams, IPI.

Police brutality in Lebanon: Between a rock and a bullet

Following recent street violence in Lebanon, this timely piece examines the levels of force used by Lebanese police in responding to this, and other incidents. The article calls for the police to adopt new ‘good practices’ to insure the force remains compliant with UN rules. - Nadim Houry, Executive Magazine.

Cuba pardons more than 3,500 prisoners ahead of Pope Francis visit

The Cuban government said it plans to pardon 3,522 prisoners, as a “humanitarian” gesture ahead of Pope Francis’s visit to the island beginning this week. – Nick Miroff, The Washington Post.

Tunisia: transitional justice in the crosshairs

Amna Guellali argues that a proposed ‘economic reconciliation’ law will provide impunity for corruption and economic crimes, threatening the transitional justice process and deflecting the message at the heart of the Tunisian revolution. – Amna Guellali, OpenDemocracy.

Guatemala Votes for Military-backed Candidate

Jimmy Morales, the leader of a political party founded by ex-military personnel, won the first round of Guatemala’s presidential elections September 6. While noting victory, this article notes that Morales still has a long way to go if he is to win the election overall. Something it argues may be difficult given his ‘mixed’ past. - Steven Dudley, InSight Crime.

Mexico’s Security Wins: Fact Vs Fiction

As the Mexican President proclaims the country’s strides forward in the security field, this article questions the legitimacy of his claims. – Arron Daugherty, InSight Crime.

How to rein in Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units

This article examines the rise of Popular Mobilization Units in Iraq, and how their negative impacts on the country’s security environment can be mitigated. Particularly, the article examines the role of religion and Iran in the units, and how the US government is trying to minimize these negative effects. - Ali Mamouri, Al-Monitor.



The uncertain promise of hybrid justice in the Central African Republic

Following the decision by the Central African Republic government earlier in 2015 to create a Special Criminal Court to prosecute crimes committed during the recent conflict, this paper analyzes the challenges the court will face if it is to live up to its promise of providing justice to victims and their families. – Valérie Arnould, Egmont.

Justice in the world’s most difficult places

The Justice and Security Research Program has released its latest Special Issue on the local realities of law and justice. The articles focus specifically on eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, northern Uganda, South Sudan and Timor-Leste. - Justice and Security Research Programme.

Use of Force: Guidelines for Implementation of the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials

‘The legal and operational framework to be established must ensure that due regard is given to the rule of law and human rights in the exercise of the police power to use force and firearms. These Guidelines aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the considerations national authorities should take into account when establishing such a framework’. – Amnesty International.

Multi-year Defense Agreements: A Model for Modern Defense?

‘This study looks into two examples of countries that have applied the method of ‘Defense Agreement’ in their military budgeting. Denmark and Sweden have set the example (although both in a somewhat different manner) to establish a multi-year consensus on defense. The goal of the ‘Defense Agreements’ is to create stability and clarity for a number of years, on the purpose of the armed forces and on defense planning. This study aims to provide a more in-depth discussion of the two models, and to look at both their benefits and disadvantages’. - Margriet Drent and Minke Meijnders, Clingendael.

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