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News Roundup: 15 September - 21 September 2015 By: Antoine Vandemoortele | SSR | Sep 21, 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 domestic consequences of SSR: Real-world effects beyond external perspectives

In this contribution to the Centre for Security Governance’s Academic Spotlight blog series, Ursula C. Schroeder & Fairlie Chappuis discuss the impact of ‘local ownership’ in security sector reform (SSR) programs in post-conflict states. They argue however, that these calls for local ownership echo hollow against the underwhelming results and unintended consequences of external support to SSR across a growing universe of cases. The article upon which this blog is based was published in the academic journal International Peacekeeping and is available free and open access on our website.

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.



Burkina Faso reconciliation body says elite military unit should be disbanded

Burkina Faso’s national reconciliation commission on Monday called for the dismantling of an elite military unit accused of killing demonstrators during last year’s uprising that toppled the president of nearly three decades. – Brahima Ouedraogo, AP, US News and World Report.

Burkina Faso Military Confirms Coup

The military in Burkina Faso has taken to the airwaves to declare it now controls the country, confirming that a coup has taken place - just weeks before national elections. – All Africa.

Mediators announce deal to end Burkina coup crisis, questions remain

Regional mediators seeking to peacefully roll back a military coup in Burkina Faso said they negotiated a draft deal on Sunday to end the crisis though they failed to secure the immediate restoration of civilian rule. - Mathieu Bonkoungou and Joe Penney, Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Turkey air strikes ‘kill’ scores of Kurdish rebels

Turkish fighter jets carried out a barrage of cross-border air strikes early on Saturday against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, killing at least 55 rebels. – Al Jazeera.

Stop protecting peacekeepers who rape, Ban Ki-moon tells UN member states

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has reiterated calls for troop contributing countries to stop protecting soldiers from prosecution for raping people while on UN peacekeeping duty. – Chris McGreal, The Guardian.

Daunting Task -328 Para Military Recruits Graduated

328 recruits have graduated from a Liberian military school as the county prepares for the post-UN provision of security in the country. – In Profile Daily.

Libya peace talks hit snag over proposed deal amendments

Delegates for Libya’s internationally recognized government said on Tuesday it was recalling its team from U.N.-backed peace talks with rivals, complaining about amendments to a draft agreement meant to end their conflict. - Ayman Al-Warfalli and Aziz El Yaakoubi, Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Ukraine Russia Conflict: US Army To Train Ukrainian Military

Paratroopers from the U.S. Army will begin training active-duty members of the Ukrainian armed forces in November. – Christopher Harress, International Business Times.

Coalition partners warn Congo’s Kabila not to cling to power

Leading parties in Democratic Republic of Congo’s ruling coalition told President Joseph Kabila on Monday that actions by his allies had given the impression that he intends to violate the constitution by hanging onto power beyond 2016. – Aaron Ross, Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Tajik, Kazakh Presidents Meet In Dushanbe Ahead Of CSTO Summit

The two leaders discussed greater economic cooperation and signed a new “strategic partnership” agreement on September 14. – Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty.

Congress presses Tunisia on security sector reform

A key US congressional panel on Sept. 17 urged Tunisia to reform its troubled security services if it hopes to be recognized as a full-fledged democracy. – Julian Pecquet, Al-Monitor.

148 Escaped Prisoners Deemed A Threat To National Security

Taliban insurgents have freed 355 prisoners following a raid on a prison in the capital of central Ghazni province. – TOLO News.

Pakistan, China military ties to grow to unprecedented heights: army chief

Army Chief General Raheel Sharif said on Tuesday Pakistan and China’s military relations will grow to unprecedented heights. – The Express Tribune.

U.S. looks on warily as Russian helicopters arrive in Syria

Four Russian military helicopters have arrived at an airbase in Syria that Russia is beefing up, adding to the mobility of the Russian forces there. – Barbara Starr, CNN.

Nepal formally adopts new constitution amid protests from minorities

Security across Nepal has been stepped up as smaller political parties and ethnic groups opposed constitutional changes issued fresh threats of violence. – AP, The Guardian.

President urges South Sudanese to unite to implement peace deal

South Sudan’s president urged his people on Tuesday to “join hands” in implementing a peace deal to end more than 20 months of conflict. - Edmund Blair, Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Japan passes controversial security laws (video)

Following Japan’s government’s passing of a new security bill, Japanese troops will be able to fight overseas for the first time since WWII. – Al Jazeera.



U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Afghan Allies’ Abuse of Boys

Joseph Goldstein provides an in-depth, and often upsetting account of the practice of systematic rape and abuse of minors by US trained, funded and armed militia leaders in Afghanistan. The story focuses on one former US Special Forces soldier who was ‘relieved’ of his duties for confronting the issue. – Joseph Goldstein, The New York Times.

I remember the day… I confronted Boko Haram

This excellent account of a Nigerian soldiers battlefield encounter with Boko Haram exposes serious underlying flaws within the Nigerian military. These include: corruption, nepotism, poor training, and inadequate weaponry. – Al Jazeera.

India and Afghanistan: A Growing Partnership

This intriguing article examines the reasons for the strengthening relationship between the Afghan and Indian governments. Specifically, the piece examines the impact of previous battles with the Taliban upon the relationship, and the role future security concerns are playing in shaping the relationship. – M. Ashraf Haidari, The Diplomat.

Russia, not Neo-Fascists, Poses the Main Obstacle to Peace in Ukraine

In this article, it is argued that Russia, not neo-fascist groups, pose the biggest threat to peace and security in Ukraine. It is argued that Russia’s non-implementation of the Minsk provisions is a major contributor to the threat it poses. – Steven Pifer, Political Violence @ a Glance.

Rebels see tougher war with Russians in Syria, evoke Afghanistan

Given the recent arrival of Russian forces in Syria, this piece provides an overview of the rebel response to this new foe. The piece highlights a ‘reassessment of the conflict among insurgents’ whose recent success is seen to have spurred Russia into action. - Suleiman Al-Khalidi and Tom Perry, Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Are women better peacekeepers? These UN officers think so

This piece outlines opinions provided at a peacekeeping workshop in South Africa, arguing that women make better peacekeepers than men. Specifically, the easier role for female peacekeepers in helping victims of sexual assault is highlighted. – Simon Allison, Daily Maverick, The Guardian.

Iraq’s government, society struggle with widespread bribery

This interesting piece outlines the problem of bribery in the Iraqi governance structure, its impact on democracy and public support, and how the problem is beginning to be tackled. - Wassim Bassem, Al-Monitor.

In Niger, U.S. soldiers quietly help build wall against Boko Haram

This article outlines the hidden role US forces are playing in in countering Boko Haram in Niger. The plan sees Special Forces encourage and protect town hall style meetings to allow for frustrations to be aired, and plans to be drawn up. – Warren Strobel, Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Developing fragile states through a ‘hybrid’ of military and aid

This article by Jake Harriman, CEO of Nuru International, examines how best to implement a hybrid system of military and aid officials and funding to provide long term stability in fragile states. – Jake Harriman, Devex.

Lebanese communist fighters gear up to battle ISIL

This article documents the recent mobilization of the Lebanese Communist Party in the fight against ISIL and Nusra fighters. With one senior figure adding that “this is the ugliest period we’ve ever endured in the Middle East”. – Patrick Strickland, Al Jazeera.

Evidence Mounts Over Khmer Rouge Genocide of Muslims and Vietnamese

As the trial of surviving Khmer Rouge leader’s progresses, Luke Hunt writes of the harrowing stories accumulating against them. The piece outlines some of the poignant stories read out during the trial by survivors and witnesses. – Luke Hunt, The Diplomat.

Internal Dissent as a Driver of Instability in Northern Ireland

Following recent turmoil in the Stormont executive, this piece examines the role of internal dissent amongst political actors in Northern Ireland in heightening the fallout of revelations about IRA activity. -  Victoria McGroary, Political Violence @ a Glance.

Reports: US-trained rebels enter Syria from Turkey

This report documents the moves of the US sponsored ‘Division 30’, which aims to defeat ISIL. The program, estimated to cost $500million, is outlined, along with an overview of the death toll in Syria that highlights civilians as being the majority of victims. - Al Jazeera and agencies.

Good governance: A driving force for peace in fragile states

This piece examines the complex role of governance structures in securing peace in fragile states. The piece emphasizes that even if the youth and women are given a voice in negotiations, unless there are good governance structures in place, thesesteps forward will have little positive impact. – Roja Heydarpour, Devex.

Bosnia: Stabilization Stalled in Negative Peace

This piece examines the ongoing process of peacebuilding in Bosnia. The article stresses that a major mistake is that many have seen Dayton as a reconciliation process, when it was a political settlement to conflict. – Dr. James Adams, Building  Peace Forum.

The Realities of Using Force to Protect Civilians in Syria

Micah Zenko writes of the issues associated with using force to protect civilians in the Syrian context. Zenko focuses on the numbers of civilians to soldiers who have died in the conflict and how this can impact on the legitimacy of calls, particularly in the US Senate, to take action to stop the slaughter of civilians by Assad’s forces. – Micah Zenko, The Council on Foreign Relations.

Sri Lanka shaken: UN reveals ‘shocking findings’ of crimes committed by military against Tamil Tiger terrorist group during civil war

This article outlines the findings of a UN report that highlights the sheer scale of abuses, including rape and torture, that were used by the Sri Lankan government during its war with the Tamil Tiger group. – Qadijah Irshad, The Independent.

Holding the line in eastern Ukraine

This excellent piece of photo journalism documents the lives of soldiers based at Ukraine’s Zenit outpost near Donetsk airport. – Ioana Moldovan, Al Jazeera.

Witness: Gambia’s Intelligence Agent-turned-Defector Speaks Out

This article tells the story of a former Gambian Intelligence Agent who has spoken out about the abuses he was made to commit and the actions of the government more broadly. – Stephanie Hancock, Human Rights Watch.

A new constitution brings challenges and opportunities for Nepal

Safer World analyzes the recent tension over constitutional change in Nepal. This piece also provides an argument for stronger local capacities to help prevent this tension turning to violent conflict. – Safer World.

Can anyone stop the killing in Syria?

Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst Marwan Bishara outlines his views on the escalating conflict in Syria, and the chances of real progress towards a lasting peace being made. - Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera.



Women’s Leadership Roles in Afghanistan

This United States Institute of Peace report focuses on the role of women in leadership within Afghanistan. It specifically focuses on the changing role of women in leadership, how this has come about, and how the role of women can be improved. - Aarya Nijat, Jennifer Murtazashvili, United States Institute of Peace.

Ukraine’s other war

Ukraine is fighting two wars simultaneously. The most obvious is the hybrid conflict in the east, fueled and sustained by Russia. But while the ‘hot phase’ in this arena is over, at least for now, Ukraine is also engaged in a war against itself. It is locked in a struggle against its own dysfunctionality and endemic levels of corruption which will affect millions, from low-level policemen and fire inspectors to oligarchs and leading politicians.’ This report analyzes this second war ongoing in Ukraine. – Jana Kobzova, Nica Popescu, EU Institute for Security Studies.

From agreement to action: Building peaceful, just and inclusive societies through the 2030 Agenda

This short briefing highlights what Saferworld sees as some of the key targets for peace. It also outlines key steps – to be made by a range of actors – towards national implementation and demonstrates how collective action at the global level can help enable this. – Saferworld.

China’s Evolving Role in Peacekeeping and African Security

This Clingendael Report by Frans Paul van der Putten focuses on China’s dispatch of a force protection unit to Mali with the UN’s peacekeeping force, MINUSMA, and the insights that can be derived from this deployment with regard to: a) its operational aspects, including possibilities for Sino–European cooperation at the local level; b) China’s stance towards UN peacekeeping operations; and c) the relevance of peacekeeping operations for the protection of Chinese civilians and economic assets in Africa. - Frans Paul van der Putten, Clingendael.

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