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News Roundup: 22 September - 28 September 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Sep 28, 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!


Centre for Security Governance

The Centre for Security Governance has just published its latest SSR 2.0. Brief, “A Decade of Police Reform in Liberia: Perceptions, Challenges and Ways Ahead“, written by Franzisca Zanker.

This brief analyzes post-conflict police reform in Liberia. Despite a decade of police reform, the effectiveness of the Liberia National Police is still limited. Corruption, perceptions of insecurity, lack of resources and overlapping institutions are major challenges that still need to be dealt with. As this brief argues, a more problem-oriented, reflexive and flexible police reform process is also required, including better communication and transparency.

About the SSR 2.0. Briefs

These short peer-reviewed briefs present forward-looking, policy-oriented analysis and recommendations on pressing SSR and related issues. They cater to a wide audience, including policy-makers, practitioners, researchers, academics and general observers. The SSR 2.0 Briefs series explores the ongoing evolution of the security sector reform concept, featuring concise critical commentary on key SSR themes, issues and cases. In line with the series’ name, SSR 2.0 Briefs are designed to advance 2nd Generation approaches to SSR that seek to overcome the challenges and deficiencies of more orthodox SSR. The series adopts a wide definition of SSR, encompassing conventional security institutions, rule of law structures, legislative and executive government bodies, non-state security and justice actors, and civil society, among others.



UK to deploy troops to help keep peace in Somalia and South Sudan

Hundreds of British troops will be deployed to Somalia and South Sudan to train African peacekeeping forces in order to foster “less terrorism and less migration”. –Rowena Mason, The Guardian.

Senior Egyptian police commander killed in Sinai

Militants have shot and killed a senior Egyptian police commander in El-Arish city, Sinai, the interior ministry announced. – Middle East Monitor.

Burkina Faso government and coup leaders sign truce

Burkina Faso coup leaders have agreed to return to their barracks and said they would restore the deposed president to power. – AP, Al Jazeera.

Ex-Bissau military chief jailed over plot against president

A former head of Guinea-Bissau’s armed forces has been transferred to a military prison over his suspected involvement in an aborted plot to kill President Jose Mario Vaz. - Alberto Dabo, Reuters.

U.S., Allied Military Review New Options for Afghan Pullback

U.S. and allied defense officials are reviewing new drawdown options that include keeping thousands of American troops in the country beyond the end of 2016. – Julian E. Barnes and Gordon Lubold, The Wall Street Journal.

Rwanda, DR Congo Hold Security Talks

Rwanda and DR Congo have launched a fresh round of security talks, a move both countries have described as “a new chapter” in their bilateral relations. – Eugene Kwibuka, All Africa.

U.S. Factsheet Details New Spike in U.S. Military Aid to Iraq

A State Department fact sheet has highlighted a refocusing of the American government on training Iraqi soldiers. – Leah Schulz, Security Assistance Monitor.

Ukraine reforms national security sector for future EU, NATO membership – military doctrine

Ukraine has reaffirmed its commitment to make its forces compatible with those of NATO states by 2020. – InterFax.

AU and partners end joint Security Sector Reform sensitization in Madagascar

A five day ‘sensitization’ mission to Madagascar has ended. It aimed at getting senior officials and civil society on security sector reforms to support the government and society in building the capacities of Malagasy institutions in preparation for a national SSR process. – Middle East and North Africa Financial Network,

International Peace Day: Include women in peacebuilding: experts

Speakers at an awards ceremony in Pakistan marking International Peace Day have spoken out to highlight the role women can play in peace-building processes in conflict-prone areas. – The Express Tribune.



Colombia leader and FARC declare breakthrough in talks

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC commanders have announced an important breakthrough in peace talks. The breakthrough relates to a ‘formula’ to compensate victims and punish belligerents for human rights abuses.– AP, Al Jazeera.

A big leap towards peace in Colombia

This article outlines and examines the impact of a recent agreement between FARC and Colombian government negotiators on the implementation of ‘justice’ in the wake of any lasting peace deal. – The Economist.

Iraq in Pieces

This article examines the political and security situation in Iraq. Following this, it proposes that a possible decentralization of Iraq, and its security systems, could be the best way to ensure the country’s future viability. – Ali Khedry, Foreign Affairs.

Laying the Blame: Justice in Syria Just Got a Bit More Likely

This article outlines the importance of Russia dropping its objections to a commission, led by the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, to examine whether chemical weapons were used against civilians, and if so who sanctioned their use. – Mark Kersten, Justice in Conflict.

Gang-rape as power: Africa experts seek ways to end sex crimes

This report outlines the practice of gang rapes in South Africa, and outlines the approaches being taken by various parties to end the practice. – Katy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Why the U.S. (still) can’t train the Iraqi military

This article outlines the reasons why the vast sums of money the American government has poured into training Iraqi security forces has resulted in no major strategic gains for the force. - Caitlin Talmadge and Austin Long, The Washington Post.

Ecuador Shifts Security Focus to Microtrafficking

Ecuador’s authorities say they are shifting their security focus to curbing neighborhood level drug peddling. This piece argues that this shift highlights an internal battle within the Ecuadorian government over treating drug use and sale as a health and social issue or as a criminal problem. – Sam Tabory, InSight Crime.

PLA Transformation: Difficult Military Reforms Begin

This article provides an in-depth analysis of China’s current military reforms. The article also outlines how “powerful cliques might still prevent the Chinese President from implementing the more radical elements of his reform package.”- Kevin McCauley, The International Relations and Security Network.

Kurds Can Go Their Own Way

This excellent article outlines and contextualizes the evolving political and security situation in Turkey, regarding the countries sizable Kurdish population. The article also argues that reforms are needed to appease rising tensions, including access to education and public services in minority languages, and greater administrative, but not political, autonomy for predominantly Kurdish regions. – Sonar Cagaptay, Foreign Affairs.

Mexico’s Unreliable Crime Data Calls Govt’s Claims Into Question

Following a recent report highlighting systematic failures in crime reporting in Mexico, Patrick Corcoran argues that although the mistake seems genuine, it highlights grave oversight shortcoming of the Mexican authorities, and increases the difficulty of targeting government crime programs. – Patrick Corcoran, InSight Crime.

On Nigeria’s frontline against Boko Haram

This interesting video gives a glimpse inside the Nigerian government’s battle against Boko Haram. – Ahmed Idris, Al Jazeera.

In Ghana, Will Vast Judicial Corruption Scandal Undo 23 Years of Political Stability?

Following recent revelations of judicial corruption in Ghana, Clement Sefa-Nyarko examines how this test of government institutions might impact Ghana’s political and security situation. - Clement Sefa-Nyarko, International Peace Institute.

Enough with the Pessimism about Peacekeeping

In this article, Page Fortna provides a concise rebuttal to a recent New York Times article which heavily criticized peacekeeping operations. Fortna highlights the while peacekeeping operations are often inefficient, they have been shown to play a role in preventing further violence and providing space for peace negotiations to emerge. – Page Fortna, Political Violence @ a Glance.

 Should AMISOM release an accurate death toll?

This article examines whether or not Africa’s largest peacekeeping mission, AMISOM in Somalia, is right in withholding statistics relating to casualties within its ranks. This debate follows a rise in al-Shabaab attacks on AMISOM forces. – Institute for Security Studies.



The Evolution and Reform of Palestinian Security Forces 1993-2013

This article provides a contextual analysis of the evolution and reform processes of Palestinian security forces over the last two decades. It categorizes the evolution of security reform processes into three phases: the Oslo Accords phase; the Second Intifada phase; and the Fayyadism phase. The article argues that despite the attempt to reverse the conditions of insecurity through security reform under Fayyadism, fundamental tensions between the Palestinian Authority’s security forces and the Palestinian resistance movement have emerged. – Alaa Tartir, Stability: International Journal of Security and Development.

R2P: A Concept

Routledge has compiled a list of articles that cover the concept and debate surrounding the Responsibility to Protect. The articles are available free to access, and include articles from Gëzim Visoka, John Doyle, and Aidan Hehir. – Routledge.

Rebuilding Economic and Political Stability in Ukraine

This report summarizes the findings of a roundtable discussion of roughly thirty experts working on Ukraine related issues. The discussion focused on understanding Ukraine’s economic challenges, exploring obstacles impeding economic reform, and identifying possible ways for outside actors to support Ukrainian policymakers more effectively during the months ahead. – Council on Foreign Relations.

Going around in circles: The challenges of peacekeeping and stabilization in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

With the aim of explaining the cyclical recurrence of crisis and conflict in the DRC, this report identifies and explores two main causes. First, the government of Congo’s engagement with the eastern provinces is used to maintain and extend a state that is kept purposefully weak so as to better manipulate it on behalf of private interests. Second, the international community, MONUSCO in particular, has been unable to counter these dynamics due to a series of acute constraints and a limited set of technical formats for interventions. - Hugo de Vries, Clingendael Institute.

Central African Republic: The roots of violence

This excellent report examines the root causes of violence in the CAR. The report also progresses to provide recommendations on how to tackle these causes. These include linking disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs and community violence reduction programs to reconstruction and development projects run by the World Bank and the European Union. The full report is currently available in French, while an executive summary is available in English. – Crisis Group.

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