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News Roundup: 29 September - 5 October 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Oct 5, 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!


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The business of (dis)organized crime in South Africa

In this blog post, Khalil Goga argues that much of the criminal economy in South Africa is sustained by ‘unsophisticated and ad hoc criminal networks, along with corrupt relationships’, and that this knowledge should have a greater role in informing policy and operational responses to threats. Goga argues that if this is not taken into greater consideration, failures, particularly relating to grassroots intelligence gathering, will leave responses to these crimes ineffective and insufficient.

Centre for Security Governance

The Centre for Security Governance (CSG) is looking to bring on a new blog correspondent to support our SSR Resource Centre project over a four-month period. This program supports and encourages new researchers and journalists in the fields of security sector reform, statebuilding, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction. Closing date: 16 October 2015. Additional information available here.

The Security Governance Group (SGG) is also looking to bring on new interns to support its research, communications, and eConferencing projects – as well as that of its sister organization, the Centre for Security Governance – over a four-month period. Closing date: 12 October 2015. More information available here.

Publication Announcement - 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.



Belgium cuts aid to Burundi government as EU sanctions hit

Belgium has suspended its development cooperation program with Burundi, including its justice, police and governance projects. More information is available in this press release (in French) - Reuters.

Tunisian prime minister promises economic, security reforms

Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid has stated that his country will have a new investment code by the end of the year and will implement other reforms to overcome deep economic and security crises. – Barbara Slavin, Al-Monitor.

Burkina Faso coup leader Diendere in police custody

The leader of Burkina Faso’s short-lived coup was in police custody on Thursday after handing himself in as authorities ramped up a probe into last month’s putsch. – AFP, Daily Nation.

No progress in governance across Africa, Ibrahim survey says

A major survey has found that progress in governance across Africa has stalled since 2011. – Karin Strohecker, Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Colombia’s FARC leader halts rebel combat training

The leader of Colombia’s Marxist FARC rebels ordered a halt to combat training of its fighters on Thursday. - Luis Jaime Acosta and Helen Murphy, Thomson Reuters Foundation.

UN nations pledge 40,000 peacekeepers

40,000 new troops and police have been committed to the UN’s blue helmet operations by more than 50 countries. – James Reinl, Al Jazeera.

CAR risks return to civil war, rights expert warns (podcast)

This short podcast outlines recent warnings by the UN that the Central African Republic faces a real prospect of returning to civil war. – Daniel Johnson, United Nations.

Heads of State express concern at fragile humanitarian situation in country

Heads of State across Africa have expressed alarm at the fragile humanitarian situation in Somalia, recognizing that almost three million Somalis are dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet their most basic daily needs. – Pulse.


R2P and the Responsibility to Receive

In this article by Security Governance Group Associate David Law, the relevance of the Responsibility to Protect to current events in Syria is outlined. Following this, Law examines three specific courses of action for taking remedial action in Syria, including receiving those fleeing violence, and increasing humanitarian support both within Syria and its neighboring countries, who have taken in millions of Syrian refugees. – David Law, CDA Institute.

 The Hard Lessons of Kunduz & Syria

This article analyzes why ‘U.S. efforts to train-equip friendly fighters around the world so often fail’ – Rosa Brooks, Foreign Policy.

Colombia: Never Again?

Oliver Kaplan analyzes the historic accord on transitional justice announced by Colombian and FARC negotiators in Havana, Cuba last week. Kaplan specifically examines whether the deal can truly bring an end to the violence Colombia has become accustomed to. – Oliver Kaplan, Political Violence @ a Glance.

Interview – Sarah Chayes

Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Sarah Chayes, has spoken about her opinions of a variety of security issues. Of particular interest is Chayes assertions on corruption in several selected countries, and how this corruption varies from country to country. – Jane Kirkpatrick and Sarah Chayes, E-International Relations.

SA lacks clear strategies to reduce serious violent crime

Arguing that the increase in violent crime in South Africa highlights a failure of police strategy, this article highlights some general areas that need to be reformed if crime is to decrease. These include improving collaboration, and implementing the National Development Plan’s recommendations on recruitment and transparency. – Institute for Security Studies.

Lebanon reaps weapons windfall from Congress

This article outlines how American fears of ISIL are leading to the sale of over $1billion of military equipment to the Lebanese armed forces. It also examines the geo-political consequences of this arms deal. - Julian Pecquet, Al-Monitor.

Venezuela Believes Govt Involved in Organized Crime: Survey

A survey has found a majority of Venezuelans believe that government officials have been corrupted by the drug trade. The piece goes on to discuss the rise in home-grown criminal groups and its impact on the country’s broader security picture. – David Gagne, InSight Crime.

Is Turkey’s military returning to politics?

Given the current political and security situation in Turkey, this piece examines the likelihood of Turkey’s military returning to politics. The article also quotes Retired Gen. Ahmet Yavuz as saying that just because opportunities are presenting themselves, doesn’t mean that the military is coming back.- Metin Gurcan, Al-Monitor.

El Salvador: More Weapons, More Recruits, More Chaos

With demand for illegal weapons rising in El Salvador, and gang related violence soaring, this article examines the government’s response and the prospects for peace. – Carlos Martinez, InSight Crime.

The U.S. Military: Between a Rock and a Repulsive Place

This blog post by Jeff Eggers outlines the conundrum faced by US forces when trying to deal with their Afghan partners who engage in sexual acts with underage boys—a practice known as bacha bazi. Eggers also outlines the impact American non-action is having on support for the Taliban. – Jeff Eggers, The RAND Blog.

Q&A: Colombia Breakthrough a World Model for Peace Talks

In this question and answers session, USIP’s Virginia Bouvier outlines the strengths of ongoing peace talks on Colombia. Bouvier highlights that no other peace process has given victims such a central role. – Fred Strasser, United States Institute for Peace.



Women, Peace, and Security

This discussion paper, by the Independent Commission on Multilateralism and the International Peace Institute,   outlines   key   debates   in   the   field   of   women,  peace,  and  security  (section  I),  before  exploring institutional   challenges   and   opportunities   (section   II). Finally,   the   paper   offers   conclusions   and observations  that  can  serve  as  strategic  entry  points  for  action  (section  III),  and  recommendations  for  the multilateral  system  on  operationalizing  its  policy  commitments  on  women,  peace, and  security  (section  IV). - Independent Commission on Multilateralism and the International Peace Institute.

Oil and gold: private sector and post-conflict risks in Colombia

This report presents a number of challenges to Colombia’s post-conflict stability arising from criminal networks and activities in regions associated with the extractive industry – and specifically in regions dedicated to oil extraction and gold mining. While domestic and foreign investments have risen over recent years, and overall security conditions have improved, it is likely that armed violence will continue, and undergo further transformations in these regions. The emergence of new sorts of non-conventional armed violence, operating across the spectrum between conflict and criminality, is argued as illustrating the challenge of consolidating a post-conflict arrangement in Colombia. – Angelika Rettberg, Clingendael.

Improving human security: ISS Annual Review 2014

The Institute for Security Studies has published its annual review of its operations in 2014. The report outlines how the ISS has approached its role in creating a safer Africa, and the impact these policies have had. - Institute for Security Studies.

Curbing Violence in Nigeria (III): Revisiting the Niger Delta

This detailed report by International Crisis Group outlines the violence plaguing the Niger Delta region, and the causes of this violence. The report then progresses to make recommendations for the Nigerian government on how to resolve this violence, including providing employment to ex-militants and taking urgent steps against environmental degradation. - International Crisis Group.

Locally led stabilisation and peacebuilding in Congo: Learning summary

This paper highlights the main successes, challenges and lessons learnt from a CRC project delivered in collaboration with Peace Direct from 2011-2014. The project aimed to provide economic and social support to ex-combatants, returnees, and women affected by conflict, as part of a holistic approach to DDR that sees sustainable reintegration as the key to lasting success. – Peace Direct.

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