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News Roundup: 5 October - 12 October 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Oct 12, 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!


SSR Resource Centre

Police Reform in Kenya: Challenges and opportunities

This blog post by Annie Mageka, CSG Blog Correspondent (Kenya), is the first contribution on our blog to feature analysis by local researchers and journalists as part of our Blog Correspondent series.  This program supports and encourages new researchers and journalists in the fields of security sector reform and peacebuilding. In this contribution, Annie Mageka analyzes the police reform process in Kenya, and discusses recommendations to improve the state of policing in Kenya with local stakeholders. As such, not only does this article provide an excellent summary of over a decade of police reform in Kenya, it also provides on-the-ground reporting, empirical evidence, and key insights on the future of the Kenya Police.

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.


Private guards to be trained to act as ‘eyes and ears’ of law enforcers

This article details a new initiative in India to develop a plan for training private security guards in order to increase security and foster cooperation between the private security sector and law enforcement agencies. -  The Economic Times.

Russia to Sell Modern Attack Helicopters to Afghanistan

Russia is in talks with Afghanistan over the purchase of an unknown number of Mi-35 combat helicopters. – Franz-Stefan Gady, The Diplomat.

Taliban attack police HQ in embattled Afghan city

Fighting erupted anew in the embattled northern Afghan city of Kunduz, on Tuesday, after the Taliban attacked the city’s police headquarters. – Rahim Faiez, AP, The Washington Post.

President Ghani: Nobody is allowed to meddle in security sector affairs and appointments

During a videoconference to discuss the security situation of Southeastern provinces, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, discussed the need to ‘focus fundamental attention on the recruitment process for further strengthening of the National Army and National Police.’ – Office of the President, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

 Report Slams UN for Its Silence Over Interference in Khmer Rouge Tribunal

A new report highlights ‘the U.N.’s silence over government interference in the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s cases 003 and 004 (and) illustrates that the international body is unwilling to uphold principles of judicial independence’ – George Wright, Cambodia Daily.

Thailand: Reform steering council gets ready to hold its first meeting

Ahead of its first meeting, members of Thailand’s Reform Steering Council discussed issues of rule of law and police reform. – The Nation.

Failure to pay soldiers threatens Somalia’s war on terror

The non-payment of salaries to troops in Somalia has far-reaching consequences in the fight against al Shabaab and in the country’s relations with foreign donors. According to an unpublished UN report, problems within the military chain of payment might be related to corruption and misappropriation. - Drazen Jorgic, Citizen Digital.

Bulgarian Defence Minister refuses resignation of head of Military Intelligence

Bulgarian Defence Minister Nikolai Nenchev has refused to accept the resignation of Military Intelligence head Yordan Bakalov due to his confidence in Bakalov’s ability to reform Military Intelligence, and to maintain good relationships with partner agencies. – The Sofia Globe.

Zaporizhya joins Ukraine’s flagship police reform program

Another Ukrainian city - Zaporizhya - will participate in Ukraine’s flagship police reform program: US-style police patrols. 800 new patrol police officers will be hired this year. – Ukraine Today.

OAS Secretary General Announces Initiative to Combat Corruption and Impunity in Honduras

The OAS has launched a new mission to help Honduras implement justice reform and fight corruption. The creation of the Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) will  focus on making ‘the justice system an effective tool in the fight against impunity, that manages to earn the respect of the people of Honduras and that becomes an essential part of the democratic system’ – Organization of American States (OAS).

UN rights chief calls for Mexico police reform

During his recent visit to Mexico, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights ‘urged the Mexican government to cease using their military as law enforcement and replace the current force with well-trained police officers.’- William Helbling, Paper Chase - Jurist.

Despite mounting violence, IDF-PA security cooperation unlikely to end

This article highlights the reasons why security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will most likely continue as usual. – Adnan Abu Amer, Al-Monitor.

Obama Administration Ends Effort to Train Syrians to Combat ISIS

The Obama administration has recognized the failure of its train-and-equip program in Syria and has ‘abandoned its efforts to build up a new rebel force inside Syria’- Michael D. Shear, Helene Cooper and Eric Schmitt, The Washington Post.


Afghanistan’s Own Battle

This highly recommended documentary and accompanying article outlines the struggles of an Afghan army unit struggling to gain the respect of their fellow nationals, while fighting to regain control of Afghan territory. – Al Jazeera.

Happy birthday TNI, bring military reform back on track

In this opinion piece, the author provides useful background information on the modernization of The Indonesian Military (TNI) and argues for further reforms of civil-military relations and military justice. - Bhatara Ibnu Reza, The Jakarta Post.

Vietnam 2.0 and California Dreamin’ in Ukraine

This article documents the role the US is playing in Ukraine. The piece examines both Pentagon and State Department funding to Ukraine to argue that the US is trying to buy significant influence in Ukraine’s reform process. – John Stanton, Pravda.

Cambodia seeks way out of post “killing fields” mental health crisis

This article examines the struggles facing Cambodia as it tries to overcome the legacy of the Khmer Rouge’s atrocities. Despite moves towards justice, it is claimed that there is still no sign of reconciliation, with one noted interviewee stating that “we’re stuck in the victim/perpetrator view of our history”. – Astrid Zweynert, Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Ukraine Reform Monitor: October 2015

This report argues that ‘despite the growing scale and scope of reform activity in Ukraine, and increasing support for it, the overall effort appears to be suffering from a lack of strategic direction.’ The section on the Ministry of Internal Affairs highlights current police reform initiatives, including the development of the police patrol program. – Ukraine Reform Monitor Team, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Migration Maze: Police Reform Inside Central America’s Violent Northern Triangle

Part of a four-part series, this excellent article analyzes police reform in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. It focuses on new approaches to policing including ‘community policing, decentralizing commands and using computer statistics to prevent violent crime.’- Tim Padgett, WLRN.

Why is Honduras so violent?

This article analyzes the state of violence and corruption in Honduras, as well as the potential impact of the new OAS mission to counter corruption and impunity. It highlights the need for security and justice reform, warning however that the country has a ‘terrible track record on fighting impunity and corruption.’ - Ashley Miller and Harold Trinkunas, Brookings.

 El Salvador Massacres on the Rise: Report

This piece examines the possible explanations for the increasing number of massacres being reported across El Salvador. Amongst the causes noted are gang-on-gang and police-on-gang confrontations, and the possible existence of ‘death squads’. – Elijah Stevens, InSight Crime.

 Venezuela Police Indictments More Tactical Than Political

David Gagne outlines the recent indictment of two former high-level Venezuelan police officials by the US government. Gagne argues that the indictments are more tactical than political maneuver. – David Gagne, InSight Crime.

Just when Kenya’s military needs more civilian oversight, a proposed bill calls for less

The author argues that some far-reaching amendments to the Kenya Defence Forces Act (2012)’ will have significant consequences on civil-military relations in Kenya, including less accountability for the KDF’s actions and even more limited civilian oversight role for the parliament. – Patrick Mutahi, African Arguments.

The not-so-secret solution to fighting SA’s most feared crime

This article outlines the problem of aggravated burglary in South Africa, and highlights one method the police can use to tackle the issue. Specifically, it calls for the South African Police Service ‘Gauteng Aggravated Robbery strategy’ to be implemented further. – Institute for Security Studies.



South African Crime Quarterly 53

The Institute for Security Studies has released its latest ‘Crime Quarterly’ publication on the security situation in South Africa. Amongst the most interesting pieces in this edition is ‘Mapping Khayelitsha: The complexities of everyday policing in a high crime area’ by Laura Freeman and Claire McDonald. – Institute for Security Studies.

Justice on Trial: Lessons from the Minova Rape Case in the Democratic Republic of Congo,

A new Human Rights Watch report highlights the need to reform the Democratic Republic of Congo’s justice system to better prosecute atrocities. The report focuses on the Minova rape trial to show how this is ‘emblematic of the deficiencies of Congo’s military justice system in dealing with grave international crimes that persist despite years of international assistance’. - Human Rights Watch

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