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News Roundup: 13 October - 18 October 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Oct 18, 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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Patrolling Luhansk – The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine

In this blog post, Paul Biddle, Security Governance Group Senior Associate, shares his analysis and experience of the situation in Ukraine. Paul served as a UK secondee to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, Luhansk (Lugansk) field office from April 2014-March 2015. He was over various times security, military and police focal point, operations officer, patrol leader and patrol hub leader.

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.


Bosnian Justice Ministers Agree Crucial Reform Deadlines

Bosnia’s justice ministers agreed to finalize state-level court reforms in 2016. – Denis Dzidic, Balkan Insight.

Afghan Plan to Expand Militia Raises Abuse Concerns

The Afghan government is developing a new plan that calls for the immediate recruitment of an additional 15,000 armed militiamen under the Afghan Local Police program.  - Mujib Mazal, New York Times.

Obama outlines plan to keep 5,500 troops in Afghanistan

U.S. President Obama made the decision last week to keep 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan post-2016. These troops will ‘still be focused on training and advising the Afghan army, with a special emphasis on its elite counter-terrorism forces’. – Greg Jaffe and Missy Ryan, The Washington Post.

Stop rot, Rotate cops

To fight police corruption, South Africa plans to have law enforcement officers be periodically rotated around the country. This proposal however is likely to be met with resistance from police officers and police unions. - Shenaaz Jamal, Neo Goba and Graeme Hosken, Times Live.

Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk slammed over prosecutors

This article highlights current challenges of criminal justice reform in Ukraine, particularly of Ukraine’s  prosecutorial service, and the risk that political interference in this process might lead to ‘more corruption and less rule of law’ – Kyiv Post.

India’s top court scuttles Modi’s judicial reform move

India’s Supreme Court on Friday struck down a law that could have significantly affected judicial independence. – Reuters.

ICJ inaugurates the Third Regional Conference on judicial independence and the fight against impunity in Central America

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) held a conference in Guatemala City to discuss judicial independence and the need to strengthen judicial careers in the Americas. – International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).

IPCB briefs media on progress report

This insightful article describes the role and transformation of the Sierra Leone Independent Police Complaints Board (IPCB), an independent civilian oversight body for the police. - Donstance Koroma, Sierra Express Media.

 63 police officers fired over corruption in attempt to reform Kenya’s criticized police force

As part of Kenya’s police vetting process, 63 police officers have been fired for corruption and integrity issues. - Associated Press.



Tunisia After the Nobel Peace Prize

The author discusses what the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet might mean for the future of Tunisia. In particular, the author highlights the ‘daunting challenges in terms of economic reforms and income distribution as well as security sector reform.’- Marc Pierini, Carnegie Europe.

There’s no doubt Tunisians deserved the Nobel Prize. But will they keep the peace?

The author argues that despite a recent House Foreign Affairs Committee resolution calling on the US government to assist Tunisia in counter-terrorism operations and in security sector reform, additional US security assistance is needed to address insecurity and to counter extremism in the country. - Tom O’Bryan, globalpost.

Can Afghan Forces Resist the Taliban?

Stephen Biddle analyzes Afghan security governance, the underlying challenges of the government’s reliance on abusive militias and the situation of the Afghan Local police which is ‘often corrupt, poorly equipped, poorly armed, and poorly trained’- Stephen Biddle, CFR.

The NDAA’s bottomless security assistance pit

Jeremy Ravinsky offers a detailed overview of US security assistance, making the case that such program might in practice destabilize even more fragile and conflict-affected countries.  – Jeremy Ravinsky, The Hill.

U.S. Military Aid to Presidential Guards a Risky Venture

This article analyzes the impact of US security assistance and its efforts to train and equip African presidential security personnel in at least a dozen countries. The authors argue that the United States ‘must conduct rigorous risk assessments of this assistance.’ – Alexis Kedo, Colby Goodman, Security Assistance Monitor.

To fight terrorism, fight corruption first

Focusing on the rise of terrorist attacks in Kenya between 2008 and 2014, the author argues that donor support to counter-terrorism should tackle the issues of corruption and accountability. There is a need to address such issues since corruption is ‘a huge blight on the success of Kenya’s security agencies in countering terrorism’.   – Irene Ndungu, Institute for Security Studies.

The Conflict Patterns and Role of Pro-Government Militias

This new ACLED article focuses on the structure and impacts of pro-government militias in (post) conflict situations. Such research clearly highlights the need to address non-state and informal security providers when designing security sector reform programming. – Roudabeh Kishi, ACLED.

Stakes are high as a series of elections looms across Africa

This article analyzes the risks involved in a series of elections across Africa in the next few months. In particular, it mentions that security sector reform in Burkina Faso and the reform of the security forces in Côte d’Ivoire are key dimensions of these upcoming elections. - Institute for Security Studies.



Criminal Procedure Reform in Mexico, 2008-2016: The Final Countdown for Implementation

This new report analyzes the implementation of judicial reform in Mexico at the federal and state level. It highlights some key challenges and provides a useful analysis of the way forward for criminal justice reform. The authors find that ‘despite obstacles to the reform’s implementation, significant progress has been made and will continue in the years to come.’ - Octavio Rodríguez Ferreira and David A. Shirk, University of San Diego.

Crackdown at Letpadan: Excessive Use of Force and Violations of the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Expression in Letpadan, Bago Region, Myanmar

Highlighting the need for police reform and security sector reform, this report describes how Myanmar police officers used excessive force during a crackdown on protesters and arrested more than 100 individuals in Letpadan, Bago Region in March 2015. – Fortify Rights and Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic.

Money Matters: Addressing the Financial Sustainability of Security Sector Reform

The latest issue of the SSR Papers, DCAF flagship publication series, is a fascinating introduction to the political economy of security sector reform (SSR). A must-read for researchers and practitioners, the paper provides ‘insights into the challenges often encountered when assisting national authorities to address the political economy of SSR, and how to navigate those dilemmas.’ - Rory Keane and Thorodd Ommundsen, DCAF.

Flawed Justice: Unfair Trials and the Death Penalty In Indonesia

This report, based on 12 cases of death row prisoners, shows ‘systemic problems in Indonesia’s administration of justice’ and provides additional evidence on the need for rule of law reform.  – Amnesty International.

Women Leading Peace: A close examination of women’s political participation in peace processes in Northern Ireland, Guatemala, Kenya, and the Philippines

This fascinating, well-researched and documented report examines women’s political participation in peace negotiations, focusing on four case studies: Northern Ireland, Guatemala, Kenya, and the Philippines. It provides a unique perspective on how women in civil society gain access to high-level peace negotiations, and can also influence the peace process outside of such formal political spaces.  - Patty Chang and Mayesha Alam, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.


Plural Security in the City

On Thursday 22 October (09:30 AM - 05:00 PM), the University of Amsterdam, the Conflict Research Unit of Clingendael Institute and the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law are organizing a knowledge event: Plural Security in the City, to be held at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

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