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News Roundup: 19 October - 25 October 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Oct 25, 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

Haiti Elections 2015 – Security, violence and the rule of law

Following the latest elections on Sunday in Haiti, the SSR Resource Centre project is highlighting recent blog posts and key reports on gangs, politics and violence as well as rule of law and policing in Haiti. Read and Share!

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.

Security Governance Group

The Security Governance Group (SGG) has grown steadily since the firm’s founding in 2012. To accommodate this growth, the Security Governance Group is pleased to announce that it recently hired three experienced staff members:

Andria Kenney, the SGG’s new Director of Operations, has worked in the humanitarian field for over 12 years, with extensive operational experience in crisis-affected environments. Prior to joining SGG, Andria worked in various capacities for the International Organization for Migration, UNHCR, and the Red Cross.

Dr. Janel Smith, the SGG’s new Senior Researcher, has served as a researcher and consultant in policy roles for a variety of organizations, including the International Development Research Centre, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development, and Transparency International.

Tina Venema, the SGG’s new Office Manager, has over 20 years of experience in administration in the public and private sectors. She sits on the board of CanWiT (Canadian Women in Technology) and has extensive experience in mentoring and advising start-up businesses.

This infusion of human capacity will create new opportunities for the SGG to grow and bolster its reputation as a premier research consultancy firm in the international security and development field.

Centre for Security Governance

The Centre for Security Governance (CSG) and its partner organization the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) launched a unique joint internship program, involving remote collaboration with researchers in Canada and Serbia. An intern at the CSG will be joined by an intern at the BCSP to implement a research project on private security governance in Canada and Serbia. The interns will be supported by senior researchers at the CSG and the BCSP. This comparative project will result in a research paper to be jointly published by the CSG and BCSP.


Patience, calm urged as votes counted in Haiti

This article provides a solid overview of the context of Haiti’s elections on Sunday. - Jacqueline Charles, The Miami Herald.

Ukraine renews efforts to clean up judiciary as deadline for visa-free EU travel reforms looms

To eliminate corruption in the judiciary system, the Ukrainian government has drafted 12 new laws to help Ukraine’s fight against corruption and meet EU demands and requirements for judicial reform. - Ukraine Today.

Ukraine’s judicial reform should be based on full reboot of courts - Yatseniuk

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk wants to radically reform and transform Ukraine’s justice system and mentioned that ‘the first element of our judicial reform is the reboot of the judiciary, the election of new judges based on transparent tenders and the formation of new Ukrainian courts’. – Interfax Ukraine.

To fight corruption, China officially bans golf for party cadres

The Politburo of China’s Communist Party Central Committee has issued a new moral and ethical code to eliminate corruption and promote ‘clean governance’. As part of these new guidelines, all members of the Communist Party are now banned from having golf club memberships.  – Simon Denyer, The Washington Post.

Cambodia’s Hun Sen Names Son Head of Military’s Intelligence Department

The son of Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has been appointed as head of the country’s military intelligence department. The opposition has criticized the move as a way for the PM to consolidate and strengthen its political power while the government has argued that this appointment is simply part of ongoing military reforms ‘designed to make the military more efficient’.  – Radio Free Asia.

Sri Lankan Army committed war crimes: Government probe panel

A new government report has called for an independent judicial investigation into war crimes allegations. The panel recommends the creation of a hybrid tribunal with both foreign and domestic judges, prosecutors and lawyers, as well as the setting up of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. - The Hindu.

Military policeman’s ball makes girls from Rio’s favelas princesses for a day

In order to win hearts and minds in so-called pacified communities in Rio, the military police is organizing an annual debutantes’ ball. The impact of this community outreach programme might however be limited since ‘the fairy godmother making all the dreams come true is one of the world’s most violent security forces’.    – Jonathan Watts, The Guardian.

Rent-a-cop: Private security in Nigeria

This article describes the links between the public security forces and the private security industry in Nigeria, highlighting the risks of the privatization of public security. – The Economist.

700 al Shabaab recruits return to Kenya - IOM

A new report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) describes some of the challenges associated with the de-radicalization and reintegration of former al Shabaab recruits.  – Adow Mohamed, The Star.

Mozambique: Renamo Wants Police Training

Mozambique’s largest opposition party Renamo wants the government to provide training and to facilitate the integration of its militiamen into a newly created police unit. –

IPCB to Police the Police

This short article describes ongoing efforts in Sierra Leone to improve public trust in the police. It highlights the key role played by the Independent Police Complaints Board of Sierra Leone (IPCB-SL) in this confidence-building exercise. - Donstance Koroma, Sierra Express Media.



El Salvador Official Slams ‘Iron Fist’ Security Policies

Arron Daugherty analyzes El Salvador ‘iron fist ‘security policies which are focused on a militarized approach to combating the country’s street gangs. The author argues that despite recent criticism of this approach by the Security Minister, changes are unlikely as the government has adopted an ‘increasingly tough security approach by labeling gang members as terrorists’.  – Arron Daugherty, InsightCrime.

What Guatemala Can Teach Fragile States about Cleaning Up the Justice System

The author argues that Guatemala’s successful justice and rule of law reform is a direct result of the UN’s assistance and the UN-sponsored CICIG - the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala. The role of such externally anchored institutions can provide useful lessons learned for other fragile states where such legitimate institutions can play crucial roles and have significant impact on peacebuilding and statebuilding. – Seth Kaplan, The Guardian.

The Drug War Taught the U.S. Military How to Hunt Terrorists

This article provides a useful and detailed historical overview of U.S. military and security assistance in Latin America since the early 1970s.  – Joseph Trevithik, War is Boring.       

The ‘hippo trench’ across Africa: US military quietly builds giant security belt in middle of continent

This article provides a useful overview of the ongoing expansion of U.S. military and security assistance in Africa. In particular, it focuses on its role in conducting ’military exercises, training missions and advisory assignments with local African armies, to do battle against militant groups like Boko Haram as well as Somalia’s al-Shabaab and Mali’s Ansar al-Dine.’ - Christine Mugai, Mail & Guardian Africa.

Why South Africa needs specialized detective units

The author argues that South Africa needs specialized investigative police units to fight some of the most serious violent crimes in the country, highlighting that such units’ strength ‘lies in their ability to focus talent and attention on a specific crime’. -  Johan Burger, ISS Africa.

Reform for a City with a Legacy of Police Corruption

Based on an analysis of the city of Seattle’s fight against police corruption and a new memoir - Seattle Justice: The Rise and Fall of the Police Payoff System in Seattle - this article provides important insights and lessons learned that can be useful for police reform in fragile and conflict-affected countries. – Knute Berger, Seattle Magazine.

Why Is the Provisional IRA Still in Business?

Gordon Clubb analyzes the impacts of the paramilitary group the Provisional IRA on security provision, informal policing, peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts in Northern Ireland focusing on a balanced discussion that recognizes the positive role such organizational structures had on the peace process. Gordon Clubb, Newsweek.

Does Ukraine Still Believe in Reform?

In the context of the local elections this week, and focusing on Mikhail Saakashvili, the appointed Governor of the Odessa region and former president of Georgia, the author discusses the current anti-corruption and pro-reform movement in Ukraine.  – Colin Cleary, Foreign Policy.

Russia, Syria, Ukraine – and the Rest of the World

CDA Institute Security & Defence Blogger David Law, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Security Governance, offers his thoughts on Russia’s recent actions in Ukraine and Syria. -  David Law, CDA Institute.

Can we expect real political reform in the Maghreb any time soon?

Sarah Yerkes analyzes the possibilities of political reform, including security sector reform, in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt and argues that only Tunisia has long-term prospects for democratization. Such changes however will depend on Tunisia’s capacity to continue the ‘professionalization of law enforcement and other security services as part of a larger security sector reform project’.   - Sarah Yerkes, Brookings.

Is the military the Achilles’ heel of the Turkish government?

Following a series of high-profile court cases involving military officers, the author asks a crucial question regarding the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK): Can the tarnished reputation of the TSK be restored, and how will this impact civil-military relations in Turkey? – Pinar Tremblay, Al-Monitor.

Five Things that Make Community Policing Work

As part of The Asia Foundation’s Notes from the Field series, the authors describes five key components of their work in assisting the development of community policing in Sri Lanka. The most effective elements of this program are: Complaint Mechanisms, Awareness Campaigns, Community Policing Forums, Mobile Police Services and Bicycle Patrols. – Johann Rebert and Santha Deepalal, The Asia Foundation.



From War to Peace: Security and the Stabilization of Colombia

This article provides an introduction to a new special collection on ‘Citizen Security Dialogues in Colombia: Controlling the territory and building security and justice in post-conflict contexts’. This series of articles feature research on local justice, rural security, criminal economies, and urban violence in Colombia. – Maria Victoria Lorente, Stability: International Journal of Security & Development.

Disappeared: Justice Denied in Mexico’s Guerrero State

This new report highlights the need for significant security and justice sector reform in Mexico. It argues that ‘by holding inept, complicit or corrupt officials accountable, authorities can start to regain the citizen trust that is essential for effective law enforcement’. – International Crisis Group.

 Mexico: Spike in torture reports reveals deepening human rights crisis

This report also highlights the need for judicial reform, focusing on the issue of torture. New research shows that acts of torture have more than doubled in the last year in Mexico. In this context, Amnesty International argues that ‘a robust law on torture that means more than words on paper and ensures justice would be a good first step for Mexico to finally move on from the deep human rights crisis it is immersed in’.- Amnesty International.

“We Live in Constant Fear”: Lack of Accountability for Police Abuse in Sri Lanka

Drawing on research in Sri Lanka in 2014 and 2015, a new HRW report documents the routine use of torture by Sri Lanka’s police. Such practices require additional police and justice reform, and the report recommends that the government ‘create an independent oversight authority and adopt concrete steps to end police abuse’.  – Human Rights Watch

Counting Conflict Deaths: Options for SDG 16.1

Instituto Igarapé and Saferworld launched a new technical note on counting conflict-related deaths. The note reviews methods on how to count the dead using both incident monitoring and statistical methods based on probabilistic sampling. – Robert Muggah, Igarapé Institute and SaferWorld.

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