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News Roundup: 26 October - 1 November 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Nov 2, 2015

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Targeted UN Sanctions in South Sudan a Threat to Peace

Matthew LeRiche, CSG Senior Fellow, wrote an article on the potential impact of sanctions on South Sudan’s peace process. He argues that international sanctions  force South Sudan’s top leaders to choose between those who wield power locally and the legitimacy accorded by the international community: an untenable choice, and one not conducive to building peace.

Cameroon’s double-edged sword: Civil-military relations and the development of a new social contract

The fight against Boko-Haram, is transforming the identity of Cameroon’s army as well as the way it is perceived by its citizens. Cameroonians are mobilizing like never before around their army. This transformation is giving rise to an emerging ‘social contract’, with likely profound impact for security and the exercise of legitimate civilian control by the executive over the military.


Stability: International Journal of Security & Development  is looking for Editorial Assistants to support the journal’s operations by helping to disseminate call for papers, facilitating rapid peer-review processes, copy-editing accepted articles, communicating with particular contributors and disseminating content among researchers, policymakers and practitioners. More information available here.


Explaining the South Sudan peace agreement: Who will decide on security reform?

This article provides an overview of the role of a new body called the Strategic Defence and Security Review Board, a key institution designed to help implement security sector reform in South Sudan: ‘the purpose of this board is to recommend ways to reform the army and other security organs.’ – Radio Tamazuj.

Indonesia | Poll finds TNI more popular than KPK

A new public opinion poll highlights changes in public perceptions of Indonesia’s security and justice sector. The results show that the Indonesian Military (TNI) has gained the most public trust and respect, with the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in second place. - Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post.

Defence corruption ‘hurts Middle East security’ - Transparency International

A new regional report, focused on 17 countries in the Middle East, analyzes how corruption in the defence sector might affect security and stability in the region, highlighting the lack of accountability as a key area of concern. – BBC.

US Ambassador: Ukraine Elections Show Support for Reform

Following Ukraine’s local elections, the US Ambassador to Ukraine highlighted the need to move forward on rule of law and security sector reform, mentioning that judicial reform, prosecutorial reform and anti-corruption are crucial areas that need to be addressed. – Jonas Bernstein, Voice of America.

Venice Commission urges Ukraine to amend Constitution to enable judicial reform

The Secretary of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the Venice Commission) discussed the delays in implementing judicial reform in Ukraine and advised the government to adopt the necessary amendments to the Constitution to move forward in this reform process. – Interfax.

Colombia President Santos offers truce with Farc

As part of the ongoing peace negotiations and discussions on transitional justice, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos wants to implement a bilateral truce with the Farc rebel group in January 2016. The President has also set a deadline in March 2016 for signing a peace agreement.



Preventing violence through the rule of law: changing our approach to fit a changing landscape

The first blog in Saferworld’s new justice & peace blog series discusses the rule of law-violence nexus. The author argues that to ‘maximize the potential of the rule of law to prevent violence we must do more to help shape positive experiences of security and justice’. – Alejandro E. Alvarez, Saferworld.

Civil Society and Transitional Justice Processes: How International Actors Can Promote a More Inclusive Approach (video)

The International Peace Institute held an event last to discuss the role of international actors in supporting more inclusive and strategic engagements with transitional justice. – International Peace Institute.

Defence and security: oversight is the continuation of democracy by other means

The authors argue that defence and security sectors are some of the most challenging areas for effective oversight for parliamentarians. They analyze key issues such as accountability, corruption and defence procurement to provide evidence of the difficulty of achieving effective oversight, and provide recommendations for parliamentarians as well. - Jean Pierre Chabot and James Cohen, openDemocracy.

Is fighting corruption like fighting zombies?

The author argues for a significant rethinking of donors’ approaches to tackling corruption in fragile and developing countries, with the need to focus on the politics of corruption and the kind of international assistance that might be locally supported. – Heather Marquette, The Guardian.

Building Consensus on Security Sector Transformation in Zimbabwe

Valerie Sticher writes on the possibilities for security sector reform in Zimbabwe, focusing on a key question: ‘How do you tackle such an undertaking in a country where there is a lack of political will and capacity for such sensitive reforms?’ – Valerie Sticher, International Relations and Security Network (ISN).

DR Congo - Beyond the rule of law

This short blog post describes the work done by Peace Direct and its local partner, the Fondation Chirezi (FOCHI), to address the lack of formal security and justice system in one of DRC’s area of limited statehood. To solve this problem, they have ‘established a system of village courts or ‘barazas’, which cover a population of 70,000 people in South Kivu.’ – Peace Direct.

The Rule of Law, Soap-Opera Style

In this wonderfully strange article, the writer of a Burmese soap-opera TV series -  The Sun, the Moon and the Truth – details the process of developing, writing and editing a TV show designed ‘to spread the message about the importance of the rule of law’ in Myanmar. – Phillip Gwynne, The Monthly.

Calls for reform in Sierra Leone’s justice system

Abdul Brima, Insight on Conflict’s Local Correspondent in Sierra Leone, discusses three significant challenges to Sierra Leone’s justice system: budget and financing issues, overwhelmed courts and overcrowding in correctional centers. – Abdul Brima, Insight on Conflict.

From Protection to Predation Part I: When Self-Defense Forces “Go Bad”

Part of a symposium on armed civilian groups, this article analyzes the transformation of informal security providers and self-defense forces in Kenya and Haiti. Moritz Schuberth argues that the transformation of such groups into predators can be explained by both material factors and the lack of control mechanisms, including oversight. This useful analysis provides an excellent entry-point for evidence-based policy focused on non-state security providers in the context of security sector reform. – Moritz Schuberth, Political Violence at a Glance.



Afghan Local Police: A Critical Rural Security Initiative Lacks Adequate Logistics Support, Oversight, and Direction

A new Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) audit report analyzes the causes of the Afghan Local Police (ALP)’s limited effectiveness and discusses the future of the ALP. The report found that ‘despite hundreds of millions of dollars invested in the program over the last 5 years, the ALP lack adequate logistics support, oversight, and a plan for either disbanding the force or incorporating it into the Afghan National Police’. SIGAR also provides 7 policy recommendations to maximize the impact of U.S. funding in this area. – SIGAR.

Plural security provision in Beirut

This policy brief analyzes the variety of state and non-state security providers in Beirut, Lebanon. It provides a fascinating overview of the characteristics of plural security provision in this city as well as opportunities to assess the role of localized multi-networked security arrangements and how such dynamics in fragile and conflict-affected states might impact security sector reform. - Souhaïl Belhadj et al, The Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law.

Beyond dichotomy: recognizing and reconciling legal pluralism in Mali

This new report focuses on the practical delivery of justice in Mali. The authors argue that ‘in the short-to-medium term better justice outcomes in Mali can only be achieved by stimulating greater mutual recognition of, and synergies between, the country’s customary and state judicial systems as more or less equal components of the country’s ‘justice ecology’.’ – Erwin van Veen, Diana Goff, Thibault Van Damme, Clingendael.

No-man’s-land: The uncertain existence of South Africa police (SAPS) specialized investigative units

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has lost much of its specialized expertise and capabilities between 2000 and 2009. The author argues that to address the surge in serious, violent and syndicated crimes in South Africa, there is a need to (re)create specialized investigative units within the SAPS. – Johan Burger, Institute for Security Studies (ISS).

The Problem with Templates: Learning from Organic Gang-Related Violence Reduction

This article considers what demobilization, disarmament, and reintegration (DDR) programmes might learn from research on gangs, drawing from ethnographic research in Nicaragua and South Africa. – Dennis Rogers, Steffen Jensen, Stability: International Journal of Security & Development.

Rethinking Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Programs

This article introduces Stability’s next special collection on DDR and ‘Armed Non-Statutory Actors’ (ANSAs). This special collection discusses the changing strategic context of DDR programs and the challenges associated with the proliferation of non-state security actors. – Jairo Munive, Finn Stepputat, Stability: International Journal of Security & Development.



Refugees, IDPs and Peacebuilding in the Contemporary Middle East

The Centre for Security Governance (CSG), Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA), and Wilfrid Laurier University Global Studies department (WLU) are hosting a series of eight online seminars focusing on the theme of “Contemporary Debates on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding.”

Our third event will be held on Wednesday November 25 from 12:00PM to 1:30PM EST on the theme of“Refugees, IDPs and Peacebuilding in the Contemporary Middle East.”

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