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News Roundup: 9 November - 15 November 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Nov 16, 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

Ukraine’s Updated Security Sector Laws: What promise do these laws hold?

In this new blog post, Joseph Derdzinski, a Security Governance Group Senior Associate, discusses ongoing political and security reforms in Ukraine. The post seeks to introduce the English-language versions of Ukraine’s security sector laws with a brief commentary and assessment, and to discuss the environmental challenges facing their implementation, including corruption, fiscal concerns, and developing professionalism within the security sector.

Centre for Security Governance

eSeminar - Refugees, IDPs and Peacebuilding in the Contemporary Middle East

Conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen continue to fuel a regional refugee crisis on an unprecedented scale. The situation of refugees and IDPs is both a humanitarian catastrophe and a complex and ongoing challenge to peace and security in the region. In this context, the Centre for Security Governance, in partnership with the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Wilfrid Laurier University’s Global Studies Department, will host the third event in our ‘Contemporary Debates on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding’ eSeminar series on the theme of Refugees, IDPs and Peacebuilding in the Contemporary Middle East.  Our distinguished panelists will discuss how the refugee and IDP crisis should factor into peacebuilding approaches throughout the region.

The event, which will take place on Wednesday November 25 from 12:00PM to 1:30PM EST, will be open to the public and free to attend. To register, please visit the eSeminar website.


Where’s the Money for Guatemala’s Proposed Security Reforms?

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Central American Institute of Fiscal Studies (ICEFI) published a report on reducing impunity and insecurity in Guatemala over the next decade, citing the country’s lack of police and need for reforms within its prison system. Carrying out the proposed judicial reforms by 2023 will cost roughly $1.38 billion, for which funding may be hampered by insufficient resources. – Mimi Yagoub, Insight Crime

Blue Helmets Bring Peace to Haiti

With the UN peacekeeping mission’s mandate expiring by the end of 2016, the provision of security will be turned back to the Haitian National Police (HNP), which collapsed in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. Although the HNP’s capacity has increased since then, Haiti still needs around 10,000 more officers than it has at present, and that gap is being filled by private security firms. – Zack Baddorf, War Is Boring

Kenyan army profiting from illicit trade that props up al-Shabaab

A recent Journalists for Justice report claims that the Kenyan Defence Forces have earned around $50 million a year from taxing goods traveling through the port of Kismayo in Somalia. The terror group al-Shabaab obtains most of its funding from the trade of illegal sugar and charcoal, and the Kenyan military’s involvement exemplifies diplomats’ statements on spiraling corruption in the country. – Aislinn Laing and Ilya Gridneff, The Telegraph

Nigeria | Dambazau promises to embark on reform of internal security

Abdulrahman Dambazau, Nigeria’s newly appointed Minister of the Interior, has promised to embark on immediate reform of the nation’s internal security architecture. He cited the need to reform the country’s criminal justice system by addressing the overcrowding of prisons and the lack of training and proper equipment within security forces. – News24 Nigeria

Liberian Defense Minister Discusses Success of Security Sector Reform

In a discussion on security sector reform, The Honorable Brownie J. Samukai, Jr., the Minister of National Defense for the Republic of Liberia, cited the creation of a credible and trustworthy military force and the building of trust between citizens and government authorities as the primary reasons for his country’s success. He elaborated on the vetting process used to review applications of potential military recruits and the importance of community feedback in the vetting process. – The Atlantic Council’s Africa Center

Corruption, Justice Top Agenda in Commission Report

In its annual Enlargement Package report on the Western Balkans, the European Commission stressed that key reforms still need to be adopted concerning the rule of law and protection of human rights. Judicial reforms remain one of the main conditions for candidate status, as many of the countries of the Western Balkans need to strengthen the independence of their judicial systems. – Balkan Insight

EU Criticizes Turkey for Failings on Rights, Rule of Law

In a report on Turkey’s possible membership, the European Union criticized the country’s judiciary for undermined independence. The EU also noted that the country has regressed on democratic standards, including the freedoms of expression and assembly. – VOA News

Justice Minister’s Exit Raises Eyebrows in Albania

In the middle of presiding over key judicial reforms in the country, Nasip Naco, Albania’s Minister of Justice, resigned after two years in office. He cited the need for a higher level of collaboration and interaction of all actors in the reform process as his reasons for stepping down, and he will be replaced by Ylli Manjani, the current Minister of Transport. – Fatjona Mejdini, Balkan Insight

John Kerry Says U.S. Will Give Tunisia More Financial Aid

Secretary of State John Kerry pledged that the U.S. would extend an additional $500 million in loan guarantees to Tunisia to support its transition to democracy. He also stated that he planned to speak with the U.S. Congress regarding the provision of another round of funds primarily for security assistance. – Julie Hirschfeld Davis, The New York Times

Tigers, piranhas to join crocodile guards at proposed Indonesian ‘prison island’ for drug traffickers

The head of Indonesia’s anti-drugs agency wants to create a new prison for drug convicts with crocodiles, tigers and piranhas as guards. This idea would help fight corruption as he explained ‘that crocodiles cannot be bribed by drug traffickers seeking to escape jail.’ – ABC News

Shooting at Jordan police training center kills 5, including 2 Americans

A recently fired Jordanian police officer killed five people, including contractors from the United States and South Africa, at the Jordan International Police Training Center. The American contractors had been working in a U.S.-backed training program arranged primarily to teach basic police and security skills to Palestinian security forces. – Michael Pearson and Catherine E. Schoichet, CNN



How to unite enemy fighters into a single national army (and what that means for peace)

In this article on military integration, Nina Wilen, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Security Governance, highlights her research on Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. To build fighters into a unified force, she identifies four essential elements: political education, guaranteeing basic welfare, socialization, and professionalization. – Nina Wilen, The Washington Post

Doubts plague Congo’s latest demobilization programme

Intended to return thousands of rebel fighters to civilian life in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the third programme of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDRIII) has been beset by delays and is threatened by funding constraints and insecurity. The author highlights that DDR programmes will continue to be at risk for failure as long as security risks remain, and cites the need to reform the state’s security forces to bring about stability. – Claude Muhindo Sengenya, IRIN

“Rogue, Rogue, Rogue…” – Marketscapes, Criminality and Society in Liberia’s Postwar Borderlands

In this blog post on Liberia’s postwar borderlands, the author discusses the human insecurity that characterizes these areas, and the mechanisms developed to regulate material and symbolic security. Many ex-fighters have been incorporated into informal productivity structures in ways that formal reintegration programs have not succeeded, signifying the marketscapes’ response to long-term security challenges. – Richard Akum, Mats Utas Blog

Now the hard work begins: passing the peace baton in Liberia

After the withdrawal of the United Nations Mission in Liberia next year, the Liberian government will assume complete responsibility for the country’s progress. The latest UN report stresses that accountability in the security sector still requires strengthening and that the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s recommendations need to be implemented.  – Amanda Lucey, Institute for Security Studies

State Responses to Local Conflict: Providing Security or Protecting Interests?

In this blog post, the author discusses her study on violent communal conflicts and plural security in sub-Saharan Africa between 1989 and 2010, which shows that governments’ decision to intervene or not is affected by strategic interests instead of just security provision. She finds that intervention is more likely if the communal conflict concerns land control or is located in an economically important area. – Emma Elfversson, Political Violence at a Glance

Sri Lanka’s Unexpected Political Opening Won’t Last Forever

Led by President Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka’s new government has pledged to undertake an extensive reform agenda for governance and the building of institutions. International actors continue to pressure the government to accept assistance with ensuring that transitional justice mechanisms are credible and inclusive, but Sirisena wants to protect the military from extensive international involvement. – Taylor Dibbert, The Diplomat

Myanmar’s peace process after the elections

While eight of Myanmar’s ethnic armed organizations (EAO) signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement prior to the November elections, politically contentious issues, including security sector reform, were pushed to the next step of the peace process. Agreement has been reached on joint monitoring and the protection of civilians, but political parties will have to focus on both the completion of the peace process and the transition to a new government when the political dialogue begins again in mid-January. – Jens Wardenaer, The International Institute for Strategic Studies

Ukraine: Reforming a Police Force

This reporting project on police reforms in Ukraine highlights the ways in which the country’s police force is being overhauled, from new officers and new training to a new self-concept. As the police represents a state institution that has daily contact with citizens, its transformation into a trustworthy and uncorrupt force could signify a transition to a new era for Ukraine. – Misha Friedman and Masha Gessen, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

What is the Russian military good for?

In this blog post, the author discusses Russia’s military capabilities after a period of time focused on modernization and combat training. The reforms shifted funding and training away from the air force, which suffered organizational and logistical problems that were not counteracted by rearmament efforts. – Pavel Baev, Brookings



Business and Security Sector Reform: The Case of Corporate Security Responsibility

In this paper for the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), Pedro Rosa Mendes describes the areas where business and human rights and security sector reform intersect. From a systematic comparison of case studies on Guinea, Colombia, and Papua New Guinea, Mendes considers opportunities for ways that challenges to security and human rights can be addressed.

A violent compound: competition, crime and modern conflict

This new Clingendael report draws upon a series of studies on countries affected by non-conventional armed violence and the core areas for policy responses. Ivan Briscoe, the report’s author, highlights the importance of understanding and addressing non-conventional armed violence due to the critical role it plays in perpetuating insecurity.