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News Roundup: 16 November - 22 November 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Nov 22, 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

Developing Capacity through Ukraine’s Building Integrity Training and Educational Centre

In this new blog post, Ross Fetterly, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Security Governance, highlights the National Defence University of Ukraine’s contribution to change in defence within the country. He describes the recently created Building Integrity Training and Education Centre (BITEC) and its role in delivering building integrity courses for personnel working in the security sector and in teaching investigation techniques related to corruption.

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

In this article, 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.


Tunisia confronts corruption, the economy and Islamic State

In light of a rift in Tunisia’s ruling party and high levels of corruption, some fear that jihadists will find space to take power over the country’s security sector. The civil war in neighboring Libya has provided training ground for recent terrorist strikes, while the Tunisian army is focused on fighting Islamist militants on its border with Algeria. – The Economist

Nigeria Looks for Missing $5.5 Billion in Defense Spending

As part of his promised crackdown on corruption, President Buhari ordered the arrest of former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki and other officials for charges of misappropriating up to $5.5 billion worth of contracts to buy defense equipment to fight Boko Haram. The government committee investigating weapons deals discovered evidence of extra-budgetary interventions and phantom contracts, but Dasuki denies the charges. – Yinka Ibukun and Sarah McGregor, Bloomberg

New Turkish government to focus on new reforms to solve age-old problems

The new Turkish government is expected to prioritize extensive reforms, including a comprehensive judicial reform package as part of the country’s candidacy for European Union membership. The package will aim to strengthen the supremacy of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. – Ali Unal, Daily Sabah

Advancing governance goals in Afghanistan’s defence and security sector

NATO recently sponsored seminars for Afghan civil and military officials with the review of national security policy documents and inter-ministerial processes central to the execution of current defence and security objectives. Organized by NATO’s Defence Education Enhancement Programme, the seminars and a training course on improving civil-military interaction paved the way for further cooperation in the field of defence education. – North Atlantic Treaty Organization

US offers security aid to allies in Southeast Asia

During a trip to Manila for back-to-back summits, U.S. President Barack Obama announced $259 million in maritime security assistance to U.S. allies in Southeast Asia. He cited the need for more capable navies and partnership with the U.S. as critical for the security of the region in light of the contested claims over the South China Sea. – Raul Dancel, Straits Times

Two Hundred Somali Police Recruits Complete AMISOM Training in Baidoa

After three months of training, two hundred Somali police recruits will serve as the first group of trained police officers to be posted in police stations in the Interim South West Administration. Their training is part of an effort to reform Somali police and regional police forces by mentoring and training recruits to assume the responsibilities of providing security. – AllAfrica

Nigeria Police training institutions decayed, can’t produce effective officers – Mbu

Joseph Mbu, a Police Staff College official, discussed in a recent interview some of the current challenges of police training in Nigeria. He mentioned that “Nigerians want an improved police force in line with the change mantra, but the institutions that train the personnel are in a state of utter decay”. – Premium Times

India | Now, enter a police station through this “virtual thana”

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, an NGO in New Delhi, launched a virtual police station, which is a first-of-its kind training tool to acquaint the public with the functioning of a police station. As part of a European Union funded project on civil society and police reform in South Asia, the tool allows the police and the public to explore and learn the key procedures of an arrest, the registration of complaints, and more. – The Times of India

Pakistan | Local reform: Community policing initiatives set up in multiple districts

A new local initiative will be implemented to increase cooperation between the police and the public and reinforce the rule of law in Pakistan. Under this new community policing programme 493 members of 83 village councils will be trained. – The Express Tribune

South Sudan justice minister acknowledges graft in government

Speaking at the start of a month-long training for public prosecutors, the South Sudanese justice minister acknowledged the existence of corrupt officials in the country’s government, and cited evidence of officials within his own ministry who have taken bribes. While none of the officials have been prosecuted for graft, the country continues to rank close to the bottom of Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index. – Sudan Tribune

Poroshenko confident of Ukrainian judicial reform’s success

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has urged his compatriots to enter the races for judge’s seats and positions in new prosecutors’ offices. Stating that the planned judicial reforms would be inefficient without the participation of citizens, he described how judges would undergo an independent appraisal procedure once the relevant constitutional amendments are passed. – Interfax Ukraine

Main points of the new Northern Ireland deal

An agreement entitled A Fresh Start is designed to deal with the impact of continued paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland. Intended to implement various aspects of the Stormont House Agreement from 2014, the new deal will also establish a new high-level cross-border agency to tackle organized crime and smuggling. – Harry McGee, The Irish Times



Ukraine | Legal system needs to be dismantled

In this opinion piece, Irina Paliashvili calls for the existing Ukrainian judicial system to be dismantled as the new laws and amendments have been created with the same language and within the same framework as the old system. She argues that the existing system cannot function without selective enforcement of laws, which provides law enforcement and the judiciary with extensive discretionary power. – Irina Paliashvili, Kyiv Post

U.S Challenges in Afghanistan

In remarks at Brown University, John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, identified four persistent challenges facing the reconstruction effort: 1) the inability to define requirements, measure effectiveness, and assess sustainability; 2) the lack of coordination within governments; 3) poor planning, oversight, and lack of accountability; and 4) the ongoing battle against corruption. – John Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

Afghanistan in 2015: A Survey of the Afghan People

The Asia Foundation’s poll of Afghan public opinion revealed rising concerns over the direction of the country and declining confidence in the government. Afghans cited deteriorating security, unemployment, and corruption as the main reasons for their pessimism. – The Asia Foundation

Without rule of law, conflict-affected areas will become poverty ghettoes

Citing the convergence of poverty and conflict, the author, who is the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, highlights how the rule of law serves as a bridge connecting development and peace. She argues that legitimate institutions and the rule of law help to protect countries from violence and from “development in reverse.” – Lilianne Ploumen, The Guardian

No Solution in Sight for Mexico’s Vigilante Problem

Mexico’s National Commission on Human Rights recommended the government investigate alleged links between self-defense forces and criminal groups in Michoacan. The author argues that Mexican officials could have foreseen the security problems being caused by vigilantes as the groups arose out of public frustration over government inaction in combating widespread violence and extortion being perpetrated by criminal groups. – Michael Lohmuller, Insight Crime

Why not all FARC guerrillas will demobilize if peace in Colombia is reached

The author highlights how some FARC rebels will likely not participate in the demobilization process as it would constitute a loss of vocation for them. While analysts do not agree on large-scale divisions within the guerrillas’ ranks, the director general of the Colombian Reintegration Agency believes the government has the institutional capacity to ensure that the margin of those who do not demobilize remains small. – Rose Lander, Colombia Reports

Taking Stock of the $10 Billion Washington Spent on Colombia’s War

In this blog post, the author interviews Kevin Whitaker, the U.S. ambassador to Colombia, to discuss the U.S.-funded effort known as Plan Colombia, which supported reform for the judicial and defense systems. Whitaker stated that Colombia’s security forces became more powerful and capable while also respecting civilians’ control over the military. – Ernesto Londono, The New York Times

Head of Guatemala’s CICIG Reflects on Past Victories, Challenges Ahead

In this interview, Ivan Velasquez, the head of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), discusses the commission’s accomplishments and challenges. He cited the strengthening of the country’s judicial institutions, the construction of a stronger and more lawful state, and the identification of the more permanent criminal structures as his goals as the head of the commission. – Gabriel Labrador, Insight Crime



Kenya’s Somali North East: Devolution and Security

This new publication from the International Crisis Group discusses how the devolution of governance in Kenya’s north-eastern counties has been undermined by dominant clans monopolizing power and the rise of corruption. The region’s police force has been stretched thin by criminality and small-arms proliferation, and in order to end the violence and capitalize on the potential for the devolution of governance, county elites will need to recognize the role for neutral national institutions. – International Crisis Group

Towards an International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers: A View from Inside a Multistakeholder Process

In this new paper on the use of private security companies, the author highlights the challenge the companies’ services present to regulatory and oversight frameworks. Through an analysis of the developments leading to the International Code of Conduct for Security Providers (ICOC) and the ICOC Association, the paper argues that a multistakeholder approach to develop standards adapted for the private sector fills some of the governance gaps found in traditional regulatory approaches. – Anne-Marie Buzatu, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)

Interactive timeline of the democratic transition and security sector reform in Tunisia

This new ISSAT-DCAF interactive timeline on the democratic transition in Tunisia documents over 425 events since the end of 2010, including those in the areas of transitional justice and security sector reform. It provides a comprehensive overview of progress made in the governance of those sectors, and enables stakeholders involved in Tunisia’s security sector reform to better understand the connection between events and processes and to draw lessons for the future. – The International Security Sector Advisory Team, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces

Study of corruption risks in Southeast Europe

On assignment from the Norwegian Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment documented corruption risks in the defence sector in nine countries in Southeast Europe. The study also includes a report summarizing the main patterns observed across countries and topics. – Centre for Integrity in the Defence Sector

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