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News Roundup: 23 November - 29 November 2015 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Nov 30, 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

Backgrounder – Security Sector Reform in Kazakhstan

The latest contribution to our Backgrounder series - blog posts that provide a descriptive overview of a particularly salient or news-worthy issue related to SSR and security governance - focuses on security sector reform in Kazakhstan. While reform efforts in Central Asia are considerably more modest than well-publicized SSR initiatives in other parts of the world, the experiences of restrained reform in the region are nonetheless instructive. The record of SSR in Central Asia shows that reforms in limited parliamentary democracies face a different set of challenges and opportunities than SSR programs in fragile and conflict-affected states.

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.


Germany to send up to 650 soldiers to Mali

In a decision still pending the approval of the German parliament, the German Defense Minister announced that Germany will send up to 650 soldiers to Mali to help relieve military pressure on France. German soldiers were first sent to Mali in 2013 as part of a European Union Training Mission, of which the mandate has been extended through May of 2016. - Deutsche Welle

FARC, Colombian Government Agree to 74 of 75 Points on Justice Deal

Following a September agreement to an initial pact on the issue of transitional justice, the Colombian government and FARC guerrillas have reached an agreement on 74 of the 75 points of a transitional justice deal. Among the key points are provisions for amnesty to military officers and insurgents who cooperate with the peace process, the surrender of weapons by the FARC, the establishment of a court of transitional justice, and a response to victims of the conflict. - Telesur

Northern Ireland still faces urgent challenges nearly 20 years after peace accord

Nearly twenty years after a peace accord between British forces and the Irish Republican Army, initiatives in the area of truth, justice, and institutional reforms have not been comprehensive and have been characterized by fragmentation. However, police reform has advanced with significant turnover among personnel, changes in operations and training, the appointment of a human rights advisor, and the creation of oversight bodies. - UN News Centre

El Salvador Judges Accused of Stealing Seized Cash

The arrest of twelve judicial officials, who are accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from criminal proceedings, highlights the urgent need to clean up El Salvador’s justice system. The officials’ activities led to people accused of serious crimes unjustly being absolved or having prison time reduced in exchange for substantial bribes. - Mimi Yagoub, Insight Crime

Report: Violence and corruption plague Afghanistan

A confidential report from the German Foreign Ministry cites the massive human rights abuses and security issues facing the population of Afghanistan. While the situation varies by region, the biggest threat to citizens remains local strongmen and warlords and the number of civilian victims in the first half of 2015 reached the highest value since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. - Deutsche Welle

U.S. wants ‘enhanced’ military relations with Sri Lanka

During a trip to Sri Lanka, Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, discussed further military relations between the two countries and commended President Sirisena on Sri Lanka’s co-sponsorship of the Geneva resolution on justice and reconciliation. Ambassador Power also cited security sector reform as a key priority. - Daya Gamage, Asian Tribune

Turkey’s new government program aims to immediately fulfill significant reforms

The new Turkish government program aims to fulfill improvements primarily in the areas of democratization and justice. The New Judicial Reform Strategy Document will be applied more actively, and a new judicial system has been planned within the framework of European Union standards and international norms, including transparency, accountability, and speediness in the judiciary. - Merve Aydogan, Daily Sabah

Nigeria: Buhari Charges Judiciary to Fight Real, Perceived Corrupt Practices in Judicial System

President Buhari charged the Nigerian judiciary with the fight against real and perceived corrupt practices within the judicial system. He cited delays in judicial processes as costly to the economy, and called for reforms within all areas of the judicial system, particularly those courts handling cases involving the poor. - Vanguard

Pakistan becomes member of IDLO

Pakistan became a full member of the International Development Law Organization, which is devoted to promoting the rule of law. The organization enables countries to design, reform, and strengthen those laws and institutions most relevant to deliver justice, dignity, and economic opportunity. - Daily Times

Supreme Court receives EU grant for judiciary reforms

The Indonesian Supreme Court received a 10 million Euro grant from the EU and the United Nations Development Programme to continue its judicial reform project entitled SUSTAIN. The project aims to increase the transparency, integrity, and accountability of the judicial system and to improve the quality of judicial services through training for judges and other personnel. - Erika Anindita, The Jakarta Post

U.S. Begins Second Phase of Ukrainian Training, Equipping Mission

In an effort to help Ukraine better monitor and secure its border, operate more effectively, and enforce its territorial integrity, the U.S. has begun a second phase of its Fearless Guardian mission to train and equip Ukrainian forces. The U.S. has committed more than $265 million in equipment and training in order to contribute to Ukraine’s long-term military reform and professionalism and to help improve the country’s internal defense capabilities and training capacity. - Lisa Ferdinando, U.S. Department of Defense News

NATO supports Jordanian Armed Forces to implement UNSCR 1325

NATO’s Jordan III Trust Fund project will support the Jordanian Armed Forces in their goal to attain a 3% female representation within its ranks. The first phase aims to help Jordan revise its Action Plan for military women and facilitates exchanges of experience and gender training for women and men of all ranks. - North Atlantic Treaty Organization



This is what citizens say is needed to end Mali’s insecurity

In an analysis of citizens’ solutions for the crisis in Mali, the authors cite responses from a survey of 900 internally displaced persons. The largest percentage of respondents referenced the importance of improving governance and reducing corruption. Citizens were most preoccupied with daily needs and state weakness rather than the insurgency or a potential coup. - Jaimie Bleck, Abdoulaye Dembele and Guindo Sidiki, The Monkey Cage

Somalia’s fragile security puts aid out of reach for many who desperately need it

Despite gains against al-Shabaab, Somali soldiers remain underpaid, undertrained, and often demotivated. If soldiers are paid at all often depends on their battalion and their relationship with their commander. The worsening security situation has decreased the ability of nongovernmental organizations to reach communities in need of aid and basic services. - Kate Holt, The Guardian

Shooting back: the crisis of police killings in South Africa

In this piece on the debate surrounding extra-judicial police killings in South Africa, the author highlights the need for efforts aimed reducing violent crime within the law and for professionalization of the police. The author cites the importance of protecting the police from attacks while also refraining from supporting officers who act outside of the law.  - Johan Burger, Institute for Security Studies

Brazil’s Crisis May Have a Silver Lining: Rule of Law

An investigation into bribes and kickbacks at Petroleo Brasileiro has highlighted the independence of the judiciary in Brazil. While around fifty politicians are being investigated and the judiciary still has some pockets of corruption, legal measures, including plea bargains, have made it easier to conduct investigations into companies. - Martin Langfield, The New York Times

Data Highlights Police Violence in Sao Paolo, Brazil

According to data from the Sao Paolo Military Police Intelligence Center, the state’s military police have killed more than 11,000 people over the last twenty years. Some of these killings occur while officers are off duty, as many work in private security to supplement low salaries. Reforms have been proposed to give the military police the power to investigate crimes, but the state government has difficulty overseeing the actions of the police. - Andre Caramante, Insight Crime

Governing parliamentary coalition disappoints after one year

Drawing upon a Reanimation Reform Package report on the Ukrainian government’s performance, the author highlights the impediments to progress on establishing the rule of law over the past year. The Ukrainian parliament weakened the degree of independence of the lead special anti-corruption prosecutor and of illicit asset arrest powers. - Johannes Wamberg Andersen, Kyiv Post

US must address waste, fraud in Afghan aid

In this interview, John Sopko, the U.S. special investigator general for Afghanistan reconstruction, discussed how the U.S. government is partly to blame for the mismanagement of foreign assistance. Citing the failure of the Pentagon and the U.S. Agency for International Development to coordinate and measure programs’ effectiveness, he said that the reset button should be hit on the reconstruction effort. - Lynne O’Donnell, Associated Press

Ignoring Governance Puts Military Aid in Peril

In this blog post, the authors examine the causes of security assistance failures, most notably the disconnect between the programs and governance in the recipient countries. They argue that the U.S. should be more discriminating about the governing capacity of countries to which it provides assistance. - Gordon Adams and Richard Sokolsky, Security Assistance Monitor

Is the Iraqi Army a Lost Cause?

The author analyzes the collapse of the Iraqi army due to poor leadership, morale, and equipment, and compares it to the South Vietnamese army. Beyond these reasons for the army’s challenges, he considers Iraqi troops’ unwillingness to fight for a corrupt regime the primary factor for the army falling apart in 2014. - Jon Moran, The International Relations and Security Network

Navigating measurement challenges in Rule of Law programming

In this piece, the author discusses an event on programming for complex environments, and highlights the need to incorporate an array of factors within current rule of law programming. She touches upon the myriad of tools that are available to develop, implement, and monitor programs or interventions. - Pamela Kovacs, Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law



SSR Backgrounders

In this series, the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces provides resources for practitioners and policymakers who need an introduction to the fundamentals of good security sector governance and reform. Individual editions within the series can be used for focused research on specific questions, while the series as a whole offers a comprehensive overview of the different aspects of SSR and good governance. – The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)

Former Military Networks a Threat to Peace? The Demobilization and Remobilization of Renamo in Central Mozambique

In this paper, the author draws upon ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Mozambique to show that the former Renamo network continued to be a central feature of ex-combatant’s social worlds even though the country’s disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration process supposedly ended the rebel group’s command and control structure. – Nikkie Wiegink, Stability: International Journal of Security & Development

Toolkit for Security Sector Reform and Governance in West Africa

As part of the toolkit on security sector reform and governance in West Africa, this publication aims to support implementation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) policy framework for security sector reform and governance through practice advice and guidance tailored for the regional context. It specifically focuses on facilitating policy development, implementation and management of SSR processes at the national level. - Mpako Foaleng and Amadou Mahamane Ousmane, the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces

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