New SSR Logo - Final-page-0 (2)

News Roundup: 30 November - 6 December 2015 By: Antoine Vandemoortele | SSR | Dec 7, 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

Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration: Does ownership actually matter?

In the twelfth contribution to the Academic Spotlight blog series, Walt Kilroy discusses how the outcomes of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programs are affected by the way in which they are implemented. More participatory approaches, where ex-combatants feel they have had more say and greater ownership, lead to better results. This is important for how DDR can contribute to the wider peace process and to peacebuilding itself. Establishing trust during DDR – or undermining it when promises are felt to have been broken – is significant for political reconstruction.

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.

Centre for Security Governance

Event video - 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.” The third event in this series - ‘Refugees, IDPs and peacebuilding in the Contemporary Middle East’ - took place on Wednesday November 25.

The video of the event is now available here. | A Storify version of this event is also available here.


In battle with IS, Marines bolster Jordanian military

U.S. marines were deployed for six months to train Jordan’s elite 77th Marine Reconnaissance Battalion and stand up a brand-new, quick-reaction force. As part of the Marines’ rotational, flexible crisis-response force for the region, the training was designed to prepare the Jordanian unit to react to threats along the country’s borders. - Matthew L. Schehl, Military Times

Foreign Donors Threaten to Pull Funding to Afghanistan Anticorruption Group

In a letter to Afghanistan’s Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, the U.S. Agency for International Development and other aid donors accuse the group of spending aid money irresponsibly, flouting guidelines for salary hikes, and abusing travel policies. These concerns, along with the defection of several of the committee’s top officials, have led donors to threaten to halt funding. – Jessica Donati, The Wall Street Journal

Civilian Deaths Raise Questions About C.I.A.-Trained Forces in Afghanistan

After a series of raids by the Khost Protection Force, one of the regional units known as counter terrorism pursuit teams, resulted in the deaths of at least six civilians, tension has arisen between Afghanistan and the United States. Although control of the teams was shifted to the Afghan intelligence agency in 2013, the remaining forces are still largely unaccountable to the Afghan government. - David Jolly, The New York Times

On Ukraine’s front lines, U.S.-supplied equipment is falling apart

Despite the delivery of more than $260 million in nonlethal military equipment from the United States to Ukraine, the decaying state of that equipment has bred distrust and lowered troops’ morale on the front lines. The low quality of the gear also calls into question the U.S. government’s commitment to the Ukrainian war with Russian separatists. - Thomas Gibbons-Neff, The Washington Post

Lviv Embraces US Training for Ukrainian Soldiers

The U.S. army has begun training five battalions of active-duty troops and one for special forces operations in Ukraine. While the training is taking place far from the frontlines, it is intended for the forces to learn the basics of becoming better soldiers and strengthening their fighting units. - Carla Babb, Voice of America

Montenegro Invited to Join NATO

The foreign ministers of NATO agreed to invite Montenegro to join the alliance, and encouraged the country to intensify its efforts at political compromise and reform. The country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Igor Luksic, pledged to continue the fight against corruption and improvements to the defense sector. - Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty

EU launches assessment exercise with Moldovan institutions

The EU has launched as assessment exercise to provide advice and recommendations on the structure and activities of key rule of law institutions in Moldova. Scheduled for completion in March 2016, the exercise will look at three different areas: the reform process of the justice sector, the anti-money laundering system, and the anti-corruption system. - EU Neighborhood Info Centre

Colombia’s government rejects demilitarized zones for FARC rebels

After a FARC proposal for demilitarized areas where its fighters could safely demobilize, the Colombian government rejected the idea and stated that the legal status of demobilization zones would not be a piece of the negotiations. The government’s negotiators are instead calling for a DDR program with guarantees that FARC rebels can safely form a political party or movement. - Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports

Guatemala | Impunity is Question of Resources: CICIG’s Velasquez

During a press conference, Ivan Velasquez, the head of the United Nations’ anti-impunity commission in Guatemala, said that the current levels of funding would only permit a small amount of improvement in the fight against impunity. This assessment highlights that much of the work on improving the judicial system will be in the government’s hands. - Elijah Stevens and Steven Dudley, Insight Crime

Sri Lanka to start up special court on alleged war crimes

To examine alleged war crimes committed in the final phase of its conflict with Tamil rebels, the Sri Lankan government will set up a special court, signaling the acceptance of the United Nations’ recommendations for establishing a credible judicial process. The mechanism will be domestic but will include technical assistance from international experts and foreign judges. - Shihar Aneez, Reuters



Peace Process in Mindanao, The Philippines: Evolution and Lessons Learned – Analysis

As the first significant peace agreement in the last decade, the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro now serves as a reference point for other processes. Separate agreements were agreed upon for the most pressing issues, including security, which is broken into four elements: police reform, a joint program to identify and dismantle paramilitary groups, the decommissioning of arms by former rebels, and the repositioning of the armed forces to facilitate peace and coexistence. - Kristian Herbolzheimer, Eurasia Review

What Does ‘Rule of Law’ Really Mean in India?

As India ranks 59th of 102 countries reviewed for the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index, the author discusses the specific context for the rule of law in the country. While the constitution and constitutional guarantees are grounded in the principle of rule of law, he concludes that disregard and disrespect to the law have become the norm in certain areas of India. - Nikhil Nair, The Huffington Post

A Few Thoughts on Sri Lanka’s New Court

In this blog post on the Sri Lankan government’s announcement of a new special court, the author highlights some of the challenges it will face. As the court is intended to function as a domestic legal mechanism, certain laws regarding war crimes and crimes against humanity will need to be incorporated into domestic legal statutes and the roles of international judges and prosecutors will need to be clarified before the court can proceed with its work.. - Taylor Dibbert, The Huffington Post

How Corruption Undermines NATO Operations

In a new study, the authors examined the cost of defense corruption and the vulnerability of NATO members and partner states to such corruption. They found that NATO members faced both operational and domestic challenges in accountability and transparency, citing the likelihood that the alliance will repeat its mistakes in Afghanistan due to the lack of awareness and preparation for mitigating corruption risks. - Karolina MacLachlan and Hilary Hurd, Defense One

Rearming CAR’s Forces: A Way Out of the Abyss?

Following rising sectarian violence in the Central African Republic, local and international actors are calling for the rearmament of the country’s armed forces. Attempts to demobilize militias have largely failed and the country’s institutions remain weak, but rearming the armed forces without transforming the ethnic balance of its troops could lead to ex-Seleka factions to act in opposition. - Alex Fielding and Elisha Sidoun, IPI Global Observatory

Policing in Africa: exploring the diversity of plural and hybrid security providers

During an event on plural security, the author addressed the challenges to policing by multiple actors in Africa. With community-based policing initiatives on the rise, he cites the lack of an overarching authority as the main issue in policing, with that lack affecting resource mobilization, service provision, and accountability. - Etannibi E.O. Alemika, Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law

Customary Land, Public Authorities and the Reform Agenda: The Background to Three Reports from northern Uganda

In a review of three publications on land in northern Uganda, the author suggests the useful policy interventions should acknowledge the expertise of customary actors at the local level. Citing the Ugandan state’s low level of interest in providing the rule of law in rural areas, the author notes that holding elections for customary positions and regularly bringing local leaders together to formulate responses to challenges would help to build capacity of local leaders on land dispute resolution. - Julian Hopwood, The Justice and Security Research Programme

South Sudan | No Money, No Peace

While Southern Sudanese leaders signed a peace agreement recently, implementing its elements will require more funding and discretion for leaders to allocate it. Previous agreements have been successful because periods of budgetary expansion have allowed leaders to apply public funds to the allocation of army posts and the purchase of militia commanders’ loyalties, and the author argues that these actions could bring about a faster solution than slow financial and democratic reform. - Alex De Waal, Foreign Policy

Bye-bye elite, hello change makers? Lessons learned from security and rule of law programing in Mali

In this piece, the author highlights discussion points from a meeting on the lessons learned from the past three years of security and rule of law reform in Mali. She notes the Dutch government’s work with local NGOs and individuals, and cites the need for a different approach to programming, monitoring and evaluation. - Karlijn Muiderman, Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law

No prison is an island – The role of civil society in post-conflict penal reform

In this blog post, the author draws on his recent research into civil society action in justice and correctional reform in Rwanda to demonstrate the potential value that civil societies can bring to correctional reform processes in post-conflict settings. Not only can civil society play a critical role in partnering in the rehabilitation of inmates, but it can also influence reforms within correctional systems at the local and national levels. - Terry Hackett, Penal Reform International

Honduras’ Search for Corruption Antidote Might Be Fatally Flawed

The author discusses how Hondurans are calling for the creation of an international body, similar to the United Nations-backed commission in Guatemala, to put an end to impunity for the country’s political elite. While the government chose to accept the creation of an anti-corruption body by the Organization of American States, protesters feel that it still lacks sufficient investigatory powers. - David Gagne, Insight Crime



Impunity: Countering Illicit Power in War & Transition

The National Defense University (NDU), headquartered at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, DC, is offering complementary pre-orders of a new book. Through its Center for Complex Operations (CCO), Impunity: Countering Illicit Power in War & Transition is a collection of case studies taken from recent interventions such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and lesser known examples from Sierra Leone, the Philippines, Liberia and Haiti, among others. The book also introduces its readers to a range of tools, processes, and methods for dealing with the problem of illicit power in an international setting. More information and the email address to which orders can be sent are found here.

The Security Sector and Gender: A survey of the National Police, Civil Protection, the Armed and Security Forces, the Justice system and Penal services of Mali

This report aims to systematically document the status of gender integration within the security sectors in Mali, and is designed to be a resource for people working in, or with, security sector institutions. Combining information gathered by in-country researchers, interviews, document analysis, and desk research, the survey is guided by two questions: Are security sector institutions providing adequate response to the different security and justice needs of men, women, and children? What steps have been taken to create internally equitable, representative and non-discriminatory institutions? – Veerle Triquet and Lorraine Serrano, The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces

Integration and Power-Sharing: What are the Future Options for Armed Non-State Actors in the Myanmar Peace Process?

In this article, the authors argue that conventional DDR programming is unrealistic in Myanmar because armed non-state actors are strongly opposed to any disarmament and demobilization before a far reaching political settlement towards federalism is reached. This calls for a more flexible sequencing of DDR that begins with reintegration options, which should be embedded in disaggregated power-sharing guarantees, including for lower- and middle-ranking members of the non-state actors. – Helene Maria Kyed and Mikael Gravers, Stability: International Journal of Security & Development

Tags: ,