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Best of 2015 - SSR Resource Centre blog Top 5 articles (+1) By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Dec 30, 2015

As part of our #YearInReview, this article highlights the best and most popular contributions to our SSR Resource Centre blog published in 2015. It provides a good overview of key trends, issues and events related to security sector reform and security governance in fragile and conflict-affected countries in 2015. Read and Share!


 Top 5 articles (+1)


Multiple potholes dot Ukraine’s road to a more accountable and liberal political regime: its 12% decline in GDP this year; the military stalemate in the east and the de facto loss of Crimea; and, of course, entrenched political malaise and corruption. It is within this challenging environment that crucial political and security reforms are taking place, which rely to a large degree on internal reformers and external assistance. This post seeks to 1) introduce more widely that the English-language versions of Ukraine’s security sector laws were recently published, with a brief commentary and assessment; and, 2) to discuss the environmental challenges facing their implementation, including corruption, fiscal concerns, and developing professionalism within the security sector.


Published in May, this still relevant article highlights the central role the military plays in the context of the Burundi crisis. As the author notes: ‘the key to coming developments within Burundi is to be found within the military.’


Since the fracturing of the South Sudanese military in December 2013, South Sudan has been embroiled in civil war. As ongoing peace negotiations are likely to contain transitional security arrangements that would contain provisions to integrate non-statutory armed forces into the South Sudanese military, it is important to understand what factors previously compromised the implementation of military integration prior to 2013. This post argues that a poorly managed, open-ended integration process and the failure of rightsizing initiatives left the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in a state of arrested development, forestalling efforts to professionalize the military from gaining traction, and making the force more likely to fragment along factional lines during periods of heightened political competition.


This blog post by Annie Mageka, CSG Blog Correspondent (Kenya), is the first contribution on our blog to feature analysis by local researchers and journalists as part of our Blog Correspondent series.  This program supports and encourages new researchers and journalists in the fields of security sector reform and peacebuilding. In this contribution, Annie Mageka analyzes the police reform process in Kenya and discusses recommendations to improve the state of policing in Kenya with local stakeholders. As such, not only does this article provide an excellent summary of over a decade of police reform in Kenya, it also provides on-the-ground reporting, empirical evidence and key insights on the future of the Kenya Police.


The author analyzes two recent reports on security & justice programming to identify potential lessons learned from past attempts in this field. By framing these reports in the context of new debates on security governance (Security Sector Reform 2.0) and international development (Doing Development Differently and Local First approaches),  he argues that it is possible to better understand what we can learn from failure and what are ways forward for better, more effective security and justice assistance.


Popular discontent with the repressive nature of security institutions and security forces in North Africa was the precipitating cause of the uprisings that composed the Arab Spring. In the aftermath of regime change, it was evident in all countries that reform of the security sector was more than symbolically important. It was an essential requirement. Without reform, the path toward democratic governance would be blocked by the repressive security institutions that remained in place. There appeared to be an overwhelming imperative for reform. Yet almost four years later there has been little progress. Why has it been so difficult for regional states to reform their security institutions? Why are we still talking about the need to reform the security sectors in these countries?