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News Roundup: 4 January - 10 January By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Jan 11, 2016

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

New SSR Resource – Defence Resource Management Course

A one-week Defence Resource Management Course was developed for the Ukraine National Defence University in Kiev. This important new training resource, funded by the Directorate of Military Training and Cooperation within the Department of National Defence (Canada) was first taught in February 2015 by an experienced team of senior Canadian military officers, and it was delivered again in November. This short blog post aims to highlight the objectives, structure and content of this important new security governance and security sector reform resource.

Best of 2015 - SSR Resource Centre blog  Top 5 articles (+1)

ICYMI | As part of our year in review project, 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!



Congo to release 2,000 prisoners in January – govt

The Democratic Republic of Congo plans to release about 2,000 prisoners in an effort to reduce overcrowding in jails and to calm political tensions. The prisoners who will be released are low-level offenders who have served at least one-quarter of their sentences. - Aaron Ross, Reuters

China’s Rights Lawyers Call for Better Treatment in 2016

China’s human rights lawyers have called on the ruling party to improve its treatment of human rights activists and lawyers. Authorities have targeted human rights activists in a crackdown against those suspected of endangering state security. - Luisetta Mudie, Radio Free Asia

NHRC to collaborate with transitional justice bodies

Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission has offered its expertise and logistical support to the country’s transitional bodies, and will train staff and collect complaints of conflict victims from its regional and sub-regional offices. As the transitional justice bodies have a two-year tenure and no office staff, the support of the NHRC will allow them to begin their work. - Dewan Rai, The Kathmandu Post

Pentagon admits Afghan forces are unable to ‘entirely operate on their own’

A U.S. defense official admitted that Afghan forces cannot operate entirely on their own. While the Afghan forces take the lead, U.S. soldiers serve in a training and advisory role alongside them. The Afghan forces possess a capability advantage over the insurgent fighters, but the insurgency has improved its ability to exploit vulnerabilities within the army. - Rowan Scarborough, The Washington Times

Guatemala Arrests Former Military Officers in Connection With Massacres

Guatemalan authorities arrested 18 former military officers on charges related to massacres and disappearances during the 1980s. Prosecutors have struggled to put officers on trial for human rights atrocities committed during the country’s civil war, and the incoming president, Jimmy Morales, ran as the candidate of a party dominated by former officers. - Elisabeth Malkin, The New York Times

UNMIL Drawdown Worries Liberians

UN peacekeepers are scheduled to leave Liberia by June, and their impending departure is raising questions about whether the country’s security forces are adequately prepared and equipped. Some private security institutions are calling on the government to provide subsidies to private firms, which they argue will support the government in rebuilding the security sector. - Lewis Teh, All Africa

Japan, UK Announce Increased Defense and Security Cooperation

Britain and Japan are taking further steps to broaden their defense and security cooperation, including investigating the development of an existing air-to-air missile and joint combat jet exercise. The two countries will continue to develop a range of military initiatives, and will conduct a joint research project involving military cyber analysts. - Andrew Chuter, Defense News



Mayor’s Murder Could Impact Mexico Security Reforms

The author examines the implications of the murder of Mayor Gisela Mota, a day after she was sworn into office. The governor of her state claimed the killing was related to her public backing for the single command policy known as “mando unico.” The policy aims to bring the distinct municipal and state police forces under one coordinated, central command at the state level. - James Bargent, Insight Crime

Sri Lanka’s torture machine continues in peacetime

Although Sri Lanka’s new government has been lauded for efforts at reconciliation following the end of the country’s civil war, security forces continue to abduct, torture, and sexually abuse civilians. A new report details the machine within the security forces that practices torture and extortion in order to terrorize and oppress members of the Tamil ethnic group. - Jared Ferrie, IRIN

US Diplomat Urges Albania to End Judicial Corruption

The U.S. ambassador to Albania stated that the proposed reform of the country’s judicial system is crucial for the country’s hopes of EU membership. The reforms would rid the system of corrupt judges and prosecutors who allow organized crime figures, murderers and corrupt politicians to buy justice. - Fatjona Mejdini, Balkan Insight

African Union Intervention Could Do More Harm Than Good in Burundi

In this piece, Nina Wilen, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Security Governance, discusses the potential intervention in Burundi by the African Union. While the AU adopted the communiqué on the intervention as a threat after violence escalated, it could result in further unrest if the AU ignores the challenges that need to be addressed before deploying forces. - Nina Wilen, World Politics Review

Boko Haram arrests worsen Cameroon prison conditions

Detention conditions in Cameroon’s prisons are worsening as thousands of people with suspected links to Boko Haram are thrown in jail. At least 1,300 people have been arbitrarily arrested and held in deplorable conditions since 2014, and recent reports indicate that there is little to no access by detainees to adequate health care facilities. - Mbom Sixtus, IRIN

Thailand: New Whitewash of 2010 Political Violence

Human Rights Watch asserts in this news piece that the dismissal of malfeasance charges against former senior officials in Thailand for their role in the crackdown on protesters is a serious setback for accountability. The country’s institutions have closed ranks to protect the army and politicians from justice. - Human Rights Watch

Tracking Sao Paolo Police Killings in 2015

In this analytical article, the authors consider newly released data on military police violence in Sao Paulo, Brazil and how it may spark concerns over how police are being trained across the country. They raise the question of why police killings are increasing even though the long-running conflict between police and gangs is not as acute as it was in the past. - Insight Crime

Pakistan Holds the Key to Peace in Afghanistan

The authors of this opinion piece argue that Pakistani officials have deflected American and Afghan requests to shut down sanctuaries for Afghan insurgents, and must shut down Taliban and Haqqani network operations in Pakistan for the peace process to progress. One step that could steer Pakistan towards cooperation is for the U.S. to move quickly to address the gaps in Afghan forces’ capabilities. - Zalmay Khalilzad and James Dobbins, Newsweek

Towards a Grand Anti-Terrorist Coalition? – Part 2

In this blog post, Security Governance Group Senior Associate David Law writes about the possibility of a grand anti-terrorist coalition involving Russia. He argues that the upcoming negotiations in Geneva will usher in a new phase in the efforts of the international community to reach a settlement in Syria as recent events have pushed the alliances led by Russia and the U.S. to a point of potential cooperation. - David Law, Conference of Defence Associations Institute



Effective Management of External Support to Security Sector Reform

In Tool 4 of the Toolkit for Security Sector Reform and Governance in West Africa, the author addresses key challenges that West African states may face when extending their cooperation relationships to the field of security governance. Aimed at national administrations of ECOWAS member states, the publication provides them with practical guidance on how to manage external assistance to SSR in a way that supports a national vision, ensures cost-efficiency, enforces mutual accountability, and strives for sustainable results. – Valerie Yankey-Wayne, The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces

Beyond the Toolkit: Supporting Peace Processes in Asia

The fourth paper in the Working Politically in Practice series posits that existing peace process support models do not reflect what we know about the nature of conflict, how it ends, and how peace processes are sustained and peace consolidated. The new paper highlights a more politically-informed approach to supporting peace, including examples from The Asia Foundation’s activities in the Philippines, Myanmar, and Nepal. – The Asia Foundation

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