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News Roundup: 11 January - 17 January 2016 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Jan 18, 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

Theorizing corruption in the Afghan judicial sector

In this contribution to the Academic Spotlight blog series, the author identifies and analyzes the dynamics of corruption at its systemic roots that has led to forms of state capture, low pay resulting in petty forms of corruption and issues with training within the Afghan judicial sector. Based on 70 semi-structured interviews conducted in Kabul, the blog provides a theory-driven analysis of corruption in Afghanistan more broadly, using theories of functionalism, a political economy approach and legal pluralism to explain the varieties of corruption practices in the country.

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.



South Sudan parties to launch security sector review

The chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission has begun the process of security sector reform in South Sudan as per terms of the peace deal signed by the government and rebels. The first meeting focused on setting the conditions for the launch of the Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR). – Radio Tamazuj

South Sudan president sacks top police generals

South Sudanese president, Salva Kiir, sacked several top police generals, including the inspector general of police, two days after the Ministry of Interior defected to the armed opposition faction, known as SPLM-IO. The SPLM-IO will nominate a new inspector general to command the police force in the country. – Sudan Tribune

Mali’s jihadists draw strength from peace deal delays: army

Delays in implementing the security measures of a Mali peace deal signed last year is making it harder for the army to counter resurgent jihadists groups. Multiple delays in the implementation of DDR and the lack of control and clarity on the movements of armed groups have complicated the security situation. – Adama Diarra and Emma Farge, Reuters

New EU-funded project to help counter transnational organized crime in Africa

Using evidence-based analysis of its scale and impact on security, governance, and development, a new project from the Institute for Security Studies and its partners will improve understanding of transnational organized crime in Africa. Its key contribution will be strengthening the ability of government and civil society to counter the problem and mitigate its effects. – The Institute for Security Studies

Tunisia: new evidence of torture five years on from “Jasmine Revolution”

New evidence of deaths in custody and torture suggests that brutal repression is on the rise again in Tunisia five years after the Jasmine Revolution. Amnesty International obtained information about deaths in police custody as well as allegations of torture during police interrogations, of which some deaths have not been effectively investigated or where investigations have not resulted in criminal prosecutions. – Amnesty International

Uganda: Kayihura Fires All City Spy Officers

Kale Kayihura, Uganda’s Inspector General of Police, has sacked all crime intelligence officers and three police commanders in the Kampala area over failure to prevent crime, alleged connivance with criminal gangs, drunkenness, and negligence. The IGP’s action was prompted by crime preventers who said some intelligence officers connive with criminals in the city’s suburbs. - Joseph Kato, All Africa

Burundi’s Forces Are Engaging in Gang Rape, U.N. Official Says

The United Nations high commissioner for human rights raised the alarm over the potential breakdown in law and order in Burundi following the discovery of mass graves, including one in a military camp. Police officers and troops, supported by pro-government militia members, have rounded up young men and have said that many were killed, tortured, or disappeared into unknown locations. – Nick Cumming-Bruce, The New York Times

Afghan forces struggle as ranks thinned by “ghost” soldiers

Afghan forces are struggling to man the front lines against a resurgent Taliban, in part because of untold numbers of ghost soldiers who are paid salaries but only exist on paper. Officials estimate that around 40 percent of registered forces do not exist, and the lack of manpower has helped the Taliban seize 65 percent of the Helmand province. - Lynne O’Donnell and Mirwais Khan, Military Times

Bosnian Police Arrest High-Ranking Official

Following a pledge by Bosnian authorities to step up their fight against terrorism, organized crime, and corruption, the police detained a high-ranking official of the Ministry for Security who is suspected of obstructing the investigation against an alleged drug lord currently on trial in Kosovo. The state prosecution office also lodged a record number of charges within the last year, and plans to work even harder in the “interest of the rule of law and all citizens.” - The New York Times

More than 100 Bolivian Judicial Officials Dismissed, Sanctioned

The Bolivian Attorney General’s office dismissed or sanctioned more than 100 of its employees in 2015 for various transgressions. While the dismissals show that corruption remains present in the country’s public institutions, they also serve as a sign that the government does not intend to tolerate official malfeasance. – Mike LaSusa, Insight Crime



Mexico’s corruption runs deeper than El Chapo

While Mexican government officials have used El Chapo’s recapture to argue that the country’s institutions are strong and working, the author asserts that the country still faces fundamental problems. Insecurity in cities previously known as safe havens is increasing, so the government will need to demonstrate real results on strengthening the rule of law. - Miguel Guevara, Al Jazeera America

Implementation of ‘Mando Unico’ Moves Slowly in Mexico

The President of Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies has called for a reopening of the debate on the ‘mando unico’ security policy as the pace of its implementation and ultimate effectiveness remains under question. The authors note that, while the policy is intended to reduce corruption within Mexico’s municipal police forces, critics often highlight that corruption is endemic across state institutions beyond the police. - Insight Crime

Are Liberian Police Ready for Security Handover?

In this article, the author examines what the Liberian government must prioritize within the security sector to prepare for the handover of security matters from the UN Mission in Liberia to the government. The National Police plans to train an additional 5,000 officers, but many Liberians say that they do not have confidence in the police. - Prince Collins, Voice of America

(For more information on police reform in Liberia, see our recent SSR 2.0 Brief - A Decade of Police Reform in Liberia: Perceptions, Challenges and Ways Ahead)

Is a Pan-African Police Force the Answer to Rising Militancy?

In this opinion piece, the author, a Centre for Security Governance Fellow, discusses the creation of Afripol, the Mechanism of African Police Cooperation, as part of a strategy to combat terrorism. The creation of a police cooperation body adds a new dimension to institutions that seek to enhance peace and security within the continent and aims to fill the lack of core state services that may also increase involvement in violent extremist groups. - Sasha Jesperson, Newsweek

Nigeria: Buhari’s 2016 budget continues use of secretive “security votes”

Despite pledges to combat corruption, President Buhari’s budget for 2016 raises questions over its inclusion of security votes, which in theory are catch-all line items inserted to give recipients the flexibility to cover ad hoc security expenditures. In practice, the author describes that they are a relic of military rule and opaque slush funds that officials have used to embezzle state funds or redirect them for political purposes. - Matthew Page, African Arguments

Hope for an end to military meddling in Burkina Faso?

One of the main challenges for the new Burkinabe government will be reforming the national army. While the transition government attempted to dismantle the elite security service and to reduce military interference in the country’s politics and institutions, steps are still necessary to carry out those reforms and to professionalize the armed forces. - Pascaline Compaore, The Institute for Security Studies

Towards civil-military dialogue in Colombia

In this blog post, the author discusses how enhancing Colombians’ feelings of security could be an indicator of the success of the current peace process. He argues that developing more space for dialogue between civil society and members of the armed forces could be one of the avenues that contribute to overcoming mistrust and building confidence. - Darynell Rodriguez, Knowledge Platform Security and Rule of Law

Why Cartels Are Killing Mexico’s Mayors

Drawing upon his forthcoming book and the recent killing of Mayor Gisela Mota, the author examines how corruption and bribery have evolved in Mexico. Cartels have begun to make politicians pay bribes, transforming themselves into an ominous shadow power that uses the tools of the state to affect anyone who lives or works in its jurisdiction. - Ioan Grillo, The New York Times

Police took it over, but gangs still run Rio’s biggest slum

The Pacifying Police Unit, a special faction of Brazil’s military police, occupies dozens of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro as part of the city’s pacification plan. While the plan intended to wrest control of the favelas away from drug gangs, the occupying force has removed the higher ranks of the gangs and left behind young criminals who fear nobody and respect nothing. - Will Carless, Global Post

Kurdistan’s Political Armies: The Challenge of Unifying the Peshmerga Forces

In this article for the Carnegie Middle East Center, the authors discuss the issues related to unifying Kurdish military forces, which has still not been completed nearly two decades after a peace agreement was signed. Partisan factionalism has hindered the establishment of healthy and democratic civil-military relations in Iraqi Kurdistan. - Wladimir van Wilgenburg and Mario Fumerton, Carnegie Middle East Center



Future directions of security and justice: context-relevant, flexible and transnational programming?

In a new report for the Overseas Development Institute, the authors set out three trends that are changing the security and justice space internationally, and examine what this might mean for program implementation. Drawing on a workshop hosted by ODI in September 2015, the trends that the report identifies are an increasing recourse to political economy analysis, a heightened focus on problem-driven iterative adaptation (PDIA) approaches to inform programming, and the broadening of security and justice agendas to include transnational problems associated with organized crime, people trafficking, and even terrorism as development issues. – Lisa Denney and Pilar Domingo, Overseas Development Institute

Defense Institution Building in Africa: An Assessment

This report assesses U.S. efforts in defense institution building (DIB) in Africa and suggests possible improvements to planning and execution. It highlights how DIB activities serve U.S. official strategic guidance for Africa, examines how DIB is currently planned and executed in Africa, and provides a structured approach to aid in the prioritization of such programs. – Michael J. McNerney, Stuart E. Johnson, Stephanie Pezard, David Stebbins, Renanah Miles, Angela O’Mahony, Chaoling Feng, and Tim Oliver, RAND

What Is “Building Partner Capacity”? - Issues for Congress

In this new report, the authors discuss how successive U.S. administrations have increasingly prioritized efforts to build foreign security forces based on the belief that doing so advances U.S. national security objectives. The authors analyzed the cases of “Building Partner Capacity” and security assistance projects and judged their effectiveness on two criteria: whether the strategic goal was achieved and whether the effort produced unintended consequences that were obviously and meaningfully damaging to U.S. national interests. - Kathleen McInnis and Nathan Lucas, Congressional Research Service

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