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News Roundup: 18 January - 24 January 2016 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Jan 25, 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

Publication Summary – Community security in Kenya’s frontiers

In this post for the SSR Resource Centre, Tereza Steinhublova summarizes Saferworld’s new report entitled “Matching needs with resources: National Police Reserve and community security in Kenya’s frontiers.” The report analyzes the state of the National Police Reserve (NPR), the primary community security provider in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands, discussing the problems the NPR faces as well as identifying lessons and opportunities for improving its effectiveness and accountability.

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.


Centre for Security Governance

CSG Insight No. 10: Ukraine’s Updated Security Sector Laws: What promise do these laws hold?

The Centre for Security Governance has just published its latest CSG Insight, “Ukraine’s Updated Security Sector Laws: What promise do these laws hold?” written by Joseph L. Derdzinski. This article analyzes recent updates and changes to Ukraine’s security sector laws. The author provides a useful overview and assessment of the challenges to security sector reform in Ukraine.

eSeminar – Climate Change, the Environment and Peacebuilding

Save the date! Friday February 26 from 12:00PM to 1:30PM EST

Climate change poses a series of catastrophic threats to the planet, from rising sea levels that could swallow coastlines to the increasing prevalence of drought that could devastate agriculture and fresh water supplies. While these direct environmental challenges are clear and omnipresent, less attention is often paid to the secondary effects of climate change, such as its impact on peace and security dynamics. Climate change is already emerging as a major driver of conflict and insecurity in many parts of the world, and this phenomenon will only worsen in the future as the environmental impacts of the changing climate become more pronounced.

This presents new challenges to the global peacebuilding architecture that have yet to be fully addressed by its key stakeholders. As we enter an era that could be marked by climate-driven war and instability, it is important to explore the potential impacts of climate change on global peace and security and how the existing peacebuilding agenda can be adapted to confront them. This will be the central question addressed at the fourth installment of the Centre for Security Governance’s eSeminar series on Contemporary Debates on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding,” presented in collaboration with the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Wilfrid Laurier University’s Department of Global Studies.

Our distinguished panelists will each give brief introductory remarks, followed by an open Q&A period where participants will be able to engage the panel directly. The event, which will take place on Friday February 26 from 12:00PM to 1:30PM EST, will be open to the public and free to attend.



Nigerian minister says $6.8 billion of public funds stolen in seven years

55 people who were government ministers, state governors, public officials, bankers, and business stole the equivalent of $6.8 billion from Nigeria’s public purse over a seven-year period from 2006 to 2013. The country’s Information Minister announced the launch of a corruption awareness campaign as part of President Buhari’s vow to crackdown on corruption in state institutions. - Camillus Eboh and Alexis Akwagyiram, Reuters

Desertions deplete Afghan forces, adding to security worries

The Afghan army replaced about a third of its 170,000 soldiers last year due to desertions, casualties and low re-enlistment rates, which means that a third of the army consists of first-year recruits fresh from a three-month training course. The army’s turnover rate is one of the most serious problems faced by the security forces as they attempt to fend off insurgents. - Sayed Sarwar Amani and Andrew Macaskill, Reuters

General: Afghan forces had “mixed” results in first year fighting Taliban

U.S. Army Brigadier General Wilson Shoffnerr said that Afghan National Security Forces had “mixed results” in their first year fighting the Taliban on their own. The Afghan National Army faces a shortfall of 25,000 troops and hopes to close that gap over the next six months. - Kristina Wong, The Hill

NATO, EU poised to assist Ukraine in security service reform

The Security Service of Ukraine, representatives of the NATO Communication Office, and the EU Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform agreed to create a permanent international advisory group on security service reform. The group’s main goal will be to organize external support of the process of reforming the security service by way of holding permanent consultations on the improvement of legal regulations and developing an advanced model for the security service with consideration of the best political and legal practices of EU and NATO member states. – Interfax

Ukraine acts to purge court system of bribery, corruption

Ukraine’s constitutional court approved steps to end political meddling in the judicial system and halt bribe-taking among judges. The court agreed to amendments that strip lawmakers of the power to appoint judges, remove judges’ immunity from prosecution, and impose stricter criteria on who can become a judge. - Pavel Polityuk, Reuters

Honduras president announces international body to tackle corruption

Honduras’s president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, announced the launch of a new international anti-corruption body to combat criminal networks within the country’s political and judicial systems. The Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras, known as Maccih, will have powers to independently investigate politicians, judges, and members of the security forces. - Nina Lakhani, The Guardian

Colombia and Farc request UN mission to monitor any ceasefire

The Colombian government and FARC rebels have requested a one-year United Nations mission to monitor a ceasefire following the completion of peace talks. The intention of the mission would be to guarantee that any disarmament would be genuine and permanent. - BBC News

New El Salvador Attorney General Talks of “Infiltration”

El Salvador’s new attorney general said that the prosecutors’ office may have been infiltrated by outsiders, highlighting the need to repair the country’s judicial system. He also noted additional irregularities within the system, including poor financial management, significant backlogs of unpaid benefits, and ghost employees receiving compensation without working for the prosecutors’ office. - Sam Tabory, Insight Crime

Ex-Mayor’s Arrest Kicks Off Guatemala Anti-Corruption Campaign

Authorities in Guatemala arrested a former mayor and several local officials on corruption charges as prosecutors target municipal-level fraud networks. Led by the Public Ministry and the UN-backed International Commission against Impunity, the investigation focused on the network that awarded government contracts to family members of another mayor. - David Gagne, Insight Crime



Corruption in Military Defense Spending Could Be Behind Rise in Africa Terror Attacks

According to a new report on corruption in military defense spending in Africa, military corruption plays a major role in allowing terrorist groups to thrive. While defense spending is on the rise across Africa, there is little to ensure that it will go to counter-terror and security programs due to a lack of oversight and tracking mechanisms. - Aryn Baker, Time

U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan Poised to Assume More Active Role

U.S. Special Forces have been highly engaged in Afghanistan, but that involvement could increase if the Taliban is able to expand its gains from the last year. The current role for Special Forces remains training, advising, and assisting Afghan forces. - Jeff Seldin, Voice of America

Ex-Tamil Tigers go jobless in Sri Lanka

The majority of former Tamil Tiger rebels continue to struggle with finding jobs despite billions of dollars of extra investment in their regions. While the rebels went through compulsory rehabilitation programmes that included education and vocational training, steady work has been difficult to find for around 12,000 former combatants. - Amantha Perera, IRIN

Balkan Courts Packed Out – With Angry Police, Not Criminals

As the number of refugees moving through the Balkans has increased, so has the number of police officers deployed to control the crowds. However, the region’s police forces are plagued by unpaid wages, lack of uniforms and fuel, and decent offices, which has led many officers to sue their governments and paymasters. - Aleksandar Manasiev and Mirko Rudic, Balkan Insight

The sorry state of state police forces

In this opinion piece, the author examines the ‘mando unico’ policing model in Mexico. While the model’s proponents argue that it is easier to build 32 good state police forces than to reform more than 1,800 municipal police departments, the author notes that 14 of those 32 forces received a failing grade in a recent review. - Alejandro Hope, El Daily Post

How Mexico Cartels Corrupt US Border Agents

The author analyzes how corruption among agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security often goes unpunished. Agents have purchased weapons for criminal groups, abused confidential informants, and taken bribes to allow human smugglers and drug traffickers to cross the border between the U.S. and Mexico. - Mike LaSusa, Insight Crime

A new plan for Colombia

The authors assert that Plan Colombia, through which the U.S. provided Colombia with almost $10 billion in mainly military aid, helped to strengthen the state and provide security to civilians. The Colombian government is likely to request a similar plan to help with implementing the peace agreement through support for rural development, public services, and justice in former conflict areas. - The Economist

Honduras, like all states, must recognize that lawyers need defending too

In this article, the author discusses the need for independent legal professionals in countries without well-functioning law and justice systems. He highlights the level of impunity in Honduras, where 102 law professionals have been murdered since 2010 and lawmakers recently enacted a law for the protection of human rights defenders, journalists, and lawyers. - Jonathan Smithers, The Guardian

South Sudan’s Next Civil War Is Starting

In this piece on renewed fighting in South Sudan, the author discusses how ethnic and regional militias might take up arms in response to the government’s plan to divide the country into 28 states. Many of these militias were allied with government forces, and still possess arms given to them by the state. - Amanda Sperber, Foreign Policy

New Frontier in Nigeria’s War on Corruption

The author argues that President Buhari’s anticorruption campaign has already been more successful than his predecessors’ were, and that the administration continues to expand investigations. The Nigerian media is reporting that a new agreement with the United Arab Emirates on mutual legal assistance on criminal and commercial matters has caused panic among corrupt officials. - John Campbell, Africa in Transition



Fighting behind the frontlines: Army wives in the eastern DRC

In this new publication for the Institute for Security Studies, a CSG partner organization, the authors analyze the role of soldiers’ wives in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The wives may not be very visible, but they play an integral part of the military. While they live with soldiers in and around military camps and deployment sites, the military defines them as civilians and does not provide them with any benefits packages, nor does it invest much in facilities like health care centres. Along with soldiers’ low and irregular pay, this treatment causes army wives to struggle to make a living. – Maria Eriksson and Judith Verweijen, Institute for Security Studies

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