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News Roundup: 25 January - 31 January 2016 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Feb 1, 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

Haiti and the Democracy-Public Security Interface

In a new blog for the SSR Resource Centre, CSG Senior Fellows Stephen Baranyi and Timothy Donais examine the democracy-public security interface in Haiti. If the ability to hold credible, peaceful elections is a key litmus test of a country’s progress towards democratic consolidation, the latest evidence from Haiti is far from encouraging. The electoral cycle that began in August 2015 – following months of delays and governance by presidential decree – was meant to renew Haiti’s democratic institutions, but that has plunged the country back into political crisis.

Reading List - SSR Country Snapshot: Haiti

With elections postponed for a third time in Haiti, and with security governance being a key issue at both the national and local levels, the SSR Resource Centre created this reading list to highlight key recent publications published by the Centre for Security Governance on Haiti.


Centre for Security Governance

News Release - The Centre for Security Governance assumes management of Stability: International Journal of Security & Development

The Centre for Security Governance (CSG) is pleased to announce it has acquired Stability: International Journal of Security & Development, a leading open-access journal focusing on security and development challenges in fragile, failed and conflict-affected states (FFCAS).

Stability helps to connect policymakers, practitioners, academics and others with timely, peer-reviewed research on a wide range of issues related to stabilization, peacekeeping, state building, crime and violence prevention, development cooperation and humanitarian action. All articles, commentaries and practice notes published by Stability are freely accessible and widely disseminated in academic, policy and practitioner networks. Stability is dedicated to providing a vehicle for academics and researchers based in FFCAS to publish their work.

Stability will now be the flagship publication of the CSG. The CSG hopes to expand the reach and impact of Stability in the coming years and cement its place as the ‘go-to’ open-access journal on security and development. The CSG’s commitment to innovation and research excellence will extend to Stability, as it seeks to explore new topics, challenge accepted orthodoxies and develop new research tools and products.

eSeminar – Climate Change, the Environment and Peacebuilding

Climate change 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.

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.



Hundreds Vanishing in Egypt as Crackdown Widens, Activists Say

Instead of being held in the formal legal system, hundreds of people have disappeared into a network of secretive detention center, run by the security forces, where they are held without charge or access to a lawyer. Interrogators use the detainee’s isolation and lack of legal protections to interrogate them harshly. - Amina Ismail and Declan Walsh, The New York Times

El Salvador, UN Agree to Anti-Impunity Program

The United Nations announced the creation of a U.S.-financed anti-graft program in El Salvador. The program is intended to work with existing institutions by training Salvadoran officials to detect and investigate cases of corruption, but will lack the broad investigative powers enjoyed by the UN-backed anti-impunity commission in Guatemala. - Quenton King and David Gagne, Insight Crime

Iraqi army learns Ramadi’s lessons in U.S.-led coalition training

To prepare the Iraqi army to retake Mosul later this year, U.S.-led coalition forces training soldiers to fight the Islamic State are applying lessons from the recapture of Ramadi. The army is receiving training in combined arms breaching, a mixture of tactics used to overcome obstacles like roadside bombs and conventional minefields, as part of a ten-week course. - Stephen Kalin, Reuters

Brazilian Armed Forces Bolster Colombia Demining Efforts

Following the creation of the Inter-American Technical Advisory Group in Colombia (GATI-CO), the Brazilian Armed Forces are increasing their involvement in the demining process in Colombia. The aim of GATI-CO is to help the Colombian army and civilians with the quality control of deactivating and removing landmines. - Diana Gagliardi and Santiago Wills, Dialogo

Africa’s defence sector at risk from corruption

A new report from Transparency International finds that despite increased defence spending across many African states, those increases are not necessarily enhancing state security. Often military effectiveness is eroded by poor controls on personnel, while forces are repurposed for commercial ends. - DefenceWeb

Policy for AU policing in peace operations endorsed

The African Chiefs of Police (ACOP) have endorsed the draft policy from the African Union’s Police Strategic Support Group. The policy would ensure that African Union Police (AUPOL) are officially recognized as a key player in African peace operations and would recognize the key role AUPOL plays in enhancing the rule of law, human rights, and the protection of civilians in conflict and fragile environments. - The Institute for Security Studies

Record Number of El Salvador Police Quit as Violence Takes its Toll

El Salvador’s National Civil Police lost a total of 516 officers last year amid rising confrontations with gangs and complaints of threats against officers’ families. Police officers may also be leaving the force due to low salaries, but it is unclear if the government can increase pay to retain officers. - Arron Daugherty, Insight Crime

Efforts to train Afghan Army engineers fall flat despite millions of dollars spent

Despite U.S. training efforts, a recent audit of the Afghan National Engineer Brigade found that the brigade is incapable of operating independently. In addition to not knowing who would report for duty on a given day, issues including security concerns and political events delayed training for the brigade- David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen

As Honduras’ MACCIH Aims High, Judicial Reform Still A Concern

The newly formed Support Mission Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) will begin its work investigating the corruption scandal that impacted the country’s Social Security Institute, along with investigating the broader problem of police corruption. However, questions about transparency within the judicial system cast a shadow over the commission’s hopes for success. - Sam Tabory, Insight Crime

EU Cautiously Greets Romania’s Justice Reforms

A new European Commission report issued under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism states that Romania has made progress in fighting corruption and in judicial reform. While the country intensified its anti-graft drive in the last year, many reforms do not enjoy the level of consensus needed to assure sustainable progress. - Marian Chiriac, Balkan Insight



Is Nigeria’s corruption crusade aimed at clean-up or political opponents?

An investigation into the salary budget at the Nigerian Ministry of Information and Culture revealed that around 400 employees did not exist. Senior officials had been providing fake letters of employment in exchange for hefty bribes. - Ryan Lenora Brown and Lekan Otufodunrin, Christian Science Monitor

Ex-Head of El Salvador Forensics: “Police Committing Extrajudicial Killings”

In an interview about the truce between the Salvadoran government and gangs, Dr. Jose Miguel Fortin Magana, the former head of the El Salvador’s Institute of Forensic Medicine, noted that a pattern in the assassination of gang members suggests that the police and armed forces are committing extrajudicial killings. He also acknowledged that the statistics used to justify ending the truce were not necessarily “scientific.” - Carlos Martinez and Roberto Valencia, Insight Crime

The U.S. was supposed to leave Afghanistan by 2017. Now it might take decades.

Top American military commanders have begun to discuss the continuance of the country’s military involvement in Afghanistan for decades. Within the Pentagon, there is broad recognition that building an effective Afghan army and police force will take a generation’s commitment, including constant support from thousands of foreign advisors on the ground. - Greg Jaffe and Missy Ryan, The Washington Post

Time for Justice in Sri Lanka

The New York Times Editorial Board calls upon the Sri Lankan government to address allegations of torture under the current president, Maithripala Sirisena, and to fulfill its pledge to establish a special court on war crimes. The country’s army also remains under the command of leaders who oversaw operations during the civil war. - The New York Times

The lesson of Colombia’s demobilization of FARC can help us work against ISIS

This piece argues that Colombia’s demobilization program for FARC insurgents can provide lessons for how to counter the narrative and ideology of the Islamic State and encourage current members to demobilize. The Colombian model focused on reassuring guerrillas of acceptance upon defecting from the FARC.  - Thomas E. Ricks, Foreign Policy

“El Chapo” Extradition Points to Mexico’s Failures on Prison Reform

The author assert that extraditing El Chapo to the United States because a third escape from prison would ruin Mexico’s credibility on security matters. The necessity of his extradition highlights how the quality of the country’s prison system has declined due to the political system’s failure to commit to reforms. - Patrick Corcoran, Insight Crime

Romania’s corruption crackdown pays off

In this article, the author discusses the progress made in Romania’s corruption crackdown and the challenges the country still faces. The scale of corruption in parliament remains substantial, with the decision to allow the anti-corruption prosecution to treat parliamentarians like other citizens still yet to be finalized. - Carmen Paun, Politico Europe

Jail time still exception, not rule, for corrupt officials

Using an infographic to show the low verdict-to-incarceration rate for Ukrainian officials, the author highlights the lack of deterrence for corruption. Only 20 percent of 100 officials prosecuted for bribery between July and October of 2015 were sentenced to prison or placed under house arrest. - Mark Rachkevych, Kyiv Post

26th AU Summit: Can the AU walk the talk?

In this analysis on the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) Roadmap 2016-2020, the authors discuss what will be needed to ensure the effectiveness of the roadmap. In particular, they note the need for synchronized and streamlined legal processes, which would facilitate the rapid deployment of resources when needed. - Annette Leijenaar and Gustavo de Carvalho, The Institute for Security Studies



Corruption Perceptions Index

Based on expert opinion from around the world, the Corruption Perceptions Index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide. In the 2015 report, none of the 168 countries assessed receives a perfect score, and two-thirds of those countries score below 50, on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). More than 6 billion people live in a country with a serious corruption problem. – Transparency International

The new criminal powers

In this report, the authors examine how organized crime and corruption have been branded as a “virus” or “cancer” in international policy circles’ shorthand. The report argues that an approach rooted in the notion of institutional capture by an external criminal force is – despite its persuasive rhetoric – gravely mistaken. The authors argue that illicit activity has become part of the living organism of many countries’ public and business affairs, and policy responses should be adapted to this reality. – Ivan Briscoe and Pamela Kalkman, Clingendael

Crutch to Catalyst? The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala

This new report on The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) asserts that the commission is the country’s best opportunity for genuine justice reform, and the government must start planning for its departure by fortifying its own capacity to fight crime and corruption. While CICIG enjoys wide approval among citizens, the unity within the anti-corruption movement comes from anger over government fraud, rather than a clear agenda for change. – International Crisis Group

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