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News Roundup: 8 February - 14 February 2016 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Feb 15, 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!


Centre for Security Governance

Free online event – Climate Change, the Environment and Peacebuilding

The Centre for Security Governance (CSG), Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA), and Wilfrid Laurier University Global Studies department (WLU) are hosting a series of eight online seminars focusing on the theme of “Contemporary Debates on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding.”

Our fourth event will be held on Friday February 26 from 12:00PM to 1:30PM EST and will be on the theme of “Climate Change, the Environment and Peacebuilding”. 

For more details, please visit the eSeminar event page here. You can also register for the event here.

Making Sense of the White Army’s Return in South Sudan

Brian Adeba’s CSG Paper for the Centre for Security Governance entitled “Making Sense of the White Army’s Return in South Sudan” has been quoted in the United Nations Panel of Experts Report on South Sudan. Adeba’s paper included a number of recommendations to mitigate the potential for conflict in South Sudan, such as a comprehensive disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration program, improved service delivery, the exploration of alternative sources of livelihood, and the introduction of meritocratic principles to the government of South Sudan’s hiring processes.

The UN report reiterates the Security Council’s threat of an arms embargo on the country and states that President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar remain in charge of their forces. The experts found clear evidence that most of the acts of violence committed during the war were “directed by or undertaken with the knowledge of senior individuals at the highest levels of the Government and within the opposition.”



U.S. troop reinforcements head for embattled southern Afghan province

The United States is sending hundreds of troops to Afghanistan’s Helmand province to assist the country’s security forces, which have been affected by high desertion and casualty rates, corruption, and leadership problems. The new troops will be involved with training and advising, rather than participating in combat operations. - Josh Smith, Reuters

“Zero Cash” Policy in El Salvador Prisons Thwarted

Salvadoran authorities’ attempts to stem cash flows in the country’s prisons highlight the strength of prison economies and concerns regarding the government’s control of prisons. A new “zero cash” plan has been put into effect, but has yet to stop the flow of money and illicit goods. - Elise Ditta, Insight Crime

Row Leaves Croatia Security System Unguarded

Following the removal of the head of the Security and Intelligence Agency, Croatia’s national security remains without parliamentary oversight. The parliamentary committee charged with oversight and surveillance of the country’s security and intelligence agencies also has not been formed yet. - Sven Milekic, Balkan Insight

Network on Police Reform in Nigeria Condemns Military Crackdown on IPOB, Urges Investigation Into Incidents

NOPRIN condemned the Nigerian military’s crackdown on unarmed members of the Indigenous People of Biafra. The network stated that the use of excessive use of force by security and law enforcement forces violated the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Agencies. - Sahara Reporters

UNMIL Transition Puts Liberia at a Cross Roads

Liberia’s Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara asserted that the transition from the UN Mission in Liberia to domestic control over security puts the country at a crossroads. She stated that the transition points to an urgent need to strengthen civil law enforcement institutions. - All Africa

Restrictive requirements mar selection of anti-corruption prosecutors

The creation of the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office in Ukraine is seen as a step towards establishing a well-functioning law enforcement system. Although the first set of prosecutors for the office were chosen in January 2016, some argue that the requirement that applicants possess at least five years of prosecutorial experience limited the candidate pool. - Veronika Melkozerova, Kyiv Post

Bosnia Misses Deadline on State Court Reform

The ministers of justice of both entities in Bosnia were unable to meet the deadline for a joint proposal on courts at the state level. Disputes remain on the existing law’s competencies, with the majority-Serb entity Republika Srpska arguing that the law enables an abuse of powers because the state court can exempt cases from the entity courts at its own discretion. - Denis Dzidic, Balkan Insight

3 Former El Salvador Presidents Investigated for Corruption

El Salvador’s Supreme Court may be taking on the country’s highest political office with investigations targeting the past three presidents. The investigations highlight how rampant and systemic corruption has become throughout the different levels of government, but also, that Salvadoran authorities may be encouraged to crackdown on corruption. - Arron Daugherty, Insight Crime

“Rotten system” blamed as Haiti’s election ends in stalemate

Following an election stalemate, Haiti’s president cut a deal with parliament to allow the prime minister to serve as provisional president until elections can be held again in April. The series of events surrounding the elections have demonstrated the level of political impunity in the country and citizens’ desire for changes to the system. - Michael Deibert, The Guardian

Amid Crisis, Venezuela’s National Assembly Proposes Security Reforms

With the majority in Venezuela’s legislative body, the opposition coalition Democratic Unity Roundtable has promised to improve seven different policy areas, including citizen security. The proposal includes pledges to cleanse and strengthen the police, quadruple the budget for citizen security, and reform the criminal justice system. - Rebecca Hanson, Insight Crime



How Tunisia’s Crooked Cops Are Undermining the Revolution

In this piece on corruption among Tunisia’s police force, the author shares stories from officers who have observed colleagues tampering with items seized in raids and working with smugglers. While the Interior Ministry has opened investigations into such corruption, most inquiries have concluded with inconclusive results. - Fadil Aliriza, Foreign Policy

Policing the beaten: training South Sudan’s cops to help survivors of gender violence

In South Sudan, violence against women has often been considered a family issue, rather than a crime, but NGOs are beginning to train police officers to deal more sensitively with survivors of gender-based violence. The training programs have improved the police’s connection with the community, which previously did not exist due to poor training, pay, and corruption among officers. - Nadene Ghouri, The Guardian

Beyond piracy: what next for African maritime security?

The decline in piracy in the western Indian Ocean and off the coast of Somalia raises questions of whether counter-piracy institutions are costly and unjustified. The author asserts that new maritime security tasks actually suggest that the institutions are inadequate when faced with challenges, including peacebuilding in Somalia and building blue economies. - Timothy Walker, Institute for Security Studies

West Africa’s Terror Problem Needs a Regional Solution

Recent terror attacks in West Africa have highlighted the role that regional dynamics, porous borders, and the free flow of arms play. The region will need to invest in cooperation in policing and border security, and might construct fusion centers that could place multinational military, police, and customs officials in border areas in one complex. - Michael Rettig, The Hill

Nigeria Wants to Double the Size of Its Army

The author argues that while the proposed expansion of the Nigerian army makes sense in terms of numbers, the actual expansion carries substantial risks. Not only would the expansion cost a significant amount of money, it could also increase the military’s poor practices. The military has a reputation for corruption and predation on civilians and state assets. - Peter Dorrie, War is Boring

Postconflict in Colombia - Military and police transition: five challenges

In this piece, the author examines the main challenges for the police and military in post-conflict Colombia. One of the most critical steps will be defining the role, mission, and functions of the armed forces and police, and the author suggests that the first question involved in that process is whether the separation of the police from the Ministry of Defense will be possible. - Jean Carlos Mejia Azuero, Open Democracy

El Salvador’s Security Policy is Increasing Extrajudicial Killings and Abuse

As part of a series on violence in El Salvador, the author analyzes the role played by the country’s security policy. The government created anti-gang battalions and increased police raids, which were led by a unit known as the Reaction Police Group. The unit has since been linked to deaths and enforced disappearances of alleged gang members. - Sarah Kinosian, Latin America Working Group

Ten Tips for Criminal Justice System Development

In this article on the development of a criminal justice system, the author offers a list of ten tips that may assist with the process. Rather than viewing the construction as a single sector, the author argues that the system should be seen as a combination of related and mutually dependent structures, each with its own principles, rationales, and work cultures. - Piet Biesheuvel, The International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT)

Breaking down Canada’s military training mission in Iraq

The author breaks down the questions raised by the Canadian Prime Minister’s announcement that the country’s defense forces will focus on training in Iraq rather than continuing the bombing effort. He also clarifies that the new advisory role for the forces does not mean they will be entering into a combat mission. - Steve Saideman, Open Canada

Morocco Still a Model for Justice in MENA, but Questions Remain

Twelve years after the beginning of the transitional justice process in Morocco, the country remains a model for others in the region. The key aspect of the country’s experience is the involvement of civil society and its efforts in initiating the process. However, there remained a lack of accountability in the process as it was overseen by the same government responsible for many of the crimes being addressed. - All Africa



Oversight and Guidance: Parliaments and Security Sector Governance

This collection of edited articles underlines the essential role that parliaments must play in ensuring democratic oversight of the security sector. Updating key information on best practices related to parliamentary oversight and guidance of the security sector, the volume has a specific focus on defense affairs, and puts the oversight role of parliament into political and military contexts. Aimed at democratic institutions in NATO partners, the collection provides an introduction to the overarching principles of security sector reform and key oversight mechanisms and best practices. – Eden Cole, Philipp Fluri, and Simon Lunn, The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces

Women and power: mediating community justice in rural Bangladesh

In this new report, the authors examine traditional justice mechanisms in rural Bangladesh. The study suggests that women’s participation as leaders in community dispute resolution has increased, but women leaders’ ability to participate depends on their family dynamics, political connections, household economy, education, and NGO networks. The personal stories of these women show how these factors interrelate and interact with legal, institutional and social changes in Bangladesh. – Craig Valters and Ferdous Jahan, Overseas Development Institute

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