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News Roundup: 15 February - 21 February 2016 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Feb 22, 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

Law Enforcement and Perverse Effects: The Evolution of the Central American Maras

In a new post for the SSR Resource Centre, Michael Lawrence discusses how crime and law enforcement are often entwined in a co-evolutionary process by which the actions of one prompt behavioral changes by the other that demand new strategies from the initial actor. While this dynamic is often recognized and anticipated by both law enforcement and criminal groups, it frequently yields perverse effects. The blog post, which highlights the example of Central American youth gangs, outlines the ways in which enforcement measures have inadvertently escalated the threat posed by these gangs and how they may evolve in the future.


Centre for Security Governance

Free eSeminar this week! – 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.



US Trains Cameroon Military on Landmines Detection

Experts from the United States Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation are training Cameroon’s military in techniques of detecting and counteracting landmines and explosive devices. The need for such training has increased due to Boko Haram’s use of landmines and suicide bombings. - Moki Edwin Kindzeka, Voice of America

Argentina to Create Databases for Organized Crime, Corruption Cases

The Argentine Supreme Court and other judicial bodies plan to create three open databases on organized crime cases. One database will name individuals charged in corruption cases, a second will cross-reference charges for drug trafficking in both open and closed cases, and the third will focus on femicides and human trafficking. - Elise Ditta, Insight Crime

Colombia police chief probed over “prostitution ring”

Colombia’s prosecutor general plans to open a disciplinary investigation against the country’s chief of police after allegations of abuse were made by a police captain. The chief is being investigated over creating a male prostitution wing, alleged illicit enrichment, and conducting illegal wiretaps. - BBC News

Kenya to tackle radicalization with new prison for “extremists”

Although the country already has several maximum security jails, Kenya’s president plans to build a special prison to house “violent and extremist” offenders in order to keep them from influencing other prisoners. He did not announce the timeline for opening the proposed prison. - George Obulutsa, Reuters

Report Indicates Widespread Police Corruption in Tijuana

Allegations collected from detained drug traffickers and local authorities reveal widespread police corruption in Tijuana, and indicate that corruption is deeply embedded within the city’s municipal and state police forces. Pervasive corruption remains only part of a larger framework that demonstrates steadily worsening security conditions. - David Gagne, Insight Crime

Pentagon scrambles to account for Afghan “ghost” troops

Officials from the United States Department of Defense are hopeful that the country will only be paying the salaries of Afghan soldiers that actually exist by the end of 2016. The goal is to have “an integrated pay and personnel system” in place that will help U.S. forces better identify and account for thousands of individuals in the ranks. - Leo Shane III, Military Times

Report Details Prison Woes in Chile

A recent report by Chile’s judiciary deplored the dangerous and inhumane conditions of prisons in the country, highlighting concern over overcrowding. It described poor conditions for prison staff, lack of adequate medical and nutritional services, and structural issues such as “irregular electrical installations” that pose a threat to inmates. - Quenton King, Insight Crime

Honduran Security Forces Accused of Massive Human Rights Abuses

Allegations of human rights abuses by the Honduran armed forces have risen as the government has increased the militarization of police. A new report from the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights claims that the militarized police are acting in complicity with organized crime groups, which in turn creates a climate of excessive insecurity. - Telesur

Russia to Train Bosnian Serb Special Police

The government of Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity, Republika Srpska, will send its special police units for training in Russia. The units will receive trainings on investigation techniques and forensic analysis, and will exchange information with Russian police on the fight against narcotics and human trafficking. - Rodolfo Toe, Balkan Insight

Colombia probes disappearances from Bogota prison

Colombian prosecutors are investigating more than 100 reported cases of disappearances from a Bogota jail between 1999 and 2001, a period of time in which inmates possessed control over parts of building. They believe that inmates and visitors may have been killed, their bodies dismembered and thrown into the jail’s sewers. - BBC News


Corruption Is Stalling Ukraine’s Optimistic Revolution

In this opinion piece, the author discusses the role corruption is playing in blocking reforms in Ukraine. He notes that about 72 percent of the population blames the “corruption of power” for the lack of success carrying out proposed reforms. - Andrew Wilson, Newsweek

An Anti-Corruption Charade in Honduras

The author critiques the Support Mission Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras and contrasts it with the stronger anti-corruption commission in Guatemala. The Honduran model will only provide technical support to local investigators and prosecutors who are part of the judiciary and susceptible to political pressure. - Alexander Main, The New York Times

Why Libya transition to democracy failed

The author details the elements that played a role in Libya’s failed post-conflict transition to democracy. In particular, the United Nations mission was ill equipped to handle the task of rebuilding the security sector and dismantling the myriad of militias present in the country. - Frederic Wehrey, The Washington Post

Ukraine’s government almost fell yesterday. It’s still in crisis. Here’s what happened and why it matters.

In this interview with Oxana Shevel, the author analyzes the implications of calls for the prime minister’s resignation. The Ukrainian public has become disillusioned with the pace and scope of reforms, while evidence has mounted that leaders are sabotaging anti-corruption measures. - Joshua Tucker, The Washington Post

El Salvador Police Kill, Lie Again

The author examines the contradictory testimony surrounding the death of four alleged gang members at the hands of police in El Salvador. The case has refocused attention on alleged extrajudicial killings by the country’s security forces. - Oscar Martinez, Insight Crime

The U.S.-funded Afghan air force is growing. So are civilian casualties it causes.

In an article on the Afghan air force, the author examines a new report that suggests the Afghan military is struggling to avoid killing civilians with the aircraft it possesses. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan raised concerns over the increase in casualties despite a declining number of missions. - Dan Lamothe, The Washington Post

Algeria’s Birth of a New Democracy

The author discusses some of the factors that have contributed to the development of democracy in Algeria. One of the factors, the reform of the country’s intelligence department, included the dissolution of the Department of Intelligence and Security and its replacement by three departments under the direct supervision of the president. - Sasha Toperich, The Huffington Post

Is the U.S. Military Propping Up Uganda’s “Elected” Autocrat?

The author discusses the training and funding that the Ugandan military has received from the United States, which has become a major source of patronage for President Museveni. Experts find that this has undermined the military’s professionalism, resulting in bloated units and a lack of respect for the chain-of-command. - Ty McCormick, Foreign Policy

Progress and lessons from an evaluation of PRI’s alternative to imprisonment project in East Africa

In this blog post, the author looks at the mid-term evaluation completed on the ExTRA Project – Excellence in Training on Rehabilitation in Africa. The pilot project, which was completed in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, focused on community service as an alternative to short-term prison sentences for petty offenses. - Omar Phoenix Khan, Penal Reform International

Post-war Iraq: “Everybody is corrupt, from top to bottom. Including me”

The author discusses the presence of corruption across many of Iraq’s institutions, and notes that the prime minister has launched an anti-corruption drive designed to weed out the most guilty and introduce meaningful accountability processes across all levels of business and politics. - Martin Chulov, The Guardian



The future of police missions

In a new publication on the future of police missions, the authors examine the reasons for the Netherlands to contribute police capabilities to international crisis management missions. The study argues to focus Dutch police contributions to multilateral operations on a set of niches that fits both the demand from international organizations and national security policy objectives. Police deployment in multilateral operations abroad can help preventing or reducing future spillover effects from the crises that these operations address. - Franca van der Laan, Luc van de Goor, Rob Hendriks, Jair van der Lijn, Minke Meijnders, Dick Zandee, Clingendael

Defence Reform Infographic

This new tool provides an overview of Defence Sector Reform issues, from questions such as “What form national defence should take?”, through to entry points and leverage at the individual and institutional levels, with links to accountability. The graphic provides a visual walk-through of the defence reform process, from establishing a national vision drawn from a constitutional or national dialogue, through to specific analysis tools such as the Capacity, Integrity and Sustainability Framework (CIS) and the Effects Estimate/Do Not Harm. – The International Security Sector Advisory Team

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