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News Roundup: 14 March - 20 March 2016 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Mar 20, 2016

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Publication Summary: Fighting corruption: The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala

Corruption poses a major threat to the effective functioning of a country’s justice sector, hindering its ability to uphold the rule of law thereby weakening the state. The case-study report “Crutch to Catalyst: The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala” published by the International Crisis Group takes a closer look at the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and its role in justice sector reform, particularly in the fight against corruption.  The report outlines the background to the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG)’s creation, explains its mandate and discusses prevailing obstacles in the commission’s work. Based on this analysis, the authors provide recommendations to Guatemalan institutions on how to sustain the commission’s work, as well as to the international community on its contributory role in the process.



Haiti Political Instability Complicates Efforts to Confront Crime

A new UN report illustrates the challenges of confronting ongoing crime and violence in Haiti, which are problems that are likely to be compounded by recent political instability. This, along with the lack of capacity within local security forces and the justice system, could create an opportunity for criminal networks to gain further ties to elites and politicians. - Mike LaSusa, Insight Crime

SIGAR: Millions of U.S. Dollars Wasted in Afghanistan

The office of the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) investigated 44 construction projects in Afghanistan and found that millions of dollars in aid were wasted. The latest report highlights the continued lack of oversight by defense officials for U.S.-funded projects in the country and the ability of Afghans to maintain the facilities. - Paul Shinkman, US News

“Dirty money,” simmering conflict slow Ukraine progress

The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs said that the Ukrainian government is burdened by dirty money and politics, which threaten the country’s progress. While she cited the successful passage of new anti-corruption legislation, the main issue remains that Ukrainian leaders are hesitating to undertake reforms that would threaten their hold on power. - Guy Taylor, The Washington Times

Venezuela Investigates Police in Miner Massacre

Venezuela’s investigative police launched an internal investigation into the recent murder of 17 gold miners. Witness testimony notes that a group of sixty armed individuals, some of whom wore uniforms belonging to the Bolivarian Intelligence Service and the investigative police, participated in the miners’ disappearances. - Mimi Yagoub, Insight Crime

Colombia: 17,500 FARC members will demobilize after peace deal, government estimates

The Colombian government estimates that around 17,500 FARC members will need to demobilize once the peace deal between the parties finishes. The 7,500 armed members and 10,000 militiamen would join the nearly 60,000 FARC members who previously demobilized and reintegrated into society. - Latin Correspondent

U.N. Officials Warned that Congolese Soldiers Were Linked to Rape

At least four senior UN officials had raised concerns about sending soldiers from the Democratic Republic of Congo on a peacekeeping mission to the Central African Republic. Despite having a history of using rape on the battlefield, the soldiers were allowed to deploy as peacekeepers, and allegations of sexual abuse arose within months. - Somini Sengupta, The New York Times

Mexico’s New “Anti-Corruption” Guerrillas Highlight Michoacan Unrest

The Insurgency for Institutional and Social Rescue, a newly formed armed group, has declared a war against politicians with alleged ties to organized crime in Michoacan. Although the group seems to be poorly armed and low in numbers, its formation demonstrates the inability of state institutions to prevent the spread of violent crime. - Mimi Yagoub, Insight Crime

Corruption Scandals in Brazil Reach All the Way to the Top

Brazil is facing its deepest political crisis in decades, with its president facing impeachment proceedings and many in Congress facing criminal or corruption charges. This infographic explains the extent of the corruption accusations against top officials. - Sergio Pecanha and Simon Romero, The New York Times

Ukraine: EUAM helps 600 senior local prosecutors make a successful start at work

The European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM) in Ukraine announced the beginning of a two-month extensive capacity building program for newly recruited senior local prosecutors. The program is designed to prepare the prosecutors to work within the structures of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and to deliver anti-corruption training. - EU Neighborhood Info Centre

Liberia: Liflea Wants Gender Mainstreaming in Security Sector

At a symposium on gender equality in Liberia’s security sector, lawmakers stressed the need for capacity building programs for female law enforcement officers. While President Sirleaf initially appointed women to lead many security and justice institutions, those positions have largely been turned back over to male leaders. - J.H. Webster Clayeh, All Africa



Afghanistan, the Road Ahead: From an “End Date” to an “End State”

In this blog post, the author discusses how the international community can engage in reinvigorating Afghanistan’s political transition and improve the security situation in the country. Members of the Afghan Local Police are often a source of violence, which contributes to the public’s distrust for the government. - Laura Cools, Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law

The black hole of Pentagon foreign aid

As part of Sunshine Week, when attention is directed to access to public information, the authors argue that more access should be made available to the distribution of international humanitarian, development, and security aid by the U.S. Defense Department. Often these programs are opaque to the local populations who are supposed to benefit from them. - Diana Ohlbaum and Colby Goodman, The Hill

Afghanistan Needs Peace – and Cash

The author examines Afghanistan’s continued need for foreign assistance. Upcoming conferences in Warsaw and Brussels will be held to determine the future of NATO’s mission in the country, and will focus on securing security contributions until 2020. - Catherine Putz, The Diplomat

Women and the criminal justice system in Uganda: A view from the magistrates courts

The author reflects on a workshop hosted by Penal Reform International and the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative for Ugandan magistrate judges. They are the key actors tasked with implementing the Bangkok Rules, which recommend the use of non-custodial measures for accused women where possible. - Frances Sheahan, Penal Reform International

Dark force grips police

In this editorial piece, the newspaper looks into the military regime’s crackdown on dark influences, including within the Royal Thai Police. The editors note that the investigation into police conduct is unlikely to result in dramatic change as it is being conducted internally with little external oversight. - Bangkok Post

Killing of Italian Student, Giulio Regeni, Puts Focus on Egypt’s Stability

Reports of abductions, torture, and brutality by Egypt’s security forces have risen in recent months, with some international officials arguing that the escalation of human rights abuses is a sign of weakness in President el-Sisi’s grip on power. The killing of an Italian student hints at signs of disorder in the security apparatus. - Declan Walsh, The New York Times

The Pentagon Wasted $500 Million Training Syrian Rebels. It’s About to Try Again.

U.S. President Barack Obama approved the Pentagon’s plan for a new training program for Syrian rebels despite the previous program’s failure to produce more than five trained fighters. The author examines some of the factors that contributed to the program’s failure, while noting that few details exist regarding the new proposal. - Paul McLeary, Foreign Policy

6 things you need to know about Cote d’Ivoire in the wake of Sunday’s attack

In this article delving into the militant attack in Cote d’Ivoire, the authors discuss the country’s stability and security situation. They state that while a government-led DDR program concluded in 2015, concerns of arms still exist and some ex-combatants were not successfully integrated into the military. - Justine Davis and Carrie Reiling, The Washington Post

“They Are Proud of What They Are Doing”

The author analyzes the increasingly prevalent use of rape in South Sudan due to rampant impunity within the security sector. Few provisions from the peace agreement have been implemented, and government soldiers continue to play a prominent role in raping civilians throughout the country. - Amanda Sperber, Foreign Policy



DDR and the Internal Organization of Non-State Armed Groups

This paper argues that demobilization, disarmament and reintegration trajectories of non-state armed groups are shaped by a group’s internal organization. Extensive research by political scientists has demonstrated a correlation between internal features of armed groups and their behavior. Through the review of four case studies, the author extends the analysis to DDR outcomes by illustrating how two features of an armed group’s internal organization – command profile and financial architecture – influence post-conflict DDR trajectories. - Brian McQuinn, Stability: International Journal of Security and Development

International Support to Security Sector Reform in Ukraine

This publication reflects on the assessment of the Swedish National Contact Group for Security Sector Reform on SSR in Ukraine. Since submitting the report, the academy has continued to work on mapping international support to Ukraine’s SSR efforts. The report is a contribution to information-sharing and coordination in favor of an effective, affordable, accountable, and transparent security sector. - Mans Hanssen, Folke Bernadotte Academy

Civil Society Involvement in Security Sector Reform and Governance

Representative and credible civil society organizations are integral stakeholders in the democratic governance of the security sector. While they can contribute by influencing security policy, some are unaware of their role, lack the tools and skills to fully engage in this field or struggle to identify entry points. In this portion of the Toolkit for Security Sector Reform and Governance in West Africa, the authors address the gaps in knowledge and skills that hinder the involvement of West African civil society actors in public oversight of the security sector and provides organizations with practical advice on how to strengthen their capacity for action and optimize the impact of their contributions to security sector reform and governance. - Augustin Loada and Ornella Moderan, The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces

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