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News Roundup: 27 June - 3 July 2016 By: SSR Resource Centre | SSR | Jul 4, 2016

Want to keep up to date on the SSR field? Once a week, the Centre for Security Governance’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

Security Sector Reform and Hybrid Security Governance in Africa

This article is contribution #16 in our Academic Spotlight Blog Series that features recent research findings on security sector reform and security governance published in international relations academic journals.

Prevailing approaches to security sector reform (SSR) have tended to stress Westphalian notions of the state characterized by legal-rational norms and institutions. Thus, SSR processes have more often than not concentrated on the formal arrangements of the state and its security and justice institutions. Yet, such approaches are fundamentally at variance with the underlying realities of the African context, where many political and social transactions (not least in the security sector) take place in the context of informal norms and systems.



Nigeria: CSOs Launch Portal to Track Police Abuse

A coalition of 49 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) has launched an online portal to document and track human rights abuses by the police: - Judd-Leonard Okafor, All Africa

UNMIL Officially Hands Over Security to Government of Liberia

On July 1st, the United Nations to Liberia (UNMIL) handed over security to the Government of Liberia. Liberia has now assumed full responsibility for security in the country. - The New Dawn Liberia

Report Says Justice System Facilitates Corruption in Honduras

Corruption cases in Honduras rarely target high-level officials or result in prison sentences, indicating an ineffective and overly bureaucratic system that allows corrupt officials to act with relative impunity, a new report shows. -  Luis Fernando Alonso, Insight Crime

Kenyan police officers detained after killings of lawyer and client

In the context of the latest apparent extrajudicial killing by police forces in Kenya, this article provides useful information on international – including UK and UN – assistance to police and security sector reforms in Kenya. – Jason Burke, The Guardian

Honduras Police Reform Commission Finds More Crimes

The Special Commission for the Purging and Reform of the National Police has found police linked to “networks dedicated to killing, robbery, extortion, to protecting drug traffickers, and to joint action with gangs that have harmed the population.” - Sean Tjaden and Dan Alder, Insight Crime

Ukraine’s new Supreme Court to be shaped by end of 2016

As part of its judicial reform efforts, Ukraine’s President Poroshenko announced that, by the end of 2016, Ukraine’s new Supreme Court will have been set up on a competitive basis. -  Ukraine Today



Is AFRICOM all that bad?

This article summarizes the findings of a new book on US security assistance in Africa. “The US Military in Africa: Enhancing Security and Development? shows that the relationship between U.S. security assistance to the continent and other American foreign policy goals are sometimes poorly coordinated and do not always fit traditional conceptions of the ways that security and development assistance ought to interact.” – Laura Seay, The Washington Post

Corruption in Mexico: The elephant at the North American table

This article provides an excellent overview of the impacts of corruption in Mexico, and the challenges in dealing with this widespread issue. – David Agren, Open Canada

For Colombia’s peace process, disarmament was a sticking point. Here’s why.

Drawing on lessons learned from the Colombian peace process, the author argues that the insistence on rapid and complete disarmament is not always helpful:  “Indeed, it often acts as a brake on negotiations, as it did in Colombia.” The article provides three reasons why disarmament often is a sticking point in conflict negotiations: Disarmament means opposition groups are often left defenseless; Disarmament often isn’t voluntary; Third-party guarantees aren’t always enough. – Jamie Levin, The Monkey Cage Blog – The Washington Post

Better government, not just military force, is lesson of Colombian peace

Taking the recent peace deal in Colombia as a starting point, the author argues for a new approach to US security assistance and security sector reform policies in fragile and conflict-affected countries: “It’s time the U.S. used a new rule of thumb for security sector assistance, paying as much attention to the governance of the country as the technical prowess of the troops we train.” – Rachel Kleinfield, The Hill

US: Don’t Fund Child Soldiers Abroad

On June 30, 2016, the US State Department issued a new list of countries implicated in the use of child soldiers as part of its annual Trafficking in Persons report. The list of 10 countries includes Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. – Human Rights Watch

Transitional Opportunities and Suspicions as UNMIL Draw Down Liberia Security Sector

This article provides an overview of security sector reform programming in the last decade in Liberia and the UN’s role in this context. – Front Page Africa



UNDP Rule of Law Annual Report 2015 | Strengthening the Rule of Law in Crisis-Affected and Fragile Situations

This Annual Report, Eight Years On, marks the end of Phase II (2012 –2015) of the Global Programme and sets the stage for the implementation of Phase III (2016–2019). Part I of the report, Looking Back to Look Ahead, depicts the transformational change brought about by rule of law programming during the first two phases of the Global Programme – a period of eight years. Part II, Serving the UN System, highlights UNDP’s collaboration with other UN entities and details important policy developments that affect rule of law assistance from the perspective of high-level officials across the UN. Part III, 2015 Year in Review, provides a synopsis of the key results achieved by UNDP in 2015 in assisting countries to increase safety and security, deal with the legacy of violence, build confidence through accessible and effective justice and security institutions, and improve the delivery of justice and security for women.

State Strengthening in Afghanistan: Lessons Learned, 2001–14

This new report details the impact of initiatives aimed at strengthening the Afghan state, including on security and justice issues. A key element of this report from a security and justice reform perspective is that “Rule of law strategies were developed in tandem to rather than as part of political and security strategies and were underfunded given the expectations surrounding establishing a justice system and reducing corruption. Moreover, while international assistance provided Afghans access to courts, they tended not to use them given rampant corruption and lack of perceived legitimacy and fairness. However, the subsequent hybrid approach that employed informal, community-based mechanisms as well as formal mechanisms had the unintended consequence of increasing corruption.” - Scott Smith and Colin Cookman, editors, United States Institute of Peace (USIP)

Armed groups in Mali: Beyond the labels

The number of armed groups in Mali has increased steadily since the 2012 crisis, although a large swathe of the northern part of the country still remains beyond the control of the national authorities. The armed groups were established either just ahead of or in reaction to peace talks, and their demands often seem to be based on community or individual interests. This report offers an explanation for the delays in the peace process, particularly before the June 2015 Agreement was reached, and the difficulties encountered in implementing that agreement. - Ibrahim Maïga, Institute for Security Studies (ISS)

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