Month: November 2012

Côte d’Ivoire: Entrenching a Culture of Impunity in the Absence of SSR

The security situation in Côte d’Ivoire is a unique case that demonstrates the consequences of unsuccessful disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR) processes. Following election violence in 2010, Côte d’Ivoire has missed its latest opportunity to initiate a comprehensive reform program for its security forces. At this point, the security of Côte d’Ivoire is at a critical juncture.

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Primacy of Puntland

About a week ago, the Reuters news agency reported on the movement of al-Shabaab militants from the south of the country to the semi-autonomous region of Puntland in the north. Given that embattled Shabaab fighters have been fleeing the onslaught of troops in the south, the timing of the article probably had more to do with a visit by the EU Special Envoy to Puntland’s capital of Garowe than any spike in the trend.

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Situation Report: Liberia and the AFL

Following years of human rights violations and large scale losses of life, when the second Liberian civil-war ended in 2003 under the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Liberia began an extensive security sector reform process. Perhaps the most dramatic changes have occurred within the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL). Liberia is the only country in the world to have completely dissolved its national military following such a conflict.

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The danger of “Winner-takes-all” politics

“Winner-takes-all” situations are a serious concern for security as they are one of the defining points between peace and violence. These zero-sum situations are among the tensest situations between political groups. I identify three factors critical in causing and reinforcing WTA: ideology and political leaders; political institutions; and the positive feedback effect of WTA.

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