Month: June 2014

Child Soldiers and Security Sector Reform: A Sierra Leonean Case Study

During its brutal 11-year civil war, Sierra Leone was home to some 10,000 child soldiers. Although the country enacted strict legislation prohibiting the army from recruiting or using child soldiers, there is still a significant risk of returning to such practices in the future. With the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative – a global partnership whose mission is to eradicate the recruitment and use of child soldiers worldwide – there may be some hope.

Read More

Making DDR a Post-Election Priority in Colombia

President Santos’ victory in Colombia’s 2014 presidential election has guaranteed the continuation of the ongoing peace process between his government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). If a peace agreement is signed, then the number of FARC entering into the current reintegration framework is set to rise considerably; a new DDR process geared towards the collective demobilization of the group will likely ensue.

Read More

Djibouti: Al-Shabaab’s Latest Front

On 24 May, Al-Shabaab carried out their first attack in Djibouti, though the tiny African country has long been a natural target. The Ethiopian security forces have so far been adept at detecting al-Shabaab plots. But the group’s ability to carry out an attack in a place like Djibouti – an isolated country of less than a million with a strong Western military presence – will make their job all the more difficult.

Read More

Dysfunctional Power-Sharing and the Security Sector in Bosnia

Although power-sharing structures may seem virtuous in theory, in practice, they can become plagued by dysfunction and deadlock if groups feel unfairly represented, lack genuine political will to cooperate, or remain fixated on lingering hostilities from the conflict. Bosnia’s government structure, is an example of such a dysfunctional power-sharing arrangement, as evidenced by the ‘Bosnian Spring’ protests of February 2014.

Read More

Kosovo’s Home-Grown SSR: The Strategic Security Sector Review – Part One

In April 2012, the Kosovo government announced a new security sector reform (SSR) programme – the Strategic Security Sector Review (SSSR), updating the international community’s Internal Security Sector Review that was completed in parallel with the UN Final Status Talks on Kosovo’s independence in 2006. In the first part of this two-part series, the author discusses the structure and methodology used by the SSSR.

Read More

Indonesia’s Presidential Elections in 2014: The Question of Military Professionalism

Indonesia’s outgoing President Susilo B. Yudhoyono recently reprimanded the role and position of the army/police with regards to the political issue of military professionalism and the need for the army and national police to remain neutral in politics. The critical question of how far have military reforms improved Indonesia’s military professionalism, is explored in this article.

Read More

The Perils of Euphemism: ‘Reform’ in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In Nov. 2012, Congolese soldiers went on a rampage in the town of Minova, raping over 100 women and 33 girls. After 39 army personnel went on trial for charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes, only two were found guilty of rape, and one of murder. Some were found guilty of lesser charges. The rest were acquitted. This incident highlights the fundamental challenges to SSR in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Read More

The “Unfinished Business” of Bosnian Police Reform

Police reform in a post-conflict context is rarely a short-term task, as the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina reminds us all too well. Recent protests in some of Bosnia’s major cities show that Bosnia’s police institutions are still unprepared and all too willing to use excessive force. Police reform was always considered a crucial component of Bosnia’s post-1995 security sector reforms. In this article, Bosnia’s police reforms are examined and assessed.

Read More

Appraising the 2006 Kosovo Internal Security Sector Review – Part One

What follows is a description of the 2006 Kosovo Internal Security Sector Review (ISSR) and how the ISSR attempted to advance local ownership by including both the leadership and population of Kosovo in the project approach. Part One of this two-part series provides an overview of the ISSR’s context and structure, while Part Two will delve into how the process unfolded.

Read More

New Criminal Justice Codes: The Impact in Latin America and Eastern Europe

In both Latin America and Eastern Europe, Criminal Justice reforms introduced parallel measures to enhance judicial independence and give sector institutions greater control over operations and personnel. However, even after 10 to 20 years, the impact of such reforms are difficult to measure. This article explores some of the problems with measuring the effectiveness of criminal justice reforms and how they can be remedied.

Read More

Addressing the Solution Resistant Islamic Insurgency in Nigeria

The abduction of more than 200 school girls in northeastern Nigeria is a clear indication of how the country lacks the critical ability to ensure the proper security of its citizens. Without a doubt, the problem of the Islamic insurgency in Nigeria resists easy solutions. In this article, the author outlines how poorly the Nigerian government has so far managed the current security challenge of the Islamic insurgency.

Read More