Author: Tereza Steinhüblova

Community Security in Kenya’s Frontiers

Saferworld’s new report, “Matching needs with resources: National Police Reserve and community security in Kenya’s frontiers,” provides a useful overview of the significance of local security provision in fragile and conflict-affected countries while highlighting key challenges to effective security governance. This report provides lessons learned and good practices that are not only useful for Kenya, but can be used to design and implement better local security and justice initiatives elsewhere.

Read More

Theorizing corruption in the Afghan judicial sector

The purpose of this blog is to identify and analyze the dynamics of corruption at its systemic roots that has led to forms of state capture, low pay resulting in petty forms of corruption and issues with training within the Afghan judicial sector. The paper relies on 70 semi-structured interviews conducted predominantly in Kabul with judicial reform and human rights organizations, rights-based and gender empowerment non-governmental organizations and civil society watchdogs.

Read More

New SSR Resource – Defence Resource Management Course

A one-week Defence Resource Management Course funded by the Directorate of Military Training and Cooperation (Canada’s Department of National Defence) was developed for the Ukraine National Defence University in Kiev. First taught in February 2015 by an experienced team of senior Canadian military officers, and again in November, the course is organized around four inter-related themes illustrating the integrated and corporate nature of defence management at the strategic level.

Read More

Backgrounder – Security sector reform, professionalization and the shift to external defense in the Philippines

After decades of preoccupation with internal stability, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is shifting its focus to external defense as a response to the developing situation in the South Chine Sea. This backgrounder offers a brief history of professionalization in the Philippines and discusses its importance in the AFP’s shift to external defense.

Read More

Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration: Does ownership actually matter?

The outcomes of programs for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) are affected by the way in which they are implemented. More participatory approaches, where ex-combatants feel they have had more say and greater ownership, lead to better results. This is important for how DDR can contribute to the wider peace process and to peacebuilding itself. Establishing trust during DDR is significant for political reconstruction.

Read More

Backgrounder – Security Sector Reform in Kazakhstan

With the notable exception of Afghanistan, the region of Central Asia has historically been underrepresented by the security sector reform (SSR) field. The record of SSR in Central Asia shows that reforms in limited parliamentary democracies face a different set of challenges and opportunities than SSR programs in fragile and conflict-affected states. The experiences of restrained reform in the region are nonetheless instructive.

Read More

Developing Capacity through Ukraine’s Building Integrity Training and Educational Centre

The National Defence University of Ukraine (NDU) is contributing to change in defence within Ukraine. One noteworthy initiative is the Building Integrity Training and Education Centre (BITEC) established within the structure of the university in September 2014. BITEC personnel receive training outside Ukraine through Transparency International and in coordination with national Western military organizations, as well as NATO.

Read More

Ukraine’s Updated Security Sector Laws: What promise do these laws hold?

Multiple potholes dot Ukraine’s road to a more accountable and liberal political regime: its 12% decline in GDP this year; the military stalemate in the east and the de facto loss of Crimea; and, of course, entrenched political malaise and corruption. It is within this challenging environment that crucial political and security reforms are taking place, which rely to a large degree on internal reformers and external assistance.

Read More

Who’s afraid of plural security? New research on security provision beyond the state

Security in fragile and conflict-affected contexts is provided by a multitude of actors, with varying relationships to the state (plural security provision). An October 2015 knowledge event offered academics, practitioners and policymakers a platform to present and dialogue around empirical cases of plural security provision at city level, focusing on how state and international development actors can engage with plural actors in ways that contribute to strengthening citizen security.

Read More

The Afghan National Police: A study on corruption and clientelism

This blog identifies the underlying conditions of the Afghan state from the outset of the late 2001 Bonn political arrangement that has resulted in deep-rooted corrupt clientelistic networks within the Afghan government. This has trickled to the majority of the ministries including the Interior Ministry. Corruption is systemic and hard to combat despite police reform. This is due to the nature of four interrelated explanations of corruption that are subsequently covered.

Read More

Targeted UN Sanctions in South Sudan a Threat to Peace

By voicing concern, Russia and Angola delayed a further round of targeted sanctions against South Sudanese leaders proposed by the UN Security Council. Many have explained this action as part of the growing geopolitical competition between Russia and the West. And while such may be the case, the timing of these sanctions is dangerous for peace and has an inherently problematic dynamic.

Read More

Cameroon’s double-edged sword: Civil-military relations and the development of a new social contract

The fight against Boko-Haram, is transforming the identity of Cameroon’s army as well as the way it is perceived by its citizens. Cameroonians are mobilizing like never before around their army. The transformation is giving rise to an emerging ‘social contract’, with likely profound impact for security and the exercise of legitimate civilian control by the executive over the military.

Read More

Patrolling Luhansk – The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine

Paul Biddle served as a UK secondee to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, Luhansk (Lugansk) field office from April 2014-March 2015. He was over various times security, military and police focal point, operations officer, patrol leader and patrol hub leader. In this blog post, he shares his analysis and experience of the situation in Ukraine.

Read More

Police Reform in Kenya: Challenges and opportunities

In this contribution, Annie Mageka analyzes the police reform process in Kenya and discusses recommendations to improve the state of policing in Kenya with local stakeholders. This article provide an excellent summary of over a decade of police reform in Kenya, it also provides on-the-ground reporting, empirical evidence and key insights on the future of the Kenya Police.

Read More

The business of (dis)organised crime in South Africa

The concept of organised crime often evokes images of mafia-like figures and secret societies involved in acts like drug trafficking and murder. In reality, however, the organised criminal economy is mostly sustained by unsophisticated and ad hoc criminal networks, along with corrupt relationships. Sophisticated and structured criminal groups do exist, but these are not the only form of organised criminality.

Read More

The domestic consequences of SSR: Real-world effects beyond external perspectives

Local ownership has always been central to the theory of security sector reform (SSR) in post-conflict contexts – practically every policy concept in circulation among bilateral donors or multilateral institutions makes local ownership of the reform agenda a sine qua non for external support to SSR. But these calls for local ownership echo hollow against the underwhelming results and unintended consequences of external support to SSR across a growing universe of cases.

Read More

The Unity State Factor and the South Sudan Peace Agreement

On August 26th, President Salva Kiir of South Sudan reluctantly signed a peace deal that would end nearly 20 months of fighting between government troops and rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – in-opposition (SPLM-IO). Nine days earlier on August 17th, at a ceremony in Ethiopia, Kiir had refused to sign the agreement, although Riek Machar, head of the SPLM-IO and other political entities signed the deal.

Read More

A sub-national approach to statebuilding and security: the role of municipal institutions in Colombia’s DDR process

The Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) process in Colombia was built nationally, but it was consolidated at the sub-national level. The Mayoral Offices of Bogota and Medellin developed programmes for the reintegration of ex-combatants that played a crucial role in both sustaining and contesting the national policy of reintegration. Analyzing these policies contributes to the understanding of the role that municipal authorities play in underpinning and redefining the DDR national policies.

Read More

Four Weaknesses of South Sudan’s Military Integration Process

Since the fracturing of the South Sudanese military in December 2013, South Sudan has been embroiled in civil war. As ongoing peace negotiations are likely to contain transitional security arrangements that would contain provisions to integrate non-statutory armed forces into the South Sudanese military, it is important to understand what factors previously compromised the implementation of military integration prior to 2013. This article explores four of these factors.

Read More

Urban Gangs Make Comeback as Political Goons in Haiti

It is commonly perceived that the motivation of Haiti’s urban gangs has changed from political to criminal – falsely so as my research has found. Rather, the function gangs fulfill for their sponsors is constantly shifting between political and criminal, as evidenced by the current re-emergence of political violence ahead of elections later this year.

Read More

The Thin Blue Line and The Impact of Terrorism on the Transformation of Law Enforcement

Law enforcement in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada has seen a substantial transformation over the past half century, primarily due to its inextricable ties to legislation. Were the events of 9/11 responsible for the transformation of law enforcement and a watershed of legislation in the subject nations? Originally published as a dissertation, the author’s research explores this notion and whether this transformation had been occurring, somewhat inconspicuously, for several decades.

Read More

Al-Shabaab Beyond Somalia

On the 10th of July, two separate hotels were attacked in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, which resulted in the death of 5 people. This latest attack was organized and carried out by Al-Shabaab, a militant group which is closely linked to Al-Qaeda. In order to conceptualize the political implications of al-Shabaab’s militant activities, this new backgrounder analyzes the origins of the group and the gradual expansion of its violent enterprise into neighboring states.

Read More