Author: David Law

Farmer-Herder Clashes Amplify Challenge for Beleaguered Nigerian Security

Nigeria’s new president, Muhammadu Buhari, has made the task of finishing off the Boko Haram insurgency an immediate priority for his administration. Yet, while Nigeria’s security apparatus appears fixated on this group, large swaths of the country’s rural areas continue to experience armed clashes between farming communities and ethnic Fulani herdsmen, posing further challenges for already strained forces.

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UN Security Council Targeted Sanctions in South Sudan; for whom and for what?

The targeted sanctions announced by the UN Security Council with respect to the conflict in South Sudan, once again raise major questions regarding the use of targeted sanctions as peacebuilding tools. There is no doubt that accountability is an essential component to sustainable peace in South Sudan but sanctions of this kind applied in the manner they have, are not a useful method of holding account.

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With Elections Looming, will Haiti’s Urban Gangs Re-emerge as Political Actors?

As Haiti enters a turbulent period of electoral politics, the country’s long-standing drivers of conflict take on a particular significance. Gangs have figured prominently in Haiti’s recent political transitions, as national-level political actors have deployed urban gangs to generate violence and unrest as a strategic instrument of political influence. In return, politicians have offered gangs funding and impunity from arrest. The nexus of politics and organized crime is explored in this article.

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DDR, De-radicalization and Countering Violent Extremism

Today DDR is undergoing a significant shift. The advent of interim stabilization measures (ISMs), the inclusion of mercenary groups, and those associated with terrorism and the introduction of countering violent extremism (CVE) permeate this new DDR landscape.

This reading list provides a sound foundation cross-referencing the fundamentals of DDR and the emerging CVE environment. This list provides an instructive policy orientation for these interested in the dynamics of contemporary DDR.

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Violent Non-State Actors and Complementary Governance: What ISIS, Hizballah and FARC Have in Common

In the absence of a strong state, insurgents, traffickers or tribal warlords may provide political and socioeconomic goods through arrangements we characterize as ‘complementary governance.’ When formulating an effective response to this security challenge, policymakers and researchers must account for the complex connections and interactions between multiple non-state governing entities.

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Did PRTs in Afghanistan Decrease Security for Aid Workers?

In an effort to curtail the insurgency in Afghanistan, the US military and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) blended military and humanitarian operations, much to the dismay of many within the nongovernmental organization (NGO) community. One of the major debates surrounding this effort concerns the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) initiative, which several NGOs have faulted for causing “blurred lines” between military and aid activity.

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Security and insecurity in a police state: Security Sector Reform in the occupied Palestinian territories and the law of unintended consequences

As a wave of protests swept through the Arab world in 2010–11, the relative stability of the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) largely escaped international attention. In a marked break with the unrest and massive sustained popular mobilizations of the past, no significant opposition emerged to challenge the status quo in the oPt, even though dissatisfaction with the status quo runs high in the territories.

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Programming Tools: Another Way of Keeping External Control of the SSR Process?

In May 2015 the Geneva-based International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT), published a document entitled “Top 10 Programming Tools for Security Sector Reform”. The work explains the methodology and benefits of their favorite ten tools: PESTLES Analysis, RBM, Stakeholder Analysis, Power/Interest Matrix, Conflict Mapping, the CIS Framework, Effects Estimate, SWOT Analysis, Organization Mapping and Gap Analysis.

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The Security Sector Dimension of Colombia’s Peace Talks

This backgrounder will explore the larger military dimension of the peace process and how it remains a major sticking point towards reaching a final and sustainable peace agreement. The first section will examine the challenges of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of such decentralized guerilla organization. The second section will explore the military fundamental distrust of the peace process and possible explanations for their ongoing resistance to a final agreement.

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Maritime Security in the Indian Ocean: Challenges for Pakistan

Maritime security has become a key issue for policy experts, academics, researchers and various stakeholders. The concept of maritime security can best be defined as the security of sea lines of communication (SLOC), good governance at sea and serene activities for seaborne trade. This article aims at examining crucial aspects of maritime security for Pakistan in the Indian Ocean region by understanding the possible nature of challenges it faces – both internal and external.

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Progress in Small Steps: Security against the Odds in Liberia

This case study report analyzes Liberia’s progress in security since 2003, after 14 years of conflict. It discusses progress achieved in personal security since 2003, analyzes the factors that contributed to this progress, examines remaining challenges, and identifies policy lessons. When compared to other factors that are driving the change in security, security sector reform has been a small but significant factor to improving Liberia’s security environment.

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Burundi crisis: The military’s central role

Recent events in Burundi, including mass protests over the President’s attempt for a third term, a failed coup attempt and a massive refugee flow over the Burundian borders, have triggered fears of a renewed internal conflict and (additional) regional instability.

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Factors behind South Sudan’s Persistent Insecurity

Although the civil war that began in December 2013 is largely a product of a political/military power struggle, the general insecurity in South Sudan stems from numerous, intertwined factors. All of these factors have to be addressed for South Sudan to find long-lasting and sustainable peace. This backgrounder will briefly examine the major factors responsible for insecurity in South Sudan.

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Gender, Security and SSR in Lebanon

This report is part of a series of publications that explore Lebanese citizens’ perceptions of security institutions and threats. This report focuses specifically on the links between gender and security. It examines “the role of gender in Lebanese security perceptions, Lebanese perceptions of security institutions, as well as gender dynamics within security institutions.” This summary will discuss the most important points of the report in these areas.

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Could New Laws to Fight Terrorism Actually Help Fuel It?

Last week in Australia, 230 suspected jihadists were prevented from flying to the Middle East, highlighting a trend among governments to implement tough new counterterrorism laws. While these laws have a purported purpose of improving national security, there is a risk that punitive measures that widen police and intelligence powers could among other things, prove counterproductive to fighting terrorism by increasing the marginalization of communities.

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Insider Attacks – A Persisting Afghan Threat and Lessons for the Future

As Western forces pull-out of Afghanistan and hand over combat and security responsibility to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), a large proportion of the remaining personnel will be working closely with members of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Without the benefit of protection measures, such as armed guards and escorts, ISAF members are vulnerable to “insider attacks” from ANSF members.

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