Erica Marat

Policy and Research Papers

Security Sector Reform in Central Asia

This report intends to show the latest developments in security sector reform (SSR) legislation in four Central Asian states. Kazakhstan’s open sources offer the most comprehensive overview of the latest legislation adopted between 2005 and 2011. Kyrgyzstan’s resources are accessible as well, but following the violent regime change in April and the ethnic violence in June 2010, the Parliament and government have started revising many of the laws related to the Interior Ministry and Judicial sector. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have only few pieces of legislation available to the public. The report does not analyse whether changes in the law translated into more democratic and more open control over the military.

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Security Sector Reform in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan: what Role for Europe?

The security sectors of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are to different extents corrupt, lack democratic control and can even be a threat to the population. They differ in terms of both size and quality, as well as with respect to their willingness to reform. Security Sector Reform (SSR) based on democratic principles is urgently needed but not always welcome. The Western concept of SSR is not very well-known in Central Asia. States are mainly interested in military training and equipment, and less so in long-term measures to democratise and strengthen their security agencies and institutions. European actors hesitantly support Security Sector Reform in Central Asia. Is Europe on track? Should it do more, or less?

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