Security Sector Transformation in North Africa and the Middle East - Part 1

On May 10, 2012, the USIP Center of Innovation for Security Sector Governance held its third annual conference. For the second year running, the conference focused on the pressing question of security sector reform in North Africa and the Middle East.

Part I:

9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.  Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.  Panel of Representatives from the Region

  • Magda Boutros, Director, Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, Egypt
  • Najla Elmangoush, former member of the National Transitional Council's Public Engagement Unit, Libya
  • Rana Jarhum, Human Rights Activist, Yemen
  • Dr. Murhaf Jouejati, Chairman of the National Consensus Movement and Member of the Syrian National Council, Syria
  • Dr. Radwan Masmoudi, President of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, Tunisia
  • Hesham Sallam, Researcher, Egypt

Security Sector Transformation in North Africa and the Middle East - Part 2

On May 10, 2012, the USIP Center of Innovation for Security Sector Governance held its third annual conference. For the second year running, the conference focused on the pressing question of security sector reform in North Africa and the Middle East. 

Part II:

10:45 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.  Panel of Former U.S. Ambassadors to the Region

  • Ambassador Barbara Bodine, Former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen (1997-2001)
  • Ambassador Rust Deming, Former U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia (2000-2003)
  • Ambassador Deborah Jones, Former U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait (2008-2011)
  • Ambassador Thomas Riley, Former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco (2003-2009)

11:50 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  Closing Remarks


Policy and Research Papers

Réformes dans le monde Arabe: Perspectives pour la démocratie et l'état de droit?

Devant les événements politiques qui secouent actuellement le monde arave, les Pays-Bas s'interrogent sur la façon de soutenir les forces démocratiques dans la région. Par le biais de la motion de MM. Pechtold et Timmermans déposée le 23 mars 2011, la Chambre des représentants a prié le gouvernement de solliciter un avis de l'AIV sur la capacité, notamment financière, des politiques néerlandaise et européenne à appuyer la démocratie de l'état de droit dans les pays arabes et perses. La demande en ce sens adressée à l'AIV le 18 avril 2011 se décline en deux questions.

  • Les instruments dont dispose actuellement l'Union européenne (dialogue dans le cadre des accords d'association, aide, préférences commerciales, prêts de la BEI, PESC, etc.) lui permettent-ils d'appuyer adéquatement la transition du monde arabe vers la démocratie et l'état de droit?
  • Comment les Pays-Bas peuvent-ils utiliser efficacement leurs dispositifs bilatéraux actuels pour soutenir ce processus?

Security Sector Reform in North Africa: Why It's Not Happening

Popular discontent with the repressive nature of security institutions and security forces in North Africa was the precipitating cause of the uprisings that composed the Arab Spring. Across the region the security apparatus was structured to protect regimes from their people. In the aftermath of regime change, it was evident in all countries that reform of the security sector was more than symbolically important. But why has it been so difficult for regional states to reform their security institutions? Why are we still talking about the need to reform the security sectors in these countries? This article answers these questions.

To access the article, click here.


Regional Security through Inclusive Reform in the Maghreb and the Sahel

This new Peace Brief analyzes the challenges of security reform in the region and highlights how community-security partnerships offer one innovative approach to address this key issue. 

Throughout the Maghreb and the Sahel, governments are struggling to manage a security environment fundamentally transformed by the Arab Spring. Within this region, the efforts of governments to secure their territories and civil society organizations to create accountable and transparent security institutions have proceeded almost wholly divorced from each other. This Peace Brief shares key insights from the engagement between official and civil society actors both within and across borders to address these gaps, makes the case for working regionally to address the twin challenges of security and reform, and highlights how community-security partnerships offer one approach to advancing the region’s security and reform agenda.

Full report: Regional Security through Inclusive Reform in the Maghreb and the Sahel


Ammunition controls, the ATT, and Africa: Challenges, Requirements, and Scope for Action

There is no consensus on whether ammunition should be included in the scope of the international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Most states support its inclusion and point towards the negative impact of irresponsible and poorly controlled transfers of ammunition. The insecurity and tremendous human suffering associated with such transfers in the context of armed violence in Africa are a case in point.
 A few states, however, oppose the inclusion of ammunition in the ATT and argue that controlling international ammunition transfers would be unfeasible and highly cost-intensive. This report discusses the challenges of ammunition controls in Africa against the background of the international discussions on the ATT. It demonstrates that concerns regarding ammunition-inclusion in the ATT are unfounded. It also argues that complementary action will be required by African stakeholders and their international partners to strengthen ammunition controls in the region.
 Holger Anders is a consultant on arms control with several years of work experience in sub-Saharan Africa, including as expert monitoring the implementation of a UN arms embargo. He holds post-graduate degrees in peace studies and international relations and has published and presented widely at global and regional levels in Europe and Africa on the scope for action to combat illicit trafficking of arms and ammunition.


Middle East and North Africa - Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index 2013

This Index provides governments and citizens with information on how their defence ministries and armed forces compare to others in tackling defence corruption. It measures the degree of corruption risk and vulnerability in government defence establishments – the defence ministry, the armed forces, and other government institutions in that country (such as auditing institutions) that may influence levels of corruption risk in the sector. It forms a basis for reform for concerned governments, and serves as a tool to identify where to concentrate efforts.

This MENA report joins the overall Index report, available at, as an analytical summary of the detailed



The European Union and Security Sector Reform

The EU has emerged as a key worldwide player in security sector reform in the last few years, reflecting its twin role as the world’s largest source of development assistance and, ever increasingly, a major partner in international peacekeeping and police operations. In this comprehensive new study (February 2008), published in association with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), the authors: 
• explain the origins of SSR as a concept and the EU’s embrace of it, culminating in the adoption of an overall EU framework for SSR in 2006 • show how SSR relates to the EU’s development, enlargement, justice and home affairs and other key policy concerns • look at the multiplicity of resources, financial and human, the EU brings to bear to support SSR around the globe • discuss the tensions between the Commission’s and Council’s concepts and engagement in SSR and the efforts being made to coordinate action • show how the EU works in partnership with other international players such as the OECD and NATO • provide a series of detailed case studies of EU support for SSR in action – in the Balkans, former Soviet Union, Congo, the Middle East and North Africa and Indonesia 


Other Documents

Civilian Influence on Transitional SSR in North Africa (Expert Meeting Report)

On 11 November 2011, a group of country experts, practitioners, policy makers, analysts and security experts assembled at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, to exchange insights and build practical knowledge on the following topic: (How) Can non-state actors and civil society in Tunisia and Egypt address security (reform) in these transition contexts? This summary report is an attempt to share with the general public some salient points that came out of the day’s discussion. The content of this paper is based exclusively on the exchange of opinions and ideas of the individuals present that day.

Other Document