Reinforcing African Union SSR Unit support to national SSR processes (Madagascar)

01/03/2017 - 31/08/2017

Target country


The Defense and Security Division (DSD) of the African Union (AU) requested ISSAT's support to reinforce the assistance of the African Union (AU) to national SSR processes, starting with Madagascar.

ISSAT provided one advisor who supported the AU SSR Unit and the African Union Liaison Office (AULO), in assisting the implementation of the SSR process. The advisor was deployed on a short-term mission to Madagascar, which was reinforced by backstopping from ISSAT's core staff, over the course of the year.

  • The first deployment: 1) provided an assessment of the state of play of the SSR process, and of the AU support to it, reflecting on challenges of coordination; 2) analysed one of the main causes of human insecurity and drivers of conflict in the country, i.e. the Dahalo phenomenon, and its underlying linkages to the SSR process in terms of effectiveness and governance of the security institutions;
  • The focus of subsequent ISSAT support to the AU within this specific mandate built on the findings and recommendations of the first deployment.

Mandating organisation / agency / department / ministry

Target organisation type(s)

Mandate outputs / products

  1. A plan for the conduct of each of the field missions before deployment.
  2. A brief on cattle rustling, drawing on a comparative overview of challenges and responses from elsewhere in the African continent.
  3. Substantive weekly updates on the development of the mission, to be sent to the SRCC with copies to the Head DSD and ISSAT focal point.
  4. End of mission report for the first deployment will include:
    i. assessment of the implementation of the SSR process, including the state of play of the strategic and operational plans, as well as challenges of coordination; ii. analysis of the Dahalo phenomenon and its management, drawing as well on other similar African contexts and solutions;iii. non-binding recommendations on the way forward.  

Outcome objectives of mandate

  • The Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson (SRCC) for Madagascar and the AU Liaison Office in Madagascar are strongly enhanced in their advisory role to the SSR process in Madagascar. They are enabled to provide sound technical assistance according to the AU SSR Policy Framework and international, including African, good practice on security governance.
  • The AU Defense and Security Division (DSD) is reinforced in its SSR advisory capacity, as well as on management and methodology of on-the-ground mission accompaniment. Their capacity for missions' lessons learning is also strengthened.

Start date


End date



Specific Lessons Identified

  • application/pdf

    Cattle Rustling and Insecurity in Africa: A Comparative Perspective

    This ISSAT brief draws on existing literature, and provides an overview of cattle rustling in Madagascar, Lesotho, South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya. A brief contextualisation is provided for each country, before outlining the security measures implemented to tackle the challenge, and deriving recommendations.