The Reform of Guinea-Bissau's Security Sector: Between Demand and Practice

This report addresses the issue of security sector reform in the small West African state of Guinea-Bissau. Since gaining independence in the 1970s, Guinea-Bissau has been characterized by political instability, and numerous attempts at implementing security sector reform since 2005 have either failed or not achieved their desired results. Some measures have even had the effect of aggravating the troubled political situation in the country further. This report argues that the concept of security sector reform in its present application is untenable, and that alternative approaches must begin with broad public dialog and better incorporate varying local perspectives in order to create flexible strategies for the reform process.

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