Institute for Security Studies (ISS)

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) is a pan-African applied policy research institute headquartered in Pretoria, South Africa with offices in Cape Town, South Africa, Nairobi, Kenya,  Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Dakar, Senegal. The ISS is an established think tank working in the area of African human security. It seeks to mainstream human security perspectives into public policy processes and to influence decision makers within Africa and beyond. The objective of the Institute is to add critical balance and objectivity by providing timely, empirical research and contextual analysis of relevant human security issues to policy makers, area specialists, advocacy groups, and the media.

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View on Africa: what is the AU doing to address persistent conflicts?

Despite many efforts to restore peace, conflicts in Burundi, CAR, Libya and Mali continue. To learn more about the Institute for Security Studies' research on the impact of the African Union (AU) on African peacebuilding, kindly follow the link. 


Policy and Research Papers

Governing & Managing the Defence Sector

This book is about understanding, managing and, as necessary, reforming the defence sector. It does not, however, treat the defence sector in isolation, but as part of government and the security sector, as a grouping of assets that can be employed in support of overall national policy. Nor does it equate the defence sector with the military alone.


Deconstructing local ownership of security sector reform: A review of the literature

This document offers a comprehensive introduction to the field of local ownership in security sector reform. It was published in the African Security Review Vol.17(2). (pp.1-12). 

The document is available through the following link: 


Limits to Supporting Security Sector Interventions in the DRC

Since 2003, the international community has invested considerable resources in keeping the peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Many interventions were focused on supporting security sector reform (SSR) and on the stabilisation of the volatile ‘militia belt’ in the eastern DRC, but these only achieved limited impact and the security context remains volatile. To explain why international efforts did not bring about the expected changes, the authors examine issues such as the peculiar relationship between the armed forces and local communities, and the neopatrimonial incentives of the Congolese elite. A largely technical approach that ignored the bigger political picture underscores the failure to fundamentally change the DRC’s security context. The defeat of the M23 rebellion in 2013 was a rare success, but it now threatens to take away the necessary pressure for meaningful reform.


Strengthening Prosecutorial Accountability in South Africa

As gatekeepers to the criminal justice system, prosecutors are its most powerful officials. Prosecutors’ considerable discretion – about whom to charge and for which crimes – affects the lives and fate of thousands of criminal suspects, and the safety and security of all citizens.

Yet, in South Africa, no dedicated oversight and accountability mechanism scrutinises the activities of the country’s prosecutors. Constructive oversight can assist the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to enhance both its performance and public confidence in its work.

The paper reviews a number of prosecutorial accountability mechanisms drawing on real-world examples. These mechanisms are assessed and their applicability to the South African context is critically explored.


SADC 2014 - 2015: Are South Africa and Zimbabwe shaping the organisation?

This policy brief discusses the chairing of the Southern African development Community (SADC) and its key institutions by South Africa and Zimbabwe, for the duration of their tenure from 2014 to 2015. It highlights the constraints and opportunities of their agenda-setting functions, considers change or continuity in the SADC institution and makes some recommendations on how both countries can shape SADC’s policy responsibilities.

It is argued that the relationships between domestic context, foreign policy organisational structure, leadership and political agency will determine Zimbabwe and South Africa’s performance in SADC in the coming year.

Read the Policy Brief


Omar al-Bashir at the AU summit: The fragility of security without justice

This article published by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) discusses the failure to arrest Omar al-Bashir at last week’s AU summit. The decision by the South African government to allow him to attend was in defiance of South Africa's obligations under the Rome Statute and a court order preventing his departure from the country on 15 June. According to the author, this shows that the International Criminal Court is struggling to maintain its legitimacy in Africa.

Read the article here.


Why the African Union needs to get policing right

The author of this article examines developments towards the inclusion of police reforms in peace support operations. She argues that getting policing right is at the heart of peace support operations, and therefore the African Union should sufficiently staff the policing department. In this light, the Police Strategic Support Group is a key actor, due to its role in promoting police, civilian and military cooperation.

Read this analysis here.


Violent Islamist extremism and terror in Africa

This paper presents an overview of large-scale violence by Islamist extremists in key African countries. It seeks to provide an overview of the evolution of the associated terrorism through quantitative and contextual analysis using various large datasets. 

The focus is on the development and links among countries experiencing the worst of this phenomenon, especially Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Mali, Nigeria and Somalia, as well as the impact of events in the Middle East on these African countries.

This paper on Violent Islamist extremism and terror in Africa is available to download now.


Conflict trends in Africa: a turn for the better in 2015?

This paper published by the Institute for Security Studies begins by looking at how fatality rates reached an all-time high in 2014 in Africa and explores the reasons for this. It then gives an overview of the political highlights of 2015 and explains how the continent is moving forward despite the continued conflicts in particular countries. It argues that although Africa has witnessed very deadly years recently, conflict has been continuously in a hand-full of countries and the rest of the continent is seeing improvements, as well as growth and higher standards of living.

For the full article about Conflict trends in Africa: a turn for the better in 2015?, kindly follow the link.


Fighting behind the frontlines: Army wives in the eastern DRC

The wives of soldiers of the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC, Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) may not be very visible, but they are an integral part of the military. They live with soldiers, and often their children, in and around military camps and deployment sites – including in the most insecure zones. The military, however, defines them as civilians and does not provide them with any benefits packages, nor does it invest much in facilities like health care centres. Together with soldiers’ low and irregular pay, this causes army wives to struggle to make a living.

For the full report by the Institute for Security Studies on Fighting behind the frontlines: Army wives in the eastern DRC, kindly follow the link.


Military policing of Parliament: what does SA law say?

Shortly before his annual State of the Nation address earlier this month, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma announced that he had authorised the ‘employment’ of 441 members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) ‘for service in cooperation with the SA Police Service (SAPS) to maintain law and order  during the opening of Parliament’. The decision caused widespread concern – and was severely attacked by opposition parties. The Democtratic Alliance (DA) accused Zuma of attempting to shield himself from criticism, while the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) described the move as a ‘declaration of war’ on citizens – and urged the soldiers to disobey Zuma’s orders. While the president’s statement made the deployment of the military with police sound almost matter of fact, in reality this is not the case.

To access the full paper Military policing of Parliament: what does SA law say?, kindly click on the link.


Completing the demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration process of armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the link to security s...

An ISS analysis on the difficulties and challenges in implementing DDR and SSR processes in the DRC.


The Security Sector in Southern Africa

The Security Sector Governance (SSG) Programme of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) conducted baseline studies of the security sector in six Southern African countries, namely Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, as well as the Southern African Development Community’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security (SADC Organ). The results of this research are reflected in this monograph.


Understanding Africa’s contemporary conflicts Origins, challenges and peacebuilding

How then do war-torn communities with reduced capacity set about their reconstruction and arrive at a situation of peace? In answering this question, this monograph is structured in three parts. The first part, consisting of two chapters, examines changing methodologies through which we can more accurately analyse and map violent conflict, its causes and effects. Th e second then consider conflict resolution and peacebuilding and the key challenges and obstacles, while the final part documents success stories in the reconstruction of sub-Saharan Africa through looking at various theoretical and contextual examples.


Zimbabwe: Political and Security Challenges to the Transition

This briefing focuses on political party and security issues, as well as South Africa’s mediation. Subsequent reporting will analyse other topics vital to the transition, including
constitutional and legal reform, justice and reconciliation, sanctions policies and security sector reform.


Rapport sur le Conseil de paix et de sécurité 91

L'auteur, expert au sein de l'équipe de l'Institut d'études de sécurité, met en lumière les défis auxquels les gouvernements africains font face en matière de sécurité maritime. Le Conseil de paix et de sécurité (CPS) a renouvelé le mandat de sa force chargée de combattre l'armée de résistance du Seigneur, malgré le retrait de l'Ouganda et des États-Unis. Le rapport se penche également sur la reddition de comptes d'anciens chefs d'État responsables d'atrocités et sur l'action de l'UA dans le domaine du maintien de la paix.

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Rapport sur le Conseil de paix et de sécurité 90

Ce rapport de l'Institut des Etudes de Sécurité revient sur la 90e session du Conseil de Paix et de Sécurité de l'Union Africaine. Il évoque notamment la pérennisation de la menace terroriste dans au Mali et en Somalie, les avancées des forces progouvernementales au Darfour l'escalade des tensions entre le Royaume du Maroc et l'Union Africaine sur la question du Sahara Occidental. Sur le plan de la RSS, la dernière partie se penche sur Charte africaine de la démocratie, des élections et de la gouvernance dix ans après sa signature, et étudie plusieurs pistes pour consacrer sa mise en place. 

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La Force mixte peut-elle maintenir le cap ?

Cet article se penche sur les premiers pas de la force militaire mixte déployée au Cameroun et au Nigéria, afin d'en évaluer les succès, mais également de cerner les limites liées à certaines lacunes rencontrées en matière de coordination et de commandement.

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Envisioning European defence – Five futures

EU defence 5

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) published this Chaillot Paper outlining five possible future scenarios for European defence. The aim of this paper is to develop plausible and coherent descriptions of what European defence might look like a decade or two from now in order to point out the choices and decisions that need to be made today.

A key assumption underpinning these hypotheses is that the future of European defence will be of Europeans’ own making rather than the outcome of external pressures and events. Moreover, the publication highlights the fact that, whatever the future evolution of European defence policy, defence cooperation — which could take shape in many different ways — is essential if Europe is to be a global security actor in its own right.

To access the ISS Chaillot Paper on Envisioning European defence – Five futures, please kindly follow the link.


Stock Theft and Human Security A Case Study of Lesotho

Stock theft has become a national crisis in Lesotho. According to the National Livestock Development Study Phase 1 report of March 1999, stock theft has reached epidemic proportions throughout Lesotho and appears to be escalating. Stock theft presents a challenge to the consolidation of the fragile democracy in the Kingdom of Lesotho as it impoverishes people and causes conflicts within and between villages that in turn threaten stability. In cases of theft the livestock owner loses all the economic value of livestock and is left destitute. This affects the entire household, the community, and the country. The rationale of this study is to inform policymakers and implementers on appropriate strategies to manage stock theft. The outcome will be useful in designing mechanisms and systems for stock theft interventions and in monitoring and evaluating them. These interventions will be at community level, in the justice and policing services and in management.

For full access to Stock Theft and Human Security A Case Study of Lesotho, kindly follow the link. 


Cattle Rustling a Dirty Business

Cattle rustling in Eastern Africa appear to have become a truly murky business. One can say this of the politics, the money involved, the casualties and in many instances the attempted interventions. One may wonder: but haven't we heard all this before? Why the apparent impotence of a seemingly sophisticated modern age that is contemplating space-tourism yet cannot find a lasting solution to a problem that should belong to a past era? The study points to 'emerging political complexes' that fan cattle rustling and undermine any efforts at ending the menace. The political complexes are intertwined by an economic agenda not only of the actual perpetrators - raiders - but in all manner of subtle ways. All the stakeholders, be they in government, civil society, development agencies, community leaders, and, interestingly, researchers who are engaged and purport to be looking for solutions to the problem, are involved.The study adopts the terms 'conflict entrepreneurs', 'conflict exploiters' and 'conflict dependants' to categorize the stakeholders benefitting from cattle rustling. 

For full access to Cattle Rustling a Dirty Business, kindly follow the link. 


Planning for Peace: Lessons from Mozambique's Peacebuilding Process

In the more than two decades since Mozambique’s civil war ended and its first multiparty elections were held, the country still faces persistent social, political, economical and developmental challenges. What have been some of the main drivers and threats to Mozambique’s peace? This paper examines the plans and processes that have been developed in the pursuit of national stability. It also highlights current and future challenges for continued consolidation of peace. By exploring key plans to address demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration, economic and social development, decentralisation, justice, and natural resource investment, this paper puts forward seven key findings with implications for peacebuilding in Mozambique and for the field as a whole.

For full access to Planning for Peace: Lessons from Mozambique'sPpeacebuilding Process, kindly follow the link.


Au-delà de la propagande : Analyse des messages publics de Boko Haram

Ce rapport procède à un examen des déclarations publiques de Boko Haram depuis sa résurgence en 2010 jusqu’à sa scission en deux factions principales en août 2016. La diffusion de messages représente un aspect important des efforts de sensibilisation de l’opinion publique menés par l’organisation extrémiste violente communément appelée « Boko Haram ». Alors qu’une attention significative est accordée aux violentes attaques perpétrées par le groupe, peu d’intérêt a été porté jusqu’ici sur le contenu de ses messages. En examinant l’historique des déclarations publiques de ce groupe qui cultive l’opacité, d’importantes informations peuvent être recueillies sur ses processus opérationnels et ses perspectives stratégiques.

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Les leçons de l’échec de la révision constitutionnelle au Mali

Le président malien, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, a finalement décidé, le 18 août dernier, de surseoir à l’organisation d’un référendum sur la révision de la Constitution. Cette décision a été prise sous la pression d’une partie de la classe politique et de la société civile, réunies au sein de la Plateforme « Antè Abanna », qui signifie « On ne veut pas, c’est tout » en langue nationale Bambara. Mais sans soutien populaire, la mise en œuvre de l'accord pour la paix ainsi que les réformes au Mali n’auront pas d’effets stabilisateurs.

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African Futures: Key Trends to 2035

Africa is undergoing several major transitions, including demographic, economic, technological, urban and socio-political. These transitions are all connected, and together they will shape the future of the continent. Looking to the future, Africa’s overall story reveals a positive trend. Yet this trend is neither stable nor even. ISS Africa finds that things are getting better in some places, but not everywhere, and not for everybody.

For full access to African Futures: Key Trends to 2035, kindly follow the link.


African Futures: Key Trends

This report from the Institute for Security Studies explores Africa’s main transitions and what they mean for continental growth, human development and stability.Africa is undergoing several major transitions, including demographic, economic, technological, urban and socio-political. These transitions are all connected, and together they will shape the future of the continent. Looking to the future, Africa’s overall story reveals a positive trend. Yet this trend is neither stable nor even. Things are getting better in some places, but not everywhere, not for everybody. The objective of this report is to frame the future of Africa in a way that does justice to the complexity of the continent and yet communicates common trends and challenges in a succinct manner.For full access to African Futures: Key Trends, please follow the link. 


Cameroon’s forceful repatriation of Nigerian refugees

Since Boko Haram launched its violent campaign in 2009, its reign of terror has spread well beyond Nigeria. It has asserted itself as a regional threat through a growing number of attacks and displaced people throughout the Lake Chad Basin (which comprises parts of Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria). Boko Haram’s incursion into Cameroon has called for the country to respond; however, Cameroon’s practice of forcefully deporting Nigerian refugees raises concerns. There are inherent dangers in continuing this practice.

For full access to Cameroon’s forceful repatriation of Nigerian refugees, please follow the link. 


Human Smuggling and Libya’s Political End Game

Migrant boat crossings in the Mediterranean usually peak around July and August but the number of boats dropped dramatically in 2017. This comes largely as a result of a migration-focused unilateral intervention by Italy, which needed to show results to a frustrated electorate that has borne a lot of Europe’s migrant burden.

Italy needed to make tangible progress or risk a populist right-wing upheaval. Returning asylum seekers directly to Libya was not an option after it was declared unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights in 2012. The task was passed on to Libyan partners instead.

The February 2017 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Italy and Libya’s UN-sanctioned Government of National Accord (GNA) was an important turning point. Rome pledged training, equipment and investment to help the Tripoli government improve border security and combat the smuggling of people. It engaged local government in smuggling hubs, promising investment in return for help with migration control.

For full access to the article, Human Smuggling and Libya’s Political End Game, kindly follow the link. 


Time for Africa to take concrete action in the DRC

The fight between the Congolese government and the political opposition over who is right and wrong continues to drive the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) electoral crisis, now entering its third year. This has been an important aspect of the battle to win the support of international, regional and continental forces – and has contributed to drawing the crisis out.

For full access to Time for Africa to take concrete action in the DRC, please follow the link. 


Liberia now needs more attention, not less

Despite peaceful elections and the withdrawal of peacekeepers, Liberia’s long terms future is still precarious. This article highlights the need of a sustained focus and political will by the UN member states as well as innovative ways to work in partnerships to sustain peace in Liberia.

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Do global actors have what it takes to help Burundi?

Since Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza announced that he would run for a third term in early 2015, political instability across the country has tested the limits of global conflict prevention responses. This instability has included a failed coup d’état, violent clashes between government and opposition forces, increasing suppression of the media and civil society, as well as targeted assassinations.This article highlights Burundi’s ongoing political instability highlights the stark divide between global conflict prevention rhetoric and practice.

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Talks remain ineffective as Burundi’s crisis continues

The East African Community (EAC) has been in talks over the Burundian crisis for three years. This article questions whether this process can ultimately be effective. 

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What exactly are foreign troops protecting in the Sahel?

Officially they are there to fight terror, but external interventions may be more about self-interest.

Foreign military footprints, especially those of the United States (US) and France, are expanding in West Africa, particularly in the Sahel. This presence is receiving increasingly hostile public criticism. It is often considered invasive, and at times ill-adapted and ineffective against growing insecurity, and even counterproductive.

For full access to the article, What exactly are foreign troops protecting in the Sahel?, please follow the link. 


Africa's violent trade in cattle, guns and bullets

This article from the Institute of Security Studies outlines the development of cattle rustling in East Africa as well as the measures taken thus far to address the problem. It argues that a regional response is required in order to tackle such an organised and transnational crime.

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Sustaining peace in practice: Liberia and Sierra Leone

This policy brief explores how the UN can ensure successful transitions and what sustaining peace means in practice. Liberia and Sierra Leone are undergoing important transitions. The countries provide important case studies on how the United Nations (UN) can ensure successful transitions, not only from peacekeeping to peacebuilding but also from conflict to building a sustainable peace. With the current UN focus on conflict prevention for sustaining peace, this policy brief provides practical recommendations on what this means in practice. The analysis is derived from field research carried out from 15–24 November 2017 in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

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The AU and the Constitutional Review Process in Burundi

Burundi is set to hold a referendum on a constitutional amendment in May 2018. This could enable President Pierre Nkurunziza to stay in power beyond 2020 and weaken the representation of minority groups. This paper analysis how the lack of broader consultation on the overall amendment process further threatens the Arusha peace deal that ended the 1993–2005 Burundian civil war.

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The Power of Parenting: How Family Bonds Can Prevent Violence

This article looks at the successful implementation of Parenting for Lifelong Health initiative programmes in Touwsranten in South Africa. The programmes were developed by the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and a number of universities in South Africa and the United Kingdom. 

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Zimbabwe's reforms: An exercise in credibility - or pretence?

Zimbabwe is again facing major political and economic challenges. Prospects for recovery under the leadership of 92-year-old Robert Mugabe and his chief lieutenants in the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front are looking increasingly bleak. The government has publically committed itself to a reform process that is intended to help reconnect to international channels of credit and investment and an underlying confidence in the country’s potential to bounce back remains. The international community supports these endeavours, but convictions are being tested as headway is stymied by a combination of internal and external exigencies that have exposed the limitations of a political leadership desperate to maintain its hegemony, but clearly running out of options.

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Partnering for Sustainable Peace in Liberia

This paper first analyzes Liberia’s national frameworks relevant to peace building and then examines the engagements of multiple peace building actors in Liberia, with a particular focus on the roles of African regional, sub regional and bilateral organisations. It also unpacks principles as to why they may hold an advantage in certain peace building activities. Finally, the paper explores how the Peace Building Commission can develop context-specific solutions to Liberia’s peace building priority areas, making use of partnerships.

For full access to the paper, Partnering for Sustainable Peace in Liberia, please kindly follow the link. 


Back to the Future: Legitimising Zimbabwe’s 2018 Elections

Zimbabwe’s next elections are due no later than August 2018 and there has been renewed interest in explaining the remarkable landslide victory of President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party in 2013. Several sources attribute the outcome to the party’s ‘expanded social base’, citing the results of opinion polls conducted in 2013. This report analyses that claim. It suggests an alternative explanation for the extent of ZANU-PF’s 2013 win, and considers the implications for the impending polls.

For full access to the article Back to the Future: Legitimising Zimbabwe’s 2018 Elections, please kindly follow the link. 


Mali’s myriad armed groups prevent stability

Mali is experiencing a rise in violence, and little is happening in the way of peaceful resolutions. The disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) process remains vital, especially for those living in the north. There are political and security challenges to conducting DDR in Mali, but it must be a priority for peace to come about.

DDR is included in the 2013 Preliminary Agreement to the Presidential Election and Inclusive Peace Talks, and the 2015 Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali from the Algiers process. But few major advances have been made to implement the 2015 agreement.

In Mali, the DDR process is a result of successive peace agreements, and includes combatants of armed groups, violent extremist groups and self-defence movements – provided they renounce the use of violence. This approach shows the complexity presented by the presence of several armed movements that have not signed the peace agreements.

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Protection des témoins: Aider la justice face aux infractions complexes

Traiter de manière adaptée les infractions complexes transnationales et internationales requiert une approche multiforme apportant une réponse ferme en matière de justice pénale. Les témoignages jouent dans ce cadre un rôle essentiel. Les témoins, et bien souvent les membres de leurs familles, peuvent faire face à un grand danger en raison de leur aide crucial dans l’obtention d’une condamnation. L’Afrique a connu de nombreux exemples d’intimidation ou de violence à l’égard de témoins qui ont mené à des non-lieux ou à des acquittements.

Dans ces cas-là, la justice aura finalement échoué. Il est donc indispensable de s’attaquer à l’insuffisance du financement, à la pénurie de compétences et au manque de volonté politique, autant d’obstacles entravant le travail de la Justice.

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Will the latest Central African Republic peace deal hold?

The 6 February peace accord between the Central African Republic (CAR) government and 14 recognised armed groups is the eighth such agreement since the country descended into violence in 2012.

It came after 10 days of talks in Khartoum, building on more than two years of intense negotiations under the African Union (AU) Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in the CAR. The AU initiative prevailed over all other parallel efforts and finally united them in one single process. Armed groups control about 80% of the country.

Although this agreement is a diplomatic success for the AU and its partners, some are sceptical about its viability. How is it different from the previous seven deals, and from the half-dozen major agreements signed since the 1997 Bangui Accord?

Learn more about the paper Will the latest Central African Republic peace deal hold? by following the link provided.


Which institutional reforms for Guinea-Bissau?

The institutional reforms put forth in the October 2016 Conakry Agreement have a long history in Guinea-Bissau. They are unavoidable and will have to be implemented sooner or later. In order to facilitate discussions on these reforms among political actors and in civil society, the Institute for Security Studies, at the request of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), has developed a series of policy briefs on constitutional reform, as well as on reforms to political party legislation, electoral laws, the justice sector, and the defence sector and security. This note discusses the main recommendations.

To have full access to the publication Which institutional reforms for Guinea-Bissau?, kindly follow the link.


Can Peace Become Affordable? Lessons from security sector expenditure reviews in West Africa

West Africa and the Sahel continue to be plagued by fragility, conflict and violence. Faced with challenges ranging from the spread of Boko Haram to persisting food insecurity, forced displacement, and youth unemployment, the region needs help. In response, the international community has marshalled significant resources to support governments in fostering the essential preconditions for peace – inclusive security and sustainable development. Such tasks can devour the funds of even the most ambitious aid programmes, while the reality of budgetary constraints calls for a constant search for efficiency.

This Brief seeks to answer key questions by analysing the introduction and implementation of the security sector public expenditure review (PER), a public sector governance instrument that assesses the economy, effectiveness and efficiency of governments’ security and defence allocations, including SSR programmes. Developed by the World Bank in partnership with the United Nations, this data-driven assessment tool can facilitate a policy dialogue between civilian administrators, soldiers, and diplomats on the affordability of armies and police, and can therefore maximise the impact of security assistance programmes. Following an overview of security expenditures in West Africa, the Brief outlines the genesis of security sector PERs and highlights lessons learned from implementation in Liberia, Mali and Niger. The conclusion then offers recommendations on how PERs can be applied by the EU to ensure affordability and national ownership of defence and security assistance programmes.

To access the full Brief, Can Peace Become Affordable, please follow the link provided. 


Sudan after Bashir: regional opportunities and challenges

Omar al-Bashir’s removal from power will have long-term effects on Sudan’s political future. Even though domestic considerations forced Bashir’s downfall, his extensive involvement in regional issues means his departure will resonate beyond the confines of Sudan’s borders. This report explores the regional implications of Bashir’s removal and the subsequent role of external actors in Sudan’s internal affairs.

For full access to the report Sudan after Bashir: regional opportunities and challenges, kindly follow the link. 


Preventing violent extremism in East Africa: lessons from Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda

Initiatives to prevent and counter violent extremism in East Africa are being implemented by numerous organisations and are receiving significant funding to address the drivers behind violent extremism in the region. This report examined such projects to establish their objectives, target groups, activities, theories of change, evaluation approaches, donor organisations and funding amounts. The study also focused on the organisations implementing these projects and how they design them to address the violence in the region.

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Other Documents

First global Counter Terrorism Prosecutors Network launched

In a first for prosecutors worldwide, the Counter Terrorism Prosecutors Network (CTPN) was launched on 14 September. Terrorism is a global problem that requires a globalised response, including through cooperation between states and their criminal justice agencies. ‘CTPN will help combat terrorism by providing avenues for collaboration between states in the prosecution of terrorism cases,’ said André Vandoren, CTPN board member and Deputy Prosecutor General of Belgium.

Full article: First global Counter Terrorism Prosecutors Network launched

Other Document

Tackling the challenges of SSR

This short article published by ISS reviews the main challenges that the EU faces in its Security Sector Reform (SSR) activities and that the SSR policy – and subsequent implementation – will have to address one way or the other.

A sound security sector is key to the development and stability of countries in transition, and SSR has therefore become central to the EU’s broad security agenda. A decade ago the European Commission and the Council Secretariat adopted two separate SSR concepts, which at the time was revealing of the existing cultural and operational differences between the then two ‘pillars’. This contributed to uncoordinated policies and proved incompatible with the spirit of the comprehensive approach. In May 2015, therefore, the Foreign Affairs Council invited the High Representative and the Commission to develop, by mid-2016, an ‘EU-wide strategic framework for SSR’, which must ‘bring together CSDP and all other relevant CFSP tools as well as development co-operation instruments and freedom, security and justice actors.’

For full access to the ISS review about Tackling the challenges of SSR, kindly follow the link.

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The AU saves the CAR deal in extremis, but it needs to do more

The African Union (AU) has been quick to react following threats to the February peace deal in the Central African Republic (CAR). It convened a meeting from 18–20 March 2019 in Addis Ababa, bringing together the government of the CAR and the country’s 14 recognised armed groups. The aim of the meeting was to bridge differences around the appointment of ministers by President Faustin-Archange Touadera. 

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Holding Sudan back from civil war

After militias killed up to 100 peaceful protesters in Khartoum on 3 June, the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (AU PSC) took swift action, suspending Sudan’s membership of the continental body three days later. The suspension sends a strong message, but must be followed by unified, dedicated and well-resourced mediation by the AU in order to prevent a slide into civil war.

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Reform of Libya’s Security Sector Must Not Fail Again

Successive Libyan governments and the international community have worked for eight years to stabilise and reform the country’s security sector. But all this has been halted by the outbreak of war between the internationally recognised Government of National Accord and Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army. There is little surety about how the battle in Libya will be resolved. But three things are clear: the conflict has significantly altered the situation in the country; there is no possibility of returning to the old status quo; and an effective security sector reform process is more necessary than ever.

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Can the Accra Initiative prevent terrorism in West African coastal states?

The Accra Initiative was launched in September 2017 by Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Togo in response to growing insecurity linked to violent extremism in the region. International interest in preventing regional instability is growing, but two years after the Accra Initiative was launched, little is known about it and its prospects for success.

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