In situations of deep crises of state legitimacy and entrenched hostility between citizen and state, like in the DRC, SSR initiatives risk reinforcing patterns of dysfunctional, weak, unrepresentative, or ineffective government by strengthening those forces without considering their relationship to society more broadly. Over time, such SSR approaches can all too easily undermine the very security they were intended to provide.
This brief reviews the diverse and distinct efforts which have been undertaken in the domain of SSR and draws three key lessons and recommendations. While the DRC is a complex case, the insights it produces can be of use both in the DRC itself, particularly as the government continues to grapple with this challenge, and in other fragile states faced with the challenge of SSR as a pathway to improved civilian protection and strengthened state legitimacy.
For full access to the briefing note The Missing Piece in Security Sector Reform: Lessons from the Democratic Republic of Congo, kindly follow the link.