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Case Studies

Women's Meaningful Participation in Peacebuilding and Governance

Selected Resources

Publication: The Role of Women in Peacebuilding
in Nepal- Asian Development Bank

Video: Bringing Women into the Security Sector Reform Process in Somalia, Hanan Ibrahim, African Initiative for Women

This study on Nepal was commissioned by CARE Austria (CÖ) as a contribution to CARE’s International Report on Women, Peace and Security: Review of 1325 +10 years in Nepal, Uganda and Afghanistan, defining ‘meaningful participation by women’. The Country Study was carried out between 13th July and 30th September 2010 by Consultant Lesley Abdela, Senior Partner in UK-based Consultancy Eyecatcher/Shevolution. As well as small-group gatherings in Kathmandu and desk review of relevant documentation, meetings were held with CARE staff and partner organisations and other stakeholders, including war survivors, Donors, INGOs, NGOs, women’s network alliances/coalitions, Nepal Government Departments, LPCs, community groups, Media and UN agencies.

Case Study


Panel Discussion - SSR in West Africa - Introduction - 2010-12-01

Comments from Mark Downes, Head of ISSAT, to open the Panel Discussion on SSR in West Africa and to introduce the panel members.


Characteristics of a SSR Advisor - Interview with Bgen(ret) Bernard Belondrade

ISSAT Senior SSR Advisor sheds light in this video on the main characteristics and competencies that SSR Advisors need to have inorder to carry out their activities efficiently. Besides the technical skills that are needed in any SSR Advisor, Bgen(ret) Belondrade, shares his real-life experience on what competencies he had to develop to undertake advisory activities to high level authorities on SSR.


The Pink (Gulabi) Gang - India

March 2010 In Uttar Pradesh, one of the poorest and most feudal areas of India, there is a long history of patriarchy, abuse and corruption. Now, an aggressive and outspoken gang of women are fighting the system. Sampat Pal is the leader of the Gulabi, or 'Pink', Gang. This feisty crusader is making headlines with her vigilante tactics; when she isnt attacking police, she is teaching women how to wield the 'lathi' - a long, wooden staff - to protect themselves against domestic violence. With over 40000 members, the Gulabi Gang has quickly become a mass movement. Why do we have to take the law in our hands? I'll tell you. The government doesn't obey its own laws. They're making fools of everyone. The gang are on a mission to ensure that those born into the lowest caste have an education, avoid child marriages, and earn a decent wage. Mahatma Gandhi famously preached non-violence. Sampat Pal says times have changed. I salute Gandhi. He was the father of our nation. But my style is different. Produced by SBS Dateline. Distributed by Journeyman Pictures.


Notebook: Pink Gang

Katie Couric discusses the Gulabi Gang, or Pink Gang in Hindi, a group of women from one of the poorest parts of India who travel to different villages to battle abuse and corruption.


The Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP)

The Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP), a member of the PASOS network of think tanks, is an independent research centre dedicated to advancing security of citizens and society they live in on the basis of democratic principles and respect for human rights. In the midst of Centre's interest are all policies aimed at improvement of human, national, regional, European and global security.


SSR Politics in Training - Interview Bgen(ret) Bernard Belondrade

What are the "politics of SSR" and how could these dynamics be managed? Bgen(ret) Bernard Belondrade shares with ISSAT Community members the experience of a training workshop where this aspect was predominant in how the trainees reacted to the knowledge shared with them.


Empowerment for Progress - civil society engagement in SSR

Edmond Yakani, coordinator of the Empowerment for Progress in South Sudan, discusses the role of civil society in security sector reform. He shares experience from interacting with members of the security sector, executive and legislature. He discusses how to effectively manage these relationships and dynamics of reform. He also provides insight into how civil society in South Sudan handles gender in the security sector by capitalizing on quality rather than quantity.  


Documentary on Peace and Security for Women in Timor-Leste

2010: During the recent conflicts in Timor Leste, women and girls were the victims of widespread sexual violence and abuse. This documentary describes these traumatic experiences but also the solutions provided by a local NGO, supported by the UN. As such, this piece highlights the particular vulnerability women and girls are exposed to during armed conflict. Including women and girls in peace processes remains an essential element of the sustainibility of these processes. View this documentary here


Taking a Stand on Security Sector Reform

In this video, the founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, Ben Affleck, gives his perspective on taking a stand on security sector reform in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The video is part of a release of ECI's 22-page 2012 report 'The Democratic Republic of Congo: Taking a Stand on Security Sector Reform', available in English and in French.

"In partnership with an international coalition of civil society organizations, Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) is launching a joint report on security sector reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The report discusses the opportunity that now exists for the international community to partner with the Government of the DRC to reform the security sector and make a real impact on the long-term future of the country. At ECI we see the hope and inspiration in the Congolese people in our everyday work. This report describes a path towards more security if reform of the military, police and judicial sector is supported by firm commitments from the government of the DRC and the international community."

See original article and related video.


Niger: Europe’s new ‘frontier’ destroying Africa’s migrant transit hub

Niger became a major migrant transit hub due to an array of structural factors: geographical location, porous borders with Libya and a regional economy revolving around migrant transportation. This documentary highlights how EU policies on migration are affecting the region of Agadez and Niger as a whole.  



Bringing Women into the Security Sector Reform Process in Somalia

Considering the role of women in SSR in post-conflict Somalia: An interview with Hanan Ibrahim, CSO Representative for the African Initiative for Women. The questions asked during the interview can be found below. 

1. What is the importance of gender in SSR?

2. Are Somali women becoming more involved in SSR decision making ?

3. Why do Somali women need to strengthen their position in the SSR process ?

4. What would you like to see in the future in Somalia?


Policy and Research Papers

The first crack in Africa’s map?

A Brenthurst discussion paper (2012/01) tackling the case of South Sudan six months on from achieving statehood. South Sudan is facing serious challenges: economic warfare with Sudan, the emergence of Cashmir-like scenarios on their border and renewed internecine conflicts within its own territory. None of these threats were unforeseen by the African Union or the wider international community in the months and years leading up to independence. In some respects, how the new state of South Sudan would address these issues could either soften the firm stance against changing Africa's borders or cement international opinion against any further 'balkanisation' of Africa.  

This Discussion Paper considers whether South Sudan's secession has made independence more likely for other would-be states in Africa, from Somaliland to Cabinda. Based on extensive discussions between senior policy makers and academics at a high-level workshop convened by the Brenthurst Foundation in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in September 2011, as well as additional research, the Paper argues that Africa's borders are likely to remain stubbornly resistant to change despite Sudan's historic split -  and this stance has likely only been reinforced by South Sudan's troubled start.  Although the South Sudan case is likely to remain an exception rather than a precedent, the Arab Spring is a salutary reminder, if any was needed, that events have a way of building on themselves. For all the powerful constraints on secession highlighted in this Paper, the much-feared balkanisation of Africa must never be dismissed as fanciful. 

The idea of self-determination is not on the wane in Africa - South Sudan's long struggle will surely embolden existing secessionist groups and may inspire new movements - but the obstacles to independent statehood appear as formidable as ever.


Ammunition Stockpile Management in Africa: Challenges and scope for action

The improper management of conventional ammunition and explosives poses significant safety and security risks. Frequent ammunition depot explosions and diversions from ammunition stocks of state actors testify to the relevance of the issue to Africa. Overcoming challenges to effective national ammunition management can be a formidable task in itself. This paper considers the challenges to and scope for action on ammunition management in Africa. It is argued that concerted efforts by African states and their international partners will be essential to effectively limiting risks of undesirable explosive events and ammunition diversions on the continent.


The jirga: justice and conflict transformation

This report looks at the Jirga , a traditional gathering of elders that resolves grievances by consensus, and the role it can play in conflict transformation and resolution in the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one of the most conflict-affected areas in Pakistan.

The report, by Saferworld and Community Appraisal and Motivation Programme (CAMP), presents local perspectives on the Jirga system, the challenges it brings and areas for improvement. The research findings are drawn from consultations with local communities in Swat and Lower Dir districts as well as a range of Pakistani and international actors who have experience of the Jirga system.

The report found that as a conflict transformation and resolution tool, the Jirga could help prevent militant groups from advocating alternative forms of justice, which in the past has led to violence. The report also identified that the system could be improved by including marginalised and vulnerable groups in a manner and timeframe that is acceptable to local people. It concludes that a more representative and inclusive Jirga system would improve access to justice for all members of society and reduce local tensions and conflicts in PATA. Furthermore it recommends that Pakistan should strengthen the links between formal and informal mechanisms for justice and clarify the status and potential of Jirga to complement the judicial system.

This research is part of the EU-funded ‘People’s Peacemaking Perspectives’ project, a joint initiative implemented by Conciliation Resources and Saferworld and financed under the European Commission's Instrument for Stability. The project provides European Union institutions with analysis and recommendations based on the opinions and experiences of local people in a range of countries and regions affected by fragility and violent conflict.

Find out more about the People's Peacemaking Perspectives project

Read the policy brief

Read the full report


Tracking key conflict and security dynamics in Karamoja - an update

This report focuses on Karamoja in north-eastern Uganda. The region has long experienced serious conflict and insecurity, severe poverty and low levels of development. Communities have been involved in cycles of cattle raiding and counter-raiding, including with border communities in Kenya and South Sudan.

The report finds that the government’s assessment of improved security and successful disarmament in Karamoja does not seem to reflect the continued insecurity felt by communities and the fact that significant numbers of illegal weapons still remain in civilian hands. The report recommends that joint planning, and building trust with communities, is essential for a successful transition from the Uganda People’s Defence Force-led to police-led civilian disarmament. Furthermore, while trust in the police generally remains high, their limited presence in the region means that they often fail to effectively protect communities. Equipping and training the police will be crucial to ensure they can better serve communities throughout Karamoja.

Building on an in-depth conflict and security assessment from 2010, the report incorporates follow-up research carried out in the districts of Moroto and Napak in 2011-12. It is primarily a qualitative study, taking in the views and experiences of a range of actors including local people, security and law enforcement agencies, government officials and aid agencies. It emphasizes that local perceptions of safety and security need to guide decisions regarding civilian disarmament, security and development.

The research is part of the EU-funded ‘People’s Peacemaking Perspectives’ project, a joint initiative implemented by Conciliation Resources and Saferworld and financed under the European Commission's Instrument for Stability. The project provides European Union institutions with analysis and recommendations based on the opinions and experiences of local people in a range of countries and regions affected by fragility and violent conflict.

Read the briefing

Read the full report

Find out more about the People's Peacemaking Perspectives Project


Public protest and visions for change

Understanding how young men and women in Yemen, who make up 75 percent of the population, perceive the drivers of Yemen’s current crisis and possible solutions needs to be an integral part of finding a lasting settlement and achieving sustainable peace.

 Yemen’s civil protest movement is the largest in Yemeni history and the longest-running of the Arab Spring uprisings. Young protestors across the country have come together, giving unprecedented hope to millions of Yemenis. Building on consultations with young men and women from diverse backgrounds in four major cities in Yemen, Public protest and visions for change Yemen offers a detailed snapshot of the main grievances driving the protests, youth ideas on transition and some of the innovative solutions and surprisingly positive conclusions they are drawing. Yemeni youth are not just voicing a set of grievances; many have begun to articulate visions for a more inclusive political system. Their perspectives are supplemented by interviews with politicians, religious and tribal authorities, businessmen, youth and women leaders, and experts on Yemen.

The report is part of Saferworld’s EU-funded ‘People’s Peacemaking Perspectives’ project, a joint initiative implemented by Conciliation Resources and Saferworld and financed under the European Commission's Instrument for Stability. The project provides European Union institutions with analysis and recommendations based on the opinions and experiences of local people in a range of countries and regions affected by fragility and violent conflict.

Read the full report

Read the policy brief

Find out more about People's Peacemaking Perspectives


A safer future: tracking improvements in an uncertain context

This report analyses the changing attitudes towards public safety and the provision of security and justice in Nepal. It presents the fourth in a series of surveys conducted by Saferworld and Nepali partner organisation, Interdisciplinary Analysts, to track public perceptions of security and justice over time.

The latest report, ‘A safer future? Tracking security improvements in an uncertain context’, builds on the findings of the earlier surveys and analyses the results of a nationwide household survey (3,000 respondents), in-depth interviews and desk research.

The report finds that Nepali people’s perception of their day-to-day security has increased. The upward trend in confidence in the Nepal Police remarked upon in previous surveys has reached a plateau but remains high. There are still visible weaknesses in state security and justice provision and access to services remains a problem for many. Yet the Nepal Police, in particular, are thought to be more representative of women and all ethnic/caste groups than before. However, the improvement in people’s perceptions of their daily security is offset by heightened anxiety about the macro-political context. Nepali people are increasingly pessimistic about the direction in which the country is going and the lack of national stability and political consensus is undermining their confidence in political leaders to maintain law and order.   

The report makes a series of recommendations requiring the input and support of a range of actors from government, the security and justice sector, national and international non-governmental organisations (I/NGOs), the media, academia and think tanks, the wider civil society, the private sector and the international community.

Read the report


A Common Approach for Building International Capacity to Support SJSR

"A Common Approach for Building International Capacity to Support SJSR" is the title of ISSAT's second High Level Panel (HLP), organised on May 19th, 2011. ISSAT hosted its HLP discussion in Brussels, Belgium with the focus on the increasing need for establishing the right balance of technical, methodological and contextual expertise within SSR interventions.

The basis for the HLP topic was the recognition that the number of SSR mandates within Peace Support Operations (PSO) and crisis management operations has increased over the past years. In parallel, the demand for SSR and rule of law advisors who combine specialist knowledge with a solid understanding of the politics involved in reform processes has increased.

At present, many bilateral and multilateral donors face serious capacity gaps when it comes to having readily-available and deployable personnel with SSR experience and expertise. Security and justice reform requires a multi-disciplinary response: it requires personnel with an understanding of the political nature of SSR and the importance of accountability to a legitimate authority, coupled with those who have a technical understanding of how, for example, a police service, the military, the courts system and the various ministries function.

The panel who addressed these issues were:

  • Mr. Richard Wright, Director Conflict Prevention & Security Policy, European External Action Service (EEAS)
  • Mr. Cedric de Coning, Advisor to ACCORD and NUPI and Author of the Study on Civilian Capacities within the Non-governmental Civilian Roster Community
  • Mr Mika-Markus Leinonen, Director, Civcom Chair, European External Action Service (EEAS) 
  • General Juan Estaban (by video), Former Head of the EU SSR Mission in Guinea Bissau

North Caucasus: Views from within

The research project The North Caucasus: views from within focuses on issues of social difference, such as ethnicity, religion, generational difference and migration, and the challenges arising from these. It considers local perspectives on these challenges; how people seek to address them; and what they consider needs to be done to resolve them. It involved the collaboration of international and Russian experts, including researchers from the North Caucasus, and institutional partnership between the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Saferworld. The work focused on five republics in the North Caucasus: Chechnya, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, Dagestan, and Kabardino-Balkaria.

Our research shows that social and political conditions for people on the ground – particularly for youth, who feel excluded from both economic and political life – do little to defend society against the influence of ideological extremism. More engagement with the problems affecting young people, and improved governance, including in the security and justice sectors, can help build resilience to violence.

The English version of the report is titled, The North Caucasus: views from within People’s Perspectives on Peace and Security . In addition to the main report, five case studies from the individual republics will shortly be uploaded to the Saferworld website.

The Russian version is titled The North Caucasus: views from within - Challenges and problems for social and political development . The five republic case studies are included within the report.

The research forms part of the EU-funded ‘People’s Peacemaking Perspectives’ project, a joint initiative implemented by Conciliation Resources and Saferworld and financed under the European Commission's Instrument for Stability. The project provides European Union institutions with analysis and recommendations based on the opinions and experiences of local people in a range of countries and regions affected by fragility and violent conflict.

Read the report

Read the policy brief

Find out more about the People's Peacemaking Perspectives project


Socio-Economic Reintegration of Ex-Combatants: Guidelines

The objective of the Guidelines is to provide practitioners on Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants with strategic guidance and operational direction in preparing, implementing and supporting sustainable employment-focused reintegration programmes for social reintegration and reconciliation.These guidelines are based on ILO's experience in this field in various countries. In addition, they complement and operationalise in the Integrated Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Standard (IDDRS), the Stockholm Initiative on DDR (SIDDR) and the UN Policy for Post-Conflict Employment Creation, Income-generation and Reintegration.

To access the full text, click here.


The Prospects for Security Sector Reform in Tunisia: A Year After the Revolution

In the year since the revolution, Tunisia has achieved what no other Arab Spring country has managed: peaceful transition to democratic rule through national elections widely viewed to be free and fair. The legacy of the previous regime, however, remains. Dr. Querine Hanlon assesses the prospects for Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Tunisia and concludes that Tunisia’s new government faces major challenges dismantling and reorienting the mandate and institutional culture of Tunisia’s labyrinth of security institutions. Serious SSR will be critical for building trust in the new governments and its security institutions and essential if Tunisia’s transition to democratic rule is to succeed in the long term.


Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Capacity Building to Counter Terrorism in Fragile Institutional Contexts: Lessons From Development Cooperation

Rule of law–based criminal justice responses to terrorism are most effectively ensured when they are practiced within a criminal justice system capable of handling ordinary criminal offenses while protecting the rights of the accused and when all are equally accountable under the law. Building the capacity of weak criminal justice systems to safeguard mutual rights and responsibilities of governments and their citizens is essential for the alleviation of a number of conditions conducive to violent extremism and the spread of terrorism. A new wave of multilateral counterterrorism initiatives has the opportunity to recalibrate how criminal justice and rule of law–oriented counterterrorism capacity-building assistance is delivered to developing states with weak institutions.

This policy brief argues that aligning counterterrorism capacity-building agendas within a framework informed by the Paris Principles and the development cooperation experience could greatly enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of criminal justice and rule of law capacity-building assistance in general and in preventing terrorism specifically.


State-Civil Society Interface in Liberia’s Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

Post-conflict peacebuilding demands concerted efforts from all stakeholders to ensure its success; particularly, civil society must complement the capacity of the conflict-weary state. A successful peacebuilding, however, requires a harmonious relationship between the state and civil society. This paper analyses state-civil society relations at different phases of Liberia’s protracted post-conflict peacebuilding process. The paper argues that civil society groups have played and continue to play important role in the peacebuilding process in Liberia and therefore need the support of the Liberian state and the international community to continue their watchdog role. The paper concludes by drawing lessons from the Liberian experience for other post-conflict states.


The Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation - Building a Progressive Kenya - Our Common Vision: Vision of Stakeholders

This document reflects the discussions of the “Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation: Building a Progressive Kenya” conference, which took place in Nairobi on 5 – 6 December, 2011. Held in the aftermath of a process of nationwide dialogue and at the invitation of the AU Panel of Eminent African Personalities, various stakeholder groups representing a wide cross-section of views and perspectives of Kenyan society participated at this conference so as to coalesce these views around the implementation of the objectives and goals of the KNDR process


Report of the Liberia National Dialogue on Security Sector Reform

The National Dialogue, co-hosted by the Liberian Transitional Government and UNMIL, brings together all statutory security agencies of Liberia to help address the critical problem of Security Reform, which is attributed to the main causes of the Liberian conflict. This report summarizes the discussions that took place among these stakeholders


Security-Sector Reform Applied: Nine Ways to Move from Policy to Implementation

Security sector reform (SSR) remains a relatively new and evolving concept, one that brings together practitioners and academics from many different backgrounds. The application of SSR differs from one context to the other, each with its own complications.
However, most of the writing on SSR has a policy focus rather than dealing with the practical issues of implementation. Not much focuses on the “little secrets and skills” required to practically apply SSR policy in post-conflict settings.

This policy paper provides nine recommendations for practitioners to increase their effectiveness in supporting SSR processes in such contexts. While local context should determine how SSR is implemented, these recommendations can help practitioners to accelerate progress on the ground. Though not an exhaustive list, small, smart steps, the paper argues, can go a long way.

The paper’s recommendations on how to practically apply SSR policy are:

1. Locate entry points for ownership
2. Decentralize via second-generation SSR
3. Understand the context, be flexible, and take an iterative approach
4. Reduce uncertainty and build up trust
5. Forge relations between police investigators and prosecutors
6. Support sustainable reforms
7. Build up the “missing middle” within the civil service
8. Consider a low-tech approach for higher yields
9. Put the right skills and systems in place

About the authors:
Rory Keane is the SSR advisor to the head of the UN mission in Liberia.
Mark Downes is Head of the International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT) at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF).

To view this article, please follow this link.


Examining the Effectiveness of Legal Empowerment as a Pathway out of Poverty: A Case Study of BRAC

This piece examines the current status of justice and dispute-resolution mechanisms in Bangladesh, ranging from the formal justice system to the traditional shalish (a form of dispute resolution), and focuses on the costs and benefits of utilizing nongovernmental organization (NGO)-led legal services programs as an alternative form of justice delivery and dispute resolution for the poor, with a focus on women and girls. In particular, this paper takes a closer look at the Human Rights and Legal Aid Services (HRLS) program of BRAC, a leading NGO that works to empower the poorest and most vulnerable in Bangladesh and eleven other countries across the world. HRLS provides a combination of BRAC-led shalish, human rights community based education, community mobilization through a corps of community-based outreach workers (known as shebikas), and recourse to the courts via a network of panel lawyers if needed. This paper will examine the successes of this model in rural Bangladesh as well as the challenges it faces in making an impact on solving the justice problems of the poor and contributing to gender equity. Ultimately, it aims to present a case study that illustrates the strengths and challenges of a legal empowerment model that is quickly gaining traction around the world.

To view this publication, please follow this link.


Putting people at the heart of security: Reviewing approaches, exploring solutions

Saferworld organised a roundtable in Brussels titled 'Putting people at the heart of security: reviewing approaches, exploring solutions'.

Victoria Walker, ISSAT's Deputy Head and Senior SSR Advisor on Governance attended this meeting which brought together experts from EU institutions and Member States, international organisations, think tanks and civil society to share experiences and lessons about security sector reform and the extent to which such processes have been able to improve human security. The meeting was also an opportunity to explore innovative approaches to enhancing people's security, including community security.

This event was part of a wider process to catalyse an informed discussion at the EU level on how community security can help support the realisation of peacebuilding and statebuilding objectives. As part of this, we encourage you to get in touch if you would like to find out more or share your comments and thoughts.

Read report here


EU State Building Contracts: early lessons from the EU's new budget support instrument for fragile states

The European Union (EU) began using State Building Contracts (SBCs) to provide budget support to fragile and conflict affected states in early 2013.  Over the next five years, the EU plans to use more than two thirds of funding under the 11th European Development Fund and over half from the Development Cooperation Instrument for 2014–2020 to assist people in fragile situations. The State Building Contract is a key instrument in the EU’s fragile states toolkit, and thus likely to increase in visibility and importance. At the same time, while most European Member States’ development agencies are gradually shifting away from the use of budget support, they continue to provide fiscal support in fragile states through the EU’s SBCs and through budget support-like instruments.

Read full description and download PDF


Pour que la justice compte : enseignements tirés du travail de la CPI en Côte d’Ivoire

En octobre 2011, les juges de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) ont autorisé le Procureur de la Cour à ouvrir une enquête sur des crimes commis pendant la crise postélectorale de 2010-2011 qui a secoué la Côte d’Ivoire. À ce jour, le Bureau du Procureur (BdP) de la CPI a engagé des poursuites contre trois personnes, y compris Laurent Gbagbo, pour des crimes prétendument commis par des forces fidèles à Gbagbo. 

Ce rapport publié par Human Rights Watch examine l’engagement de la Cour en Côte d’Ivoire et, dans une moindre mesure au Mali, où le BdP a ouvert des enquêtes en 2013. Ces recherches qui se sont appuyées sur des entretiens avec des représentants de la société civile et des journalistes ivoiriens et maliens ainsi que sur l’examen des décisions de justice et documents policiers pertinents révèlent que la Cour n’a pas encore saisi toutes les opportunités qui s’offrent à elle pour renforcer l’impact de ses procédures en Côte d’Ivoire.


Human Rights Watch report | Guinea: Security Force Excesses, Crimes

As detailed in this report, Human Rights Watch accuses some members of Guinea’s security forces of using excessive lethal force, engaging in abusive conduct, and displaying a lack of political neutrality when responding to election-related opposition protests in April and May 2015. It reports that members of the police force were most frequently implicated in the abuses, revealing an urgent need for accountability, better command responsibility, and training.

Read the report online.


Le succès de la CPI dépend de son impact local

Elizabeth Evenson, Conseillère juridique senior au Programme Justice internationale de Human Rights Watch, signe un commentaire sur le rôle de la Cour Pénale Internationale (CPI). Elle argumente que son importance se joue dans les pays et les communautés affectés par les crimes que la Cour va juger, mettant ainsi en lumière que les victimes sont les premières concernées et devraient être au coeur du travail mené par la CPI. 

Le commentaire est disponible en ligne, en anglais et en français. 


From Combatants to Peacebuilders: A Case for Inclusive, Participatory and Holistic Security Transitions

The purpose of this project is to present key policy-relevant findings from a two-year participatory research project on the timing, sequencing and components of post-war security transitions, from the perspective and self-analysis of conflict stakeholders who have made the shift from being state challengers to being peace- and state-building agents in South Africa, Colombia, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Burundi, Southern Sudan, Nepal and Aceh.

Access From Combatants to Peacebuilders: A Case for Inclusive, Participatory and Holistic Security Transitions



The Police That We Want: A Handbook for Oversight of the Police in South Africa

A handbook for assessing police performance in countries undergoing democratic transition has been published by the Johannesburg-based Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, in association with the Open Society Foundation of South Africa and the Open Society Justice Initiative.

The Police That We Want: A Handbook for Oversight of the Police in South Africa , by David Bruce and Rachel Neild, offers an outline of "democratic policing"—the behavior and techniques appropriate to police in a democratic setting. The book includes a set of indicators designed to assess democratic policing in order to encourage transparent and objective evaluation of the priorities and progress of police reform.

Written primarily for South Africa, the handbook follows international practices in policing and police oversight and can be adapted for use in other countries by all those supporting and overseeing police reforms. The indicators are applicable even where local police use different structures, systems, or operational strategies.

The Police That We Want identifies five areas of democratic policing and provides key measures for evaluating performance in each area. The five areas are the protection of democratic political life; police governance, accountability, and transparency; service delivery for safety, justice, and security; proper police conduct; and the police as citizens.


Review of the use of ‘Theory of Change’ in International Development

The report, produced by Isabel Vogel and commissioned by the DFID evaluation division,considers the current uses and definitions of Theory of Change (ToC). A methodology which maps the assumptions which inform planned interventions within all stages of an initiative, ToC is increasingly regarded as an essential tool in designing and appreciating the complex network of factors which influence project outcomes.The review considers the practical aspects of ToC implementation and to develop a more consistent approach which is gaining in reputation and use within the international development community.

Vogel acknowledges that lack of consensus exists around the specific definition of ToC. The review highlights the necessity for flexibility in developing a successful ToC. Through consideration of different approaches, outlining examples of ToC in practice within the appendix, Vogel identifies and draws together a short list of the core elements, generally agreed upon as essential requirements for any discussion centred on theory of change. The review further examines the most effective means of establishing a logical pathway to desired outcomes using the ToC model. Vogel highlights the need to establish ToC as an ongoing process developed alongside all phases of a programme from inception to impact evaluation and emphasises that assumptions should be made explicit within the organising framework of a project.

ToC, as the review makes clear, has the potential to provide an invaluable framework for discussion and critical thinking surrounding project implementation and evaluation. It allows for subjective analysis to be discussed and represented, through diagrams and visuals, which can in turn support more dynamic exchange between policy actors, grantees and donors.

For full report,


Socio-Economic Reintegration of Ex-Combatants

This practice note explains what economic development planners and practitioners can do to support the socioeconomic
reintegration of former combatants. It will assist you in your efforts to mobilise economic actors to play a constructive role in reintegration processes. The socioeconomic reintegration of former combatants is important and relevant for economic development planners and practitioners as successful reintegration will increase security and stability; both necessary pre-conditions for economic development, business expansion and the reduction of costs and risks of doing business. Simultaneously, economic recovery and business expansion are essential preconditions for successful socio-economic reintegration, as most ex-combatants will need to find employment in the private sector.

To access the full text, click here


Lessons Identified Form

This is the form to use when contributing a Lessons Identified Report.  Please read the instructions on the first page carefully.  Thank you for sharing your insights!


Security Sector Reform in the Democratic Republic of The Congo: Strategic Issues

The aim of this issue paper is to provide some ideas regarding how best to create suitable conditions for security sector reform (SSR) in DRC. Throughout the last decade, SSR has become a key component of the international agenda in states affected by conflict. There is a growing consensus amongst donors regarding the necessity of implementing SSR for effective stabilization and reconstruction. Since 2003, this has resulted in DRC in several donor-supported initiatives to strengthen the police, military, and justice sectors. Although some of these efforts may have initially shown must promise, progress on SSR in DRC remains very limited.


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.


CIGI SSR Monitor. Haiti No. 3

This issue of the CIGI Security Sector Reform Monitor: Haiti analyses the programming shift undertaken by MINUSTAH and some donors from a traditional DDR to
a violence reduction approach, underlining the problems of coordination and knowledge sharing that emerged.


Local perspectives: foreign aid to the justice sector

The meaningful participation of beneficiaries in aid programmes directed to human rights reform is crucial to their success. Their views on ways to improve them deserve serious attention. In interviews with beneficiaries in four countries we were told that aid for reform has had an impact. In the justice sector (the focus of our study) foreign
aid has facilitated constitutional development and legislative reforms and helped expand civil society and transform the justice system. Aid programmes have helped introduce human rights concepts into public consciousness and public institutions in societies where such notions were once seen as subversive.
We were also told that human rights assistance can be wasteful and even do harm. Badly conceived and implemented programmes have sheltered repressive regimes from scrutiny, wasted vital resources and distorted domestic institutions. Donors sometimes promote inappropriate models and put their foreign policy interests before human rights. They can be unreliable partners, subject to quick fixes and too much attention on “exit strategies”. Success depends on many factors, not least paying more attention to local perspectives. This report sets out some of the main issues. It offers signposts that we hope will be useful to both donors and beneficiaries looking for ways
to strengthen the impact of human rights assistance.


Stabilization: A Cross-cutting Task to Overcome Imminent Violent Conflict

Stabilization as a goal of the international community became increasingly relevant with the interventions in the Balkans, Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa. Various national governments and international organizations have established stabilization units, initiated stabilization programs and employed stabilization measures. Generally, it is useful to think of stabilization as a cross-cutting peace-building task that is applied in situations where violent conflict is imminent. While there are some typical areas of activity, stabilization approaches must be designed differently, depending on each conflict environment – both in terms of specific measures and their responsible institutions. Different policy areas must therefore be brought together in a comprehensive approach.

For full access to Stabilization: A Cross-cutting Task to Overcome Imminent Violent Conflict, kindly follow the link.


Logistics Partnerships in Peace Operations

Logistics support is both critical to the safety and health of peacekeepers and vital to success at every stage of a peace operation—especially in the high-threat environments where both UN and regional peace operations are increasingly deployed. Contemporary peace operations are based on logistics partnerships, with support provided by a range of actors including states, international organizations, and commercial contractors.

This report focuses on logistics partnerships that support UN operations and regional peace operations in Africa. Drawing on two UN missions and fifteen regional operations in Africa, it describes, compares, and traces the evolution of these two kinds of logistics partnerships and provides recommendations for improving them. 

For full access to Logistics Partnerships in Peace Operations, kindly follow the link.


Web Trafficking - Analysing the Online Trade of Small Arms Light Weapons in Libya

A new Working Paper from the Small Arms Survey’s Security Assessment in North Africa (SANA) project provides an in-depth analysis of the trade in small arms and light weapons in the online marketplace. The Working Paper ties together interviews with marketplace participants with a detailed analysis of a dataset derived from long-term monitoring of some of the closed social media-based groups listing small arms and light weapons for sale. It explores the types of weapons offered and their likely routes into the Libyan online markets. It concludes with a policy-relevant analysis of the current state of Libya’s online markets and discusses the caveats and utility of such online monitoring for supplementing field-based research.

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Justice for stability: Addressing the impact of mass displacement on Lebanon's justice system

This policy brief outlines options for strengthening rule of law in Lebanon to improve access to justice for both Lebanese citizens and Syrian refugees. It discusses stopgap measures for the temporary stay of Syrian refugees in the country and highlights opportunities for long-term reform of the justice system. The brief provides recommendations to key actors on actions to reduce the unsustainable pressure on the Lebanese justice system and to ensure protection of the displaced population.

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Bringing the desert together: How to advance Sahel-Maghreb integration

Global interest in the Sahel has expanded significantly in recent years. The growth of regional terrorism, the collapse of Malian State in 2012, and the migration crisis after 2014 all mean that world must think about the Sahel. Yet despite the newfound attention to the region, regional and international efforts to resolve these crises remain inadequate. This paper proposes a holistic approach to regional stabilisation, one that acknowledges the need for better security capacity and coordination while also emphasising the need for greater regional integration between North Africa and the Sahel. 

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Operationalizing Conflict Prevention: Peace and Development Advisors in Non-mission Settings

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has stressed that conflict prevention activities should cut across all pillars of the UN’s work to help countries avert the outbreak of crises. In this latest ZIF Policy Briefing, which is part of a new series on operationalizing conflict prevention in the field, Tanja Bernstein focuses on one such practical prevention tool – the Peace and Development Advisors .

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Peace solutions: Learning from what works and adapting to a changing world

Over the past 70 years, international frameworks to deliver peace and development have evolved considerably to accommodate transformations in the global security and geopolitical landscape. Although significant progress has been made, the multilateral system faces new challenges that demand its continued evolution in order to remain fit for purpose. Protracted conflicts and complex transnational threats, such as climate change and violent extremism, are fueling displacement and perpetuating humanitarian emergencies. Against this backdrop of uncertainty, the fourth annual Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development set out to identify examples of ‘what works’ in preventing conflict and sustaining peace. Lessons and illustrative cases from the Forum sessions are discussed in the paper.

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“Diaspora as Partners”: The Canadian Model of Countering Violent Extremism

The first step in an effective countering violent extremism (CVE) strategy is to develop a detailed and nuanced understanding of the relevant communities. Building on a research project completed for Public Safety Canada—which examined the impact of overseas conflicts on Syrian, Afghan, Somali, and Tamil communities in Canada— this paper identifies key insights about the country’s diaspora communities. Serious attempts to address violent extremism begin by accepting the reality that future attacks are as likely to come from within societies as abroad. Diaspora communities can be a country’s greatest asset in combating violent extremism. Strengthening the social capital of these communities is the most promising and cost-effective means to counter the threat of radicalization. This requires a serious commitment to research, dialogue, and law enforcement strategies that promote engagement instead of confrontation. 

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Rehabilitating Juvenile Violent Extremist Offenders in Detention

Within the context of the Managing Juveniles in Detention Initiative established by the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s Detention and Reintegration Working Group, this policy brief puts forth guiding principles, recommendations, and considerations for the detention, rehabilitation, and reintegration of juveniles convicted of terrorism and violent extremism-related crimes in a manner that upholds the principles and safeguards of juvenile justice. The report advances a juvenile justice approach for authorities responsible for the care of detained juvenile violent extremist offenders (JVEOs), drawing from good practices in international juvenile justice, the emerging body of principles and practices in the detention of adult violent extremist offenders, and the national experiences in demobilizing and reintegrating child combatants.

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Does CVE Work? Lessons Learned From the Global Effort to Counter Violent Extremism

As a field of policy and practice, countering violent extremism (CVE) has emerged rapidly in recent years and represents the most significant development in counterterrorism over that time. This report reflects critically on a field that has risen to prominence in a manner disproportional to its achievements. Practitioners in government and NGOs, among others, could use it to inform their understanding of CVE and guide their responses in a systematic and evidence-based fashion. The record offers some pointers for more effective programming going forward. 

To access the full report, kindly follow the link. 


Women and Countering Violent Extremism

What does existing research tell us about women and countering violent extremism (CVE)? How can this be linked to the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda? This review looks at the role that women can play in CVE, lessons from programmes on women and CVE, donor policy guidance and programming approaches, and networks supporting women and CVE. 

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Helping Police to be Gender-Sensitive in Pakistan

Women in Pakistan face a range of discriminatory and harmful practices that can threaten their security. In order to move towards gender equality, changes must be made across the criminal justice system, including to the structure, institutional culture and behaviour of the police. Increasing female police officers in stations, on its own, will not lead to greater gender sensitivity. It should also be complemented by addressing the inherent societal gender norms that reinforce male power within the police system. Saferworld has been working with police in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province on a gender-responsive policing project to ensure that they are better able to respond to crimes against women.

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Women’s Role in Peace and Security in Yemen

This literature review was commissioned as part of research for the project ‘Enhancing women’s role in peace and security in Yemen’.  The research is being led by the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) and the Yemen Polling Center (YPC) in partnership with Saferworld, and will inform programme activities to support women’s peacebuilding efforts in Yemen by Saferworld in cooperation with the National Foundation for Development and Humanitarian Response (NFDHR) and Wogood for Human Security. The review intends to provide an overview of women’s interactions with peacebuilding efforts in Yemen, in view to informing current strategies on how to enhance their role. 

For full access to Women’s Role in Peace and Security in Yemen, kindly follow the link. 


Crisis in Karamoja: Armed Violence and the Failure of Disarmament in Uganda’s Most Deprived Region

Violence in Uganda’s Karamoja region is, for many people, the exemplar of Africa’s pastoral wars. The area hosts a number of sub-clans that, together, comprise the Karimojong—a population fractured by protracted inter-clan conflicts over cattle, pasture, and access to resources. Karamoja suffers significantly higher levels of small arms violence (death and injury by firearm) than any other region of Uganda. Since the 1970s, with the proliferation of modern assault rifles, cattle raids have escalated in lethality. A commensurate rise in armed criminality, in which acts of violence are increasingly orchestrated irrespective of community norms on the use of force, has severely impaired the region’s socio-economic development. This paper explores the dynamics behind armed violence in Karamoja and the scale and distribution of its impacts. It is the product of two years of research focused on the Karimojong and neighbouring clans, and presents findings from an extensive range of research methods, including household surveys, interviews, and focus group studies throughout the region.

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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. 


Building of a community cattle ranch and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology as alternative methods of curtailing cattle rustling in Katsina State

Agriculture is the major component of the rural economy in Katsina State. Livestock production is a major component of agricultural activities practised there and is a source of income and a form of security for farmers. Increasing attacks by cattle rustlers have disrupted the stability that had been enjoyed by pastoralists in rural communities within the State. This study investigates the prospect of adopting community cattle ranches and radio frequency identification (RFID) as strategies for containing cattle rustling. Primary data were sourced via structured questionnaires and dichotomous dependent variable models in the form of probit and logit were used. Siting cattle ranches near rural communities is an important determinant for community acceptance of a cattle ranch, while fees as well as ranch sanitation levels would have significant effects on pastoralist decisions to use group ranch schemes. On the other hand, occupation, number of cattle rustled and education are significant factors in determining the use of RFID. There is growing scepticism over the cruelty in the military approach embarked upon by the current administration in combating cattle rustling, which seems analogous to the intervention used to combat the rise of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. Therefore, the time is ripe for the government to generate participatory policies whereby consultations should take centre stage in finding solutions to livestock theft. Relevant authorities should urgently build ranches in rural communities, while RFID will be vital to track livestock movement, which will ensure precision for the timely identification of stolen livestock.

For full access to Building of a community cattle ranch and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology as alternative methods of curtailing cattle rustling in Katsina State, kindly follow the link. 


Pastoralists at War: Violence and Security in the Kenya-Sudan-Uganda Border Region

The majority of those living in the border region of Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda are pastoralists, whose livelihoods are dictated by the upkeep and size of their herds. Harsh environmental conditions force pastoralists to migrate in search of water and pasturelands during the dry season. With limited access to water and competing rights to land, intertribal conflict arises when pastoralists from one tribe enter the territory of another. The increased availability of small arms in the region from past wars increasingly makes ordinary clashes fatal. Governments in the region have responded with heavy-handed coercive disarmament operations. These have led to distrust and subsequent violent clashes between communities and security providers. This report reviews the scale, consequences of, and responses to the many pastoral conflicts, utilizing methodological tools such as key informant interviews, retrospective analysis, and a thorough review of available literature.

For full access to Pastoralists at War: Violence and Security in the Kenya-Sudan-Uganda Border Region, kindly follow the link. 


Assessment of Policing and Prevention Strategies of Stock Theft in South Africa: A Case Study of Giyani Policing Area, Republic of South Africa

This study assesses the effectiveness of current strategies employed on stock theft prevention and relationship maintenance within rural communities of Giyani Policing Area (GPA) of Limpopo province by using stock theft prevention as a framework. Specifically, the objective to the study was to assess the effectiveness of current strategies employed by the Giyani South African Police Service Stock Theft Unit (Giyani SAPS STU) in response to stock theft in Giyani communities. The study population consisted of 64 participants from various relevant stakeholders involved in preventing and combating of stock theft in the GPA. The main findings of the study show that a cloud of no confidence exists toward the police amongst the affected livestock farmers and community members, as stock theft is increasing, in the absence of an adequate deterrent (combating) strategy, or a preventative approach. 

For full access to Assessment of Policing and Prevention Strategies of Stock Theft in South Africa: A Case Study of Giyani Policing Area, Republic of South Africa, kindly follow the link. 


Addressing pastoralist conflict in Ethiopia

South Omo in Ethiopia, is a diverse zone in terms of people and natural resources. It comprises large populations of pastoralists and agro-pastoralists and a diverse landscape. The climate is erratic with frequent droughts and rivers that periodically flood and dry out completely. Economic opportunities are limited in an environment of poor infrastructure, no or few opportunities for trade and in some cases, poor terms of trade. As the livelihoods of pastoralists and agro-pastoralists depend on key resources such as land, water, forests, minerals, wildlife, livestock and pasture, the environment poses particular challenges to their survival. These resources are diminishing from year to year, intensifying competition over resources and causing violent conflict between the ethnic groups in the case study areas of the Kuraz and Hamer districts of South Omo. Communities involved in the study were able to identify many mechanisms for resolving conflict, including intermarriage, economic diversification, trade and good governance. The challenge is to identify these mechanisms and to involve a wide range of actors, including government officials at all levels (eg federal, regional, district), local communities and traditional leaders, international actors and donor agencies, in developing comprehensive strategies for conflict prevention and resolution. Recommendations for addressing these issues more effectively are provided at the end of the report. 

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Cows, Bandits, and Violent Conflicts: Understanding Cattle Rustling in Northern Nigeria

Cattle rustlings have become a major crime in Nigeria recently, with the northern region being the hardest hit. In the past few years, rustling activities have resulted in the theft of a huge number of cows, deaths of people and destruction of property. Daily reports across the northern region have confirmed that cattle rustlings have significantly contributed to the increasing security challenges facing the Nigerian state and seem to have become big business involving the herders, big-time syndicates, and heavily armed bandits. However, despite the growing level of cattle rustling and its consequences for society, the situation has yet to receive adequate scholarly interrogation. This paper investigates the causes and consequences of, and state responses to cattle rustling in Nigeria.

For full access to Cows, Bandits, and Violent Conflicts: Understanding Cattle Rustling in Northern Nigeria, kindly follow the link. 


Karamoja conflict and security assessment

The Karamoja region of north eastern Uganda is one of the most marginalised parts of the country. For decades, it has suffered from high levels of conflict and insecurity, alongside low levels of development. Pastoralism is a way of life and cattle-raiding is a common practice in the region. Some of the most visible and well-documented violence in Karamoja occurs between different ethnic groups during cattle raiding. The effects of such violence include death, injury, displacement and disruption of economic and social activities. Tensions are fuelled by the vast amounts of small arms that have saturated the region in recent years. Recent disarmament attempts by the Ugandan army seem to have aggravated existing insecurity and there have also been reports of relief efforts fuelling conflict between communities. 

For full access to the report Karamoja conflict and security assessment, kindly follow the link. 


Ukraine Reform Monitor: April 2017

In the past year, Ukraine’s reforms proceeded more slowly than previously against the background of consolidation of executive power under President Petro Poroshenko, resistance from oligarchs, and opposition in the parliament. The Carnegie Endowment relaunches the Ukraine Reform Monitor, which provides independent, fact-based, rigorous assessments of the scope and quality of reforms in Ukraine. 

For full access to Ukraine Reform Monitor: April 2017, kindly follow the link. 


Libya: A Post-Arab Spring Test for Security Sector Reform

If diplomatic pressure and the terrorist threat force Libya’s political factions to support the UN-backed Government of National Accord, Libya could provide a test bed for security sector reform (SSR) in a post-Arab Spring security environment that includes transnational terrorism and trafficking in drugs, weapons and migrants by international organized crime. This paper provides an overview of the Libyan conflict and current efforts to establish a transitional government. It maps the components of Libya’s security sector: military and police forces, justice institutions, and oversight institutions. It describes the elements of the proposed Government of National Accord and catalogues the tasks that must be performed to achieve SSR in Libya.

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Under the microscope: Customary justice systems in northern Mali

The people of Mali use many types of justice mechanisms, both connected to and further disassociated from the state, to resolve their conflicts. This has led to the creation of a diverse justice ecology that includes both what are often described as ‘formal’ actors—such as state appointed lawyers and judges — and ‘customary’ actors — such as qadis, imans, village chiefs, family heads and elders. This report reveals heretofore undocumented information about the customary justice systems in northern Mali, which we gathered from 108 interviews across the regions of Gao, Mopti and Tombouctou.

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How Can the UN Curb CAR’s Spiral of Violence and Ethnic Cleansing?

In August 2017, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien issued an alarming call to address early warning signs of genocide” in the Central African Republic (CAR). The nature and dynamics of the conflict affecting the country have dramatically evolved in the past few months, and recent episodes of violence have amounted, at a minimum, to ethnic cleansing. What seemed to be a contest between armed groups for economic and political gains has increasingly been entangled with renewed inter-communal, inter-ethnic, and inter-confessional hatred, especially in the central and eastern parts of the country. 

For full access to How Can the UN Curb CAR’s Spiral of Violence and Ethnic Cleansing?, kindly follow the link. 


Inclusive Approaches to Community Policing and CVE

What happens when community policing—a strategy that promotes collaboration between the police and a community to ensure safety and security—is implemented in transitional societies, in marginalized communities, or to prevent violent extremism or to engage women in providing community-level security? To ensure that they are not doing more harm than good, security, gender, and peacebuilding practitioners must both expand their understanding of policing methodologies and related assumptions and reconcile sometimes competing objectives.

For full access to the report Inclusive Approaches to Community Policing and CVE, kindly follow the link.


Improving South American military expenditure data

SIPRI’s Military Expenditure Database currently covers 11 South American countries and contains data going back to 1960. everal key sources of military expenditure are not covered in the data, which leads to an underestimation of military spending. Off-budget expenditure is used to fund a large proportion of the arms purchases not captured in the current military expenditure data on South American countries. This topical backgrounder begins to address this issue, using Venezuela as the initial country case for improvement.

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Ukraine’s New Diplomatic Battlefronts: U.S. Weapons, UN Peacekeepers

The front lines between the Ukrainian army and Moscow-backed forces in eastern Ukraine may be static but see frequent and violent firefights. Diplomatic manoeuvering over new U.S. lethal weapons for Kyiv risks aggravating the conflict and Russia’s UN peacekeeping proposal could prove a distraction from a genuine solution. Another new dimension to the international struggle over Ukraine are competing proposals from Moscow and Kyiv for a new UN peacekeeping operation that would keep armed forces apart in the main conflict areas in eastern Ukraine. So far, however, it is unclear whether these are schemes designed to sow confusion or genuinely intended to lead to a separation of forces...

For full access to Ukraine’s New Diplomatic Battlefronts: U.S. Weapons, UN Peacekeepers, kindly follow the link. 


Preventing Election Violence in Liberia

Liberia will hold presidential and legislative elections on October 10. The run-up to the vote has been primarily peaceful, and the country has engaged in ongoing efforts to prevent election violence. This Peace Brief, based on USIP research, assesses the risk of election violence and the scope of violence prevention efforts, and provides recommendations for ongoing prevention. 

For full access to Preventing Election Violence in Liberia, kindly follow the link. 


Avoiding the Worst in Central African Republic

Resurgent armed groups in Central African Republic are killing many civilians and causing widespread displacement. Government forces and the UN are in a weak position, and there are no quick solutions. To contain the violence, the government and international actors must agree on a roadmap for peace with armed groups that combines both incentives and coercive measures. 

For full access to the report Avoiding the Worst in Central African Republic, kindly follow the link. 


Unfair Cop – Why African Police Forces Make Violent Extremism Worse

Undermanned, underfunded, underwhelming: African police forces struggle to contain regular crime, and they are even further out of their depth when it comes to tackling violent extremism.The best way to identify threats to public safety is a policing model that promotes trust and collaboration with the community, say the policy manuals on preventing violent extremism, better known as PVE. A positive relationship is believed to help build resilience to radicalisation. But the reality in much of the world is that the police are viewed as corrupt, violent, and people best avoided.

For full access to Unfair Cop – Why African Police Forces Make Violent Extremism Worse, kindly follow the link. 


The Gambia: An Ideal Case for Prevention in Practice

Policymakers continuing to wrestle with issue of how sustaining peace, prevention and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development work together, could look no further than The Gambia as a case study. The country’s fragile transition since national elections in January this year provide considerable room for studying and responding to the root causes of conflict by pursuing both peace and development in a holistic manner. This focus is in keeping with both sustaining peace and the 2030 Agenda, which, while intended to be universal processes, have been criticized in regards to their practical application, both in isolation and in combination.

For full access to The Gambia: An Ideal Case for Prevention in Practice, kindly follow the link. 


The Social Roots of Jihadist Violence in Burkina Faso’s North

Jihadist violence in the West African Sahel has now spread to the north of Burkina Faso. Ouagadougou and its foreign partners recognise that their response requires more than military offensives and that a definitive resolution of the crisis hinges in part on the situation in Mali. However, their approach needs to better take account of the local and social roots of the crisis, which are more profound than its religious and security dimensions.

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The Cattle Raiders Leave Us No Choice: New Transhumance in the Mahafaly Plateau Region in Madagascar

This article reports findings from a qualitative case study on the recent development of a pastoral transhumance movement in the Mahafaly Plateau region in Madagascar. Interviews with pastoralists from 26 villages are analyzed within a framework of contemporary new institutional economics to investigate pastoral mobility, as a response to the Madagascar-wide problem of cattle raiders (dahalo ). The conditions for the new movement are compared to a traditional transhumance movement comprising the same actors but in reverse geographical direction. The findings illustrate how Madagascar’s cattle raiding problem has influenced the rural society’s social norms and mental models. The study highlights how supportive social norms and fitting shared mental models influence people’s capacity to adapt, especially in sociocultural settings ruled by informal indigenous institutions.

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4 ways to support reconciliation: Lessons from Rwanda and Liberia

International Alert identified two strands to support people in finding peaceful solutions to conflict. One strand involves working with communities to improve relations between people and the state. This often means bringing together communities with local and national authorities to discuss improving the accessibility and quality of public services. The other strand is about supporting reconciliation within and between communities.

Reconciliation projects in Rwanda and Liberia that came to an end in recent years provide an opportunity to identify good practice in this area. Based on achieved results, four elements of good practice in reconciliation programming can be pointed out.

In order to read, 4 ways to support reconciliation: Lessons from Rwanda and Liberia, please follow the link.


Addressing Security and Human rights challenges in complex environments

This Toolkit is part of a joint DCAF-ICRC project that draws on the experience of the two organisations in order to support companies and other actors facing security and human rights challenges in complex environments. 

As part of this project, DCAF and the ICRC have also developed a Knowledge Hub. While the Toolkit and the Knowledge Hub are intended to have a wide application beyond the extractives sector, they were developed to reflect the commitment of both organisations as official Observers to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs).

In order to read, Addressing Security and Human rights challenges in complex environments, please follow the link.


Dérives autocratiques et anéantissement en huis-clos des voix critiques au Burundi: Quel rôle pour l’Union Européenne ?

Depuis l’explosion de la crise politique en 2015 au Burundi, date à laquelle le Président de la République Pierre Nkurunziza a décidé de briguer un troisième mandat en violation de la Constitution et de l’Accord d’Arusha, une campagne de répression systématique des voix dissidentes, d’usage disproportionné de la force lors des manifestations, de violations graves et à grande échelle des droits et des libertés fondamentales par le régime, est à l’œuvre dans ce pays.

Cette situation s’empire depuis l’annonce en décembre dernier de l’organisation d’un référendum constitutionnel controversé afin de modifier substantiellement la Constitution de 2005 et revenir ainsi notamment sur les acquis d’Arusha.

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Irak : la quête d’unité nationale s’annonce difficile pour le nouveau gouvernement

L’élection de Barham Saleh à la présidence irakienne et d’Adel Abdel Mahdi au poste de Premier ministre a finalement permis de sortir de l’impasse dans laquelle le pays se trouvait depuis que les élections législatives de mai avaient entraîné une série de querelles internes, de négociations et d’accusations de fraude.

Avec l’accession de Mahdi au pouvoir, il s’agit de la première fois depuis la chute de Saddam Hussein et le successif passage au régime civil que l’Irak n’est pas dirigé par un membre du Parti islamique Dawa. Considérés comme des unificateurs potentiels, le nouveau président Barham Saleh et son Premier ministre Adel Abdel Mahdi font face à de grands défis.

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« Ils m’ont dit de garder le silence » - Obstacles rencontrés par les survivantes d’agressions sexuelles pour obtenir justice et réparations en Mauritanie

En Mauritanie, peu de survivantes d’agressions sexuelles osent s’exprimer. Celles qui les dénoncent aux autorités doivent se frayer un chemin dans un système dysfonctionnel qui décourage les victimes de porter plainte, peut leur valoir d’être à nouveau traumatisées, voire punies, et manque de services adéquats d’aide aux victimes.

Ce rapport fait état des obstacles institutionnels, juridiques et sociaux que rencontrent les survivantes lorsqu’elles veulent rapporter à la police des incidents d’agressions sexuelles, amener les coupables devant la justice et obtenir un soutien médical et psychosocial. Human Rights Watch a mené des entretiens avec 12 filles et 21 femmes qui ont décrit un ou plusieurs incidents d’agressions sexuelles. Nos chercheurs se sont rendus à la prison nationale pour femmes et se sont entretenus avec trois femmes détenues après avoir été inculpées de zina, dont deux ont déclaré avoir subi des violences sexuelles.

Afin d'accéder à l'analyse, « Ils m’ont dit de garder le silence » - Obstacles rencontrés par les survivantes d’agressions sexuelles pour obtenir justice et réparations en Mauritanie, veuillez suivre le lien.


Transitioning Toward Gender Justice: A Trend Analysis of 13 African cases

Gender justice sees equal power relations, privilege, dignity, and freedom for people of different genders as a necessary component for any “just” society and a prerequisite for development. Gender justice includes gender equality, meaning substantive freedom for all genders to have genuine choices about their lives. Mirroring a global pattern in peace and security practice and policy-making, transitional justice (TJ) practice has tended to reduce gender justice concerns to violence against women (VAW). This policy brief advocates for policy-makers to adopt a broader and more meaningful understanding of gender justice, and to incorporate it into their TJ policymaking. To demonstrate the need for a broader understanding of gender justice within TJ processes, this policy brief draws upon a study conducted by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) on the drivers and impacts of TJ in Africa. The study examined gender trends emerging from 13 African countries that had State-led TJ processes between 1990 and 2011, and their impacts up until 2016. Based on the academic literature and available data for the 13 cases, four key factors were used as basic indicators of gender justice: women’s political rights and representation; women’s economic equity; women’s participation in civil society; and State measures against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

For full access to Transitioning Toward Gender Justice: A Trend Analysis of 13 African cases, kindly follow the link. 


Mali-Niger : changement climatique et conflits forment un cocktail explosif au Sahel

Les effets du changement climatique exacerbent les conflits intercommunautaires au Mali comme au Niger, ce qui se traduit par une aggravation de la pauvreté, un affaiblissement des services publics et un bouleversement des moyens de survie traditionnels.

Les violences et difficultés que connaît la région ne sont pas liées uniquement aux conflits, mais aussi à la diminution des terres exploitables et à l'évolution imprévisible des ressources en eau.

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The need for an African Union Special Envoy for Climate Change and Security

This essay reflects upon the climate-related security risks facing Africa and reviews the current policy responses. It contends that broad AU member state support for an AU Special Envoy for Climate Change and Security would be a viable strategy that strengthens the AU’s response to climate risks. The idea of the envoy—which stems from the AU’s Peace and Security Council meeting in May 2018—is an opportunity to pre-empt migration and forced displacement and moreover, ‘climate-proof’ the AU’s peace and security architecture.

For full access to The need for an African Union Special Envoy for Climate Change and Security, please follow the link provided.


Justice provision in south east Myanmar: experiences from conflict-affected areas with multiple governing authorities

Myanmar’s south east has long been characterised by conflict between the central government and various ethnic armed organisations (EAOs), including the Karen National Union (KNU). The resulting patchwork of governance structures – including those of the government, the KNU, or a mix of the two – has meant that people access justice services in very different ways.

This report, explores how justice is provided and accessed in four locations under different governance arrangements, and shows how this varies from place to place. The locations included in the research include an urban ward under government control, a village fully administered by the KNU, a village officially administered by the government but which is influenced by two EAOs, the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army and the KNU, and a militia group, and a village under mixed KNU and government administration.

The findings are meant to inform international aid agencies with a detailed account of how people perceive and experience justice in their communities, and how these systems function in practice. It should also help inform policy and practice around justice in south east Myanmar.

To read the full report Justice provision in south east Myanmar: experiences from conflict-affected areas with multiple governing authorities, please follow the link provided.


In South Sudan, Nonviolent Action is Essential to Building Peace

On September 12 of last year, South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, signed the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan(R-ARCSS) with South Sudan People Liberation Movement in Opposition chairman Dr. Riek Machar and several other armed groups. Meanwhile, South Sudanese civil society has sought to further advance the country’s peace process through coordinated, strategic nonviolent actions and campaigns.

There is hope among South Sudanese that this agreement will finally bring about peace and there have been some positive indicators despite the challenges it is facing for it's implementation.

To access the full paper In South Sudan, Nonviolent Action is Essential to Building Peace, please follow the link provided.


Enhancing accountability for peaceful, just and inclusive societies: Practical guidance for civil society reporting on SDG16+

Since 2015, Saferworld has worked with civil society and governments to translate the 2030 Agenda commitments to peaceful, just and inclusive societies into action.

For the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved, governments and other stakeholders must be accountable for the commitments agreed in 2015. Reporting by civil society on national progress towards the SDGs is critical for ensuring accountability, and provides an important complement to official accounts of progress.

This briefing provides practical guidance for civil society organisations to develop independent reports on progress towards the goal of peaceful, just and inclusive societies, referred to as SDG16+. The guidance is in two parts: the first outlines a series of steps for developing a report, and the second proposes a structure for the report’s content.

Follow the link to access the practical guidance for Enhancing accountability for peaceful, just and inclusive societies.


A threat inflated? The countering and preventing violent extremism agenda in Kyrgyzstan

Often overshadowed by regional headline-grabbing hotspots like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, Central Asian countries like Kyrgyzstan rarely get international attention. The post-Soviet country – once on the ancient Silk Road – rarely makes the news now, but it has its share of challenges. Bisected by the ’northern route’ of opioid traffickers, it struggles with pervasive corruption and the threat of political instability, ethnic conflict and now – purportedly – a jihadist underbelly. In response, alongside counter-terror efforts to bolster Central Asian state security services with training and equipment, international policy towards Kyrgyzstan has become increasingly focused on ‘countering/preventing violent extremism’ (C/PVE).

Please follow the link provided to access the full paper A threat inflated? The countering and preventing violent extremism agenda in Kyrgyzstan.



A Challenge for Peacekeeping: Balancing Static Protection with Mobility in South Sudan

Since the outbreak of civil war in South Sudan in December 2013, UNMISS has provided protection to several hundred thousand civilians who sought shelter on their bases around the country. With limited resources, UNMISS has struggled to provide protection to civilians that reside in the POC sites, and to also project resources to provide protection for the many more civilians outside of the sites.

Like its predecessor, the new UN Security Council mandate recognizes the important role that UNMISS plays providing protection to the POC sites and directs the Mission to continue to “maintain public safety and security of and within UNMISS protection of civilians sites.” However, the mandate also includes new language that emphasizes the need for UNMISS to “support the facilitation of the safe, informed, voluntary, and dignified return or relocation” of displaced persons and imposes a 180-day deadline for the mission to complete an assessment of each POC site, including the model for providing security to the sites and steps necessary to foster a secure environment for the safe, informed, voluntary, and dignified returns and relocations of displaced persons.

Nuanced and location specific assessments of POC sites could help UNMISS better understand security threats to civilians in and around the sites and plan to address them. However, the timeline for the assessments is short and setting a deadline on assessments could inadvertently create pressure on Mission officials to begin supporting population movements that are potentially risky given the conflict environment.

This report examines the challenges the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) faces in adopting a more mobile and flexible approach to peacekeeping in South Sudan. It provides reflections on the balance the Mission should try to reach between increasing mobility and continuing to provide static protection to civilians sheltered in Protection of Civilians (POC) sites on UNMISS bases. These reflections are particularly important in light of UNMISS’s already stretched resources and new mandate language, which focuses on UNMISS’s role in facilitating returns and relocations for displaced persons.

To access the full report A Challenge for Peacekeeping: Balancing Static Protection with Mobility in South Sudan, please follow the link provided.