Case Studies

Gender and Security Sector Reform: Examples from the Ground

Selected Resources

Training Resource Package: Guide to Integrating Gender in SSR Training- DCAF

Video: Gender in SSR-Stephen Jackson, Chief of Staff at the UN Office in Burundi

The Examples from the Ground are concrete illustrations of ways in which a gender perspective has been integrated in different security sector institutions around the world. They range from measures to counter human trafficking in Kosovo, to women’s organisations’ involvement with security institutions in Nepal, to female parliamentarians’ contribution to post-conflict reconstruction in Rwanda. These examples can help policymakers, trainers and educators better understand and demonstrate the linkages between gender and SSR.

The examples are organised around the following nine themes, for which a short introduction is provided:

• Police Reform and Gender
• Defence Reform and Gender
• Justice Reform and Gender
• Penal Reform and Gender
• Border Management and Gender
• Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• National Security Policy-Making and Gender
• Civil Society Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• SSR Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender

For downloading individual examples and case studies in Integrating Gender into SSR Training on Kosovo, Liberia, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Hungary, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the Central African Republic, Indonesia, Peru, Somalia, Afghanistan, the Russian Federation, Tajikstan, Rwand, Brazil, Israel, Jamaica, Nepal, the United States, and the regions of West Africa and the Pacific, kindly follow the link. 

case study


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 challenges of security sector reform in Somalia.

The former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Hussein Arab Isse, talks about the challenges of reforming the security sector in Somalia, including the need for greater inclusion of women in the process. Interview conducted 3 October 2012.



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?


High Level Panel Session on SSR (East Africa): SSR in Somalia-Lessons & Challenges (Session 4: 02-10-12)

Moderator: Ambassador Augustine Mahiga, UN SRSG for Somalia and Head of UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS)

Colonel Mohammed Jama, Strategic Military Adviser to the Somali Chief of Defence Staff
Hon. Hussein Arab Isse, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and Member of the Federal Parliament of Somalia
Ms. Hanan Ibrahim, Director of the African Initiative for African Women
Brigadier General Abdihakim Dahir Sa’id, Deputy Police Commissioner, Somalia


How Women’s Support Energises Somalia’s Al-Shabaab

In this podcast, Horn of Africa expert Alan Boswell and Senior Analyst on Gender Azadeh Moaveni talk about Crisis Group’s field research on women’s roles within Somalia’s Al-Shabaab, and compare them to women’s roles with Nigeria’s Boko Haram and other Islamist groups.

To listen to the podcast How Women’s Support Energises Somalia’s Al-Shabaab, kindly follow the link. 


Somalie: «On ne peut pas protéger efficacement la population» dit le général Kabango

La Somalie célèbre aujourd’hui le 59e anniversaire de son indépendance. Cette célébration intervient alors que le pays est encore en partie contrôlé par les islamistes shebabs. RFI fait le point de la situation sur le terrain avec le général de brigade Michael Kabango, l’un des plus hauts gradés de l’Amisom. 

Pour écouter le podcast, Somalie: «On ne peut pas protéger efficacement la population» dit le général Kabango, veuillez suivre le lien.


Policy and Research Papers

The Road Ahead: Challenges and Opportunities of SSR 2013

On 2-3 October 2012, DCAF-ISSAT organised a High Level Panel (HLP) on Challenges and Opportunities for Security Sector Reform (SSR) in East Africa , in partnership with the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON), the Governments of Burundi, Kenya, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Somalia and South Sudan, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union (AU), East African Community (EAC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Security Sector Network (ASSN). It was attended by over two hundred SSR policy makers and practitioners.

This report seeks to take those discussions further, including more of the points raised by participants during the HLP, and adding in lessons from experience gathered from individual missions and related trainings. Three case studies featured in the HLP (Burundi, Somalia and South Sudan) and as such provide many of the examples, although the report also draws from examples beyond East Africa. An introductory section on SSR in each of these countries is provided in section one and full case studies are included in the annex.

This report, which keeps to the same thematic areas as those covered in the HLP, offers information on contemporary thinking in security and justice reform, and provides some recommendations and examples of good practice to those interested in or engaged in SSR.

Some videos interviews of the participants at the event are listed in the Related Resources column on the right of this webpage. A full list of available videos from this event are available under the documents tab on the HLP's Events page. Podcasts of all the sessions are available there also.


Lessons from the African Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM) for Peace Operations in Mali

Mali and Somalia have both suffered determined Islamist-inspired insurgencies, and in both African Union-led peace operations have been a central pillar in political and security stabilization efforts. Despite challenges in transferring lessons between unique situations, the AMISOM experience can offer some useful lessons for Mali. We have identified several themes that helped to drive success for AMISOM, amongst others the determination of troop contributors and their funding partners, and actively pursuing the support of the host population. At the operational and tactical levels, we have highlighted a number of features that has contributed to more effective operations, including a high degree of adaptability, working with allied armed groups and a dogged determination to see the fight through. The next stage for both countries may be the most challenging yet as African Union and United Nations troops are called to keep a complex and fragile peace in Mali and Somalia. 

To access the full report Lessons from the African Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM) for Peace Operations in Mali, kindly click on the link.


Remembrance of Things Past: Somali Roads to Police Development

Police reform is thought to require a police force to break with its past. This is notably so in the aftermath of conflict or regime change. In practice, however, most police forces are selectively reconstituted, and their development is influenced as much by legacy issues as by international standards filtered through local norms. This article uses the experience of Somalia’s three regional police forces to reconsider the relationship between past and present projects to build police authority and capacity, and what this says about institutional memory in the absence of documentation. In Somalia, as in other clan or tribal-based societies, police development is influenced by a blend of security levels, political imperatives, pragmatism, international resources and memories of past practices, with group experience playing a more significant role than institutional memory. The only identifiable general principle is the need for political settlements and tactical flexibility – that is, for stability.

For full access to Remembrance of Things Past: Somali Roads to Police Development, kindly follow the link.


A Transparent and Accountable Judiciary to Deliver Justice for All


Corruption is hampering the delivery of justice globally. People perceive the judiciary as the second most corrupt public service, after the police. UNDP presents in this report, prepared in cooperation with U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, a series of successful experiences from Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Kosovo*, Nepal, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, and Somalia, in promoting transparency and accountability within the judiciary.

Opening up judicial systems fosters integrity and increases public trust without impeding independence of the judiciary. The report advocates for judiciaries to open up to peer learning by engaging representatives of other countries in capacity assessments to improve judicial integrity. It also encourages judiciaries to consult end-users, associations of judges and use new technologies to foster transparency and accountability.

For full access to the report on A Transparent and Accountable Judiciary to Deliver Justice for All, kindly follow the link.


Non-State Security Providers and Political Formation in Somalia


The Centre for Security Governance (CSG) published a new CSG Paper showing that non-state security providers will remain a central feature of the Somali political landscape into the foreseeable future, and the Somali state will be forced to negotiate messy and fluid partnerships with these actors. 

This is the third of four papers produced as part of the CSG’s project on Non-State Security Providers and Political Formation in Conflict-Affected States.

For full access to the paper on Non-State Security Providers and Political Formation in Somalia, kindly follow the link.


Stabilization in Eastern and Central Africa: Insights from Somalia, South Sudan and the DRC

RVI Stabilsation

This Meeting Report by the Rift Valley Institute (RVI) presents highlights from a two-day regional conference organised in 2014 with the University of Gothenburg. The conference took place in Kenya and assembled participants from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Somalia and South Sudan as well as academics and specialists from Europe and North America. The gathering sought to question, review, evaluate and exchange lessons on stabilisation programmes in the DRC, Somalia and South Sudan with the aim of informing policies that enhance peace and security in eastern and central Africa. 

Rather than presenting the debates and their conclusions in full, this report gives a central space to voices from countries that are subject to stabilisation programmes and complements their statements, explanations and clarifications with those of regional and international specialists and experienced practitioners in international aid, development and stabilization.

To access the RVI Meeting Report Stabilization in Eastern and Central Africa: Insights from Somalia, South Sudan and the DRC, kindly follow the link.


Our fast-growing cities are becoming hotbeds of unrest. It doesn’t have to be that way

This policy brief from the World Economic Forum is drawing attention to the results of the Habitat III conference, which took place in Ecuador from 17-20 October and the promising policy ideas with potential to benefit billions of people living in cities. the author points out that in the New Urban Agenda, the document to guide the next 20 years of urbanization, the security and urbanization strategists are called to talk to each other as it has become indisputable that the way cities develop has a huge impact on security. 

Find the full brief on Our fast-growing cities are becoming hotbeds of unrest. It doesn’t have to be that way. 


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. 

Pour accéder au Rapport sur le Conseil de paix et de sécurité 90 de l'Union Africaine, veuillez suivre le lien.


A New Path Emerges for Troubled Somali Security

This article discusses Ethiopia’s recent military withdrawl from key areas in Somalia, and the speed at which al-Shabaab extremists filled the power vacuum, as a significant reminder of the limited progress made in building a credible Somali fighting force and again exposes the fragility of the country’s security architecture. 

For full access to A New Path Emerges for Troubled Somali Security, kindly follow the link.


Exit Strategy Challenges for the AU Mission in Somalia

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) alone cannot defeat al-Shabaab. This can only happen if AMISOM can partner with a capable, legitimate and inclusive set of Somali security forces. Unfortunately, over the last decade, Somalia’s political leaders have failed to forge a political settlement that charts an agreed pathway towards creating an effective set of professional national security forces.

For full access to Exit Strategy Challenges for the AU Mission in Somalia, kindly follow the link.


Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency in Somalia

This report analyzes the U.S. and allied campaign against the al Qa’ida– linked terrorist group al Shabaab in Somalia, examines what steps have been most successful against the group, and identifies potential recommendations. The analysis is based on an extensive review of qualitative and quantitative data available on al Shabaab, two trips to East Africa, two trips to U.S. Africa Command, and extensive conversations with regional experts. This study should be of interest to policymakers, academics, and general readers interested in terrorism and insurgency.For full access to Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency in Somalia, kindly follow the link.


Countdown to AMISOM Withdrawal: Is Somalia Ready?

The swearing-in of Somalia’s new President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” was greeted with a surge of optimism on the streets of Mogadishu that a new era of stability was on its way. The International Crisis Group said Farmajo had benefited from being seen as the right leader “to build a robust Somali National Army (SNA), speed up the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)’s exit, stabilise security, curb interventions by neighbouring countries, and protect Somalia’s dignity and sovereignty.” But this is an ambitious wish list and the path ahead is fraught with danger.

For full access to Countdown to AMISOM Withdrawal: Is Somalia Ready?, kindly follow the link.


Somalia - Security and Justice Sector Public Expenditure Review

In late 2013, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) requested that the World Bank and UNSOM jointly conduct a public expenditure review of the security and justice sectors (SJPER). An SJPER is a tool to assist policy and operational decision-making, analyze tradeoffs, and provide options on critical financially-related issues in defense, as well as criminal justice and policing. As a tool, rather than a one-off report, it should be used by the authorities and partners going forward in terms of testing the critical policy questions against the key dimensions studied here, including affordability, efficiency and effectiveness and accountability.

For full access to Somalia - Security and Justice Sector Public Expenditure Review, kindly follow the link.


Somalia 2012: Ending the Transition?

This is a critical time for Somalia. There are less than 90 days until the end of the transitional federal government’s mandate on 20 August 2012, and the stakes are high for the delivery of the key components of the political ‘roadmap’, not least a new constitution. At the same time, the five-year insurgency that has wracked the south and central regions has entered a new phase, with fighting now along numerous fronts as the African Union peacekeeping mission has expanded to include forces from Kenya, with more promised from Djibouti and Sierra Leone. Al-Shabaab, the Al-Qa’ida-linked conglomerate, appears to be on the back foot: it has been bruised by Somali Army and AMISOM offensives and is internally divided. But the complex, changeable dynamics of Somalia’s recent past suggest that it is too early to call time on this persistent opponent of the TFG.

In response to the changing dynamics within Somalia and the growing regional and international interest in the country’s future, RUSI and the Brenthurst Foundation convened a one-day roundtable discussion in London in November 2011 to discuss the key issues facing Somalia during this time of political transition. This report summarises the roundtable discussion. It also includes three important essays from leading Somalis and Somalia observers, each of which emphasise the centrality of Somalis in shaping their own political future, as well as the continued role of the regional and international community; together with a special focus on the situation of women in Somalia during this time of change.


Gatekeepers, Elders and Accountability in Somalia

In Somalia, the relationship between formal and informal spheres of governance are being renegotiated. In many areas, the formal state has been absent for a long time, or government agents only recently appointed by the Federal Government of Somalia. Meanwhile, there are powerful non-state actors who play roles in customary and informal governance systems, that in turn work to compete with, accommodate and influence formal state institutions.

Using case studies from the Implementation and Analysis in Action of Accountability Programme, a Department for International Development-funded programme that made grants available to Somali and international organisations to trial interventions designed to increase accountability, this report examines how impact can be achieved through working with non-state actors.

For full access to Gatekeepers, Elders and Accountability in Somalia, please follow the link. 


L’impact de la dynamique du financement de l’UE sur l’AMISOM

En janvier 2016, l’Union européenne a plafonné le montant destiné aux salaires des soldats de la paix de l’AMISOM. Cette décision a creusé le fossé entre la mission et ses partenaires quant à son bilan et son avenir, et a finalement abouti à la concrétisation d’une stratégie de retrait de l’AMISOM. Néanmoins, si les conditions permettant un retrait ne sont pas réunies, tous les acteurs impliqués dans l’AMISOM devront éventuellement faire des compromis afin de veiller à préserver les progrès fragiles qui ont été réalisés en matière de sécurité.

Pour accéder à L’impact de la dynamique du financement de l’UE sur l’AMISOM, veuillez suivre le lien.


Somalia’s climate change refugees

Displaced by drought and conflict, rural Somalis have been heading to Mogadishu in their tens of thousands. They get no safety or support and are increasingly targeted for forced evictions, but they are still coming.

For full access to the paper, Somalia’s climate change refugees, please follow the link.


Defusing Violent Extremism in Fragile States

In Nigeria, a radio call-in show with local Islamic scholars provided an alternative to extremist propaganda. In Somalia, training youth in nonviolent advocacy for better governance produced a sharp drop in support for political violence. In the Lake Chad region, coordinating U.S. defense, development and diplomatic efforts helped push back Boko Haram and strengthened surrounding states. Such cases illustrate ways to close off the openings for extremism in fragile states, experts said in a discussion at the U.S. Institute of Peace. 

For full access to the article, Defusing Violent Extremism in Fragile States, please follow the link.


Report of the Secretary-General on Somalia

The report, provides information on the implementation of both resolutions, including on the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS). The report covers major developments in Somalia during the period from 23 August to 20 December 2017.

For full access to the report of the Secretary-General on Somalia, please follow the link.


Revisiting the rise and fall of the Somali Armed Forces, 1960–2012

The history of the Somali Armed Forces, principally the army, forms an important part of studying the Somali civil war. With the twentieth century context covered, and in some places reinterpreted, this article focuses on the uncertain rebirth of the Somali Armed Forces since 2008, using a host of primary and United Nations sources. Assistance efforts have been focused on Mogadishu, but limited success has been made in forming truly national armed forces. Future prospects are uncertain, but there are some signs oh hope.

For full access to the resource, Revisiting the rise and fall of the Somali Armed Forces, 1960–2012, please follow the link.


The Limits of Punishment: Transitional Justice and Violent Extremism

The Limits of Punishment is a research project led by the United Nations University’s Centre for Policy Research, in partnership with the Institute for Integrated Transitions, and supported by the UK Department for International Development. It seeks to understand if, when and how transitional justice, in combination with other conflict resolution tools, can contribute to transitions away from conflict in settings affected by major jihadist groups. Specifically, it aims to answer two questions:

  1. What are the effects of current approaches toward punishment and leniency for individuals accused of association with jihadist groups in fragile and conflict-affected states?
  2. What factors should policymakers consider in designing alternative and complementary strategies leveraging transitional justice tools to better contribute to sustainable transitions away from conflict?

For full access to the paper The Limits of Punishment: Transitional Justice and Violent Extremism, please kindly follow the link. 


The European Union Training Mission in Somalia: Lessons Learnt for EU Security Sector Reform

The European Union’s mission to contribute to the training of the Somali Security Forces is the first military training mission launched by the EU. Deployed in April 2010, EUTM is nearing the end of its mandate: the training of the recruits will be completed by mid-July 2011. The mission was carried out in close coordination with the US, the African Union and the Ugandan army, and contributed to the EU’s visibility in East Africa. However, given the overall feebleness of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and its inability to implement reform, the political effectiveness of the mission is doubtful. In the current context, EUTM should not be extended beyond its original mandate. The EU and other donors should instead support more functional local administrations and make future assistance to the TFG contingent upon tangible progress towards completing transitional tasks, a normalization of political life, and restoring the provision of public services.

For full access to The European Union Training Mission in Somalia: Lessons Learnt for EU Security Sector Reform, kindly follow the link.


Towards a Federated Police System in Somalia

This paper is an UNPOL report noting good practices and lessons learned from Somalia's “New Policing Model”. UNPOL presents what they consider to be an example of locally-owned development and implementation of a federated police system as part of overall state-building efforts. Somali efforts have been supported by international organisations such as the United Nations and AMISOM among others, and have been hailed as highly successful. 


Counterterrorism and Challenges to Peacekeeping Impartiality

A distinct characteristic of United Nations peacekeeping is its impartiality. It is also a reality that for UN peacekeeping to function properly, partnering with regional organizations and other groups is essential. Experiences in Mali and Somalia have, however, exposed the political and operational challenges that partnerships create in maintaining impartiality. The challenge at hand is the dynamic between peacekeeping and counterterrorism efforts, especially as partnerships have expanded—notably in Africa, where regional actors have deployed increasing numbers of counterterrorist forces in the Sahel, Somalia, and Lake Chad Basin.

In order to read, Counterterrorism and Challenges to Peacekeeping Impartiality, please follow the link.


Q&A: Somalia Charts Security Transition

Somalia’s state-building efforts, including initiatives to strengthen security and rebuild the political system, have proceeded steadily since the inauguration of President Mohammed Abdullahi Farmajo in February 2017. Nonetheless, serious challenges remain. The Africa Center for Strategic Studies spoke with Abdisaid Ali, National Security Advisor to the President of the Federal Government of Somalia, to take stock of the progress. 

In this interview, Abdisaid Ali presented Somalia's political will, security reforms in the country's Transition Plan, and the commitment to domestic and international coalition building to sustain the country’s progress.

To access to the full article, Q&A: Somalia Charts Security Transition, please follow the link.


Les difficiles leçons qu’AMISOM a dû apprendre en Somalie

En 2017, la Somalie a tenu des élections parlementaires et présidentielles dans une atmosphère relativement calme. La Mission de l’Union africaine en Somalie (AMISOM), qui est présente en Somalie depuis 2007, a joué un rôle primordial dans l’obtention de ce succès. Néanmoins, al Shabaab, le groupe militant islamiste qui avait déstabilisé la Somalie, demeure une menace sérieuse. Dans l’espoir d’obtenir une meilleure compréhension de l’état actuel de la mission, le Centre d’études stratégiques de l’Afrique s’est entretenu avec M. Simon Mulongo, le représentant spécial adjoint au Président du Conseil de la Commission en Somalie (D/SRCC) au sein de la Commission de l’Union africaine basée à Mogadishu.

Dans une interview avec le Centre d’études stratégiques de l’Afrique, Simon Mulongo, le représentant adjoint à la Commission de l’Union africaine à Mogadishu, a déclaré qu’AMISOM n’aurait pu obtenir le succès qu’elle a eu si elle avait continué à utiliser le modèle traditionnel du maintien de la paix.

Afin d'accéder à l'article, Les difficiles leçons qu’AMISOM a dû apprendre en Somalie, veuillez suivre le lien.


Informal Conclusions of the Chair: High Level Panel on the Challenges and Opportunities for Security Sector Reform (SSR) in East Africa

The overall purpose of the High Level Panel (October 2nd-3rd 2012) was to take stock of the challenges when implementing security and justice reforms at a national level; to identify lessons that could be applied to other SSR processes in the Eastern African region; and to look at what role regional and international actors could optimally have in SSR initiatives. The High Level Panel brought together over 200 SSR policy makers and practitioners to unpack the key issues faced by both those implementing and leading SSR. Those attending the event were experts responsible for leading and implementing processes in Burundi, Somalia and South Sudan, as well as key donors, regional and multilateral organisations and representatives from the African Security Sector Network and other civil society organisations. 

This report reflects the informal conclusions drawn from the selected country-case studies as well as thematic debates at the High-Level Panel. 


Engagement with Customary and Informal Justice Systems

IDLO has produced a practitioner brief which is part of its series on "Navigating Complex Pathways to Justice: Engagement with Customary and Informal Justice Systems” to advance policy dialogue and distil lessons from programming and research but also to help strengthen customary and informal justice systems as an integral part of providing access to justice for all. This Practitioner Brief offers a set of concrete tools, recommendations and good practices to support engagement with customary and informal justice systems.

For full access to the practitioner brief, Engagement with Customary and Informal Justice Systems, kindly follow the link. 

You can also have access to their policy and issue brief on the same topic, Engagement with Customary and Informal Justice Systems, by kindly following the link.


Gender Justice & The Law: Assessment of laws affecting gender equality in the Arab States region

Conducted by UNDP, UN Women, UNFPA, and ESCWA, this study on Gender Justice & the Law in the Arab States Region provides a comprehensive assessment of laws and policies affecting gender equality and protection against gender-based violence in Arab countries. The report is composed of 18 country profiles, each of which maps a country’s key legislative developments and gaps regarding gender justice. This introduction provides an overall summary of these country chapters followed by a summary of each country examined.

To access the full report, Gender Justice & The Law, please follow the link provided. 


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.

The European Union’s engagement in Security Sector Reform (SSR) is a case in point. Transforming security and justice systems in fragile states is one of the top priorities of the EU’s external action. According to its 2016 SSR framework, the EU will help partner countries put the military under civilian oversight and provide effective, legitimate and accountable security and justice services to their citizens. EU programmes will apply a comprehensive approach aimed at: (i) formulating integrated security and justice policies and setting up national coordination mechanisms; (ii) providing training and non-lethal equipment to defence and security forces; and (iii) building internal accountability mechanisms and systems for human resources planning, budgeting, and financial management.

In 2017, €2.5 billion in Official Development Assistance (ODA) managed by the European Commission was allocated to governance and civil society, including SSR. There are ongoing or planned rule-of-law, security and justice programmes in more than 40 countries worldwide. In West Africa, EU institutions have channeled over €100 million to finance the nascent 5,000-strong G5 Sahel Joint Force, while assistance for stabilisation in the region has reached €400 million.

The EU has also launched three Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions. In Mali and Niger, capacity-building missions (EUCAP) provide technical assistance, training and equipment for internal security forces to fight against terrorism, organised crime and irregular migration. The EU Training Mission in Mali (EUTM) has been helping the government to restructure eight army battalions.6 France has deployed 4,000 soldiers for Operation Barkhane in Mali, Niger, and Chad, an endeavour that costs about €600 million per year. Meanwhile, development funding to improve security outcomes by tackling the root causes of conflict has also risen. The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa allocated almost €1 billion to Lake Chad and the Sahel, with projects in Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal supporting youth employment, private sector development, social protection, health and education.

Given the scale of the investment, the following questions arise: what is the value for money of each additional euro spent on strengthening West Africa’s armies and police? How can SSR assistance lead to effective and sustainable reforms, and ultimately contribute to reduce fragility, conflict and violence?

This Brief seeks to answer these 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.

For full access to the policy brief, Can Peace Become Affordable? Lessons from Security Sector Expenditure Reviews in West Africa, kindly follow the link. 


Security and Human Rights Issues in South-Central Somalia, including Mogadishu

This fact finding mission to Nairobi, Kenya and Mogadishu, Somalia was conducted by the Danish Immigration Service (DIS), Documentation and Research Division. The purpose of the mission was to gather updated Country of Origin Information (COI) on South-Central (S-C) Somalia on matters related to security and human rights issues, including freedom of movement.

The mission took place between 30 January and 19 February 2012 and comprised a series of interviews with interlocutors in Nairobi and in Mogadishu. The delegation consulted with non-governmental organisations, international non-governmental organisations, international organisations, government officials and individuals.

To view this publication, follow this link.


Security and stabilization in Somalia

From South Africa to Sudan and Burundi to Côte d’Ivoire, negotiations over security arrangements have been critical to successful stabilization and peacebuilding. Although different in each case, the central lesson is the importance of treating security processes seriously and not simply as technical addendums to political agreements.

To view this publication, follow this link.


Somalia: Armed Groups and Recruitment in the South

Years of conflict, soaring unemployment and poor prospects, combined with lack of political leadership, have provided fertile ground for the emergence of a number of militias and violent extremist groups, including al-Shabaab. The Ethiopian presence in Somalia during 2007 – 2008 as well as the atrocities committed by both Somali and Ethiopian soldiers, contributed greatly to the support rebel groups received from the population. In spite of the Ethiopian withdrawal in January 2009 and the establishment of the national unity government, al-Shabaab and the Hizb ul-Islam alliance continued their warfare, demanding that the peacekeeping forces of the African Union (AMISOM) leave the country.

However, the terrorist attacks against AMISOM and governmental targets in Mogadishu also affect civilians, and radical Islam is alien to most Somalis. The support which these Islamist groups have received from the population has, according to most observers, significantly reduced in recent years. In December 2010, a weakened Hizb ul-Islam was dissolved, and several of the organisation's members joined al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab continues to support poor, unemployed young men, teenagers and children, and to provide them with clothing, food and weapons. Al-Shabaab is currently in a strained military and economic situation, and there are indications of certain changes in the group's recruitment pattern (interviews with international representatives and Somali sources in Nairobi, March 2011).

To view the publication, follow this link.


Report of the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia, Shamsul Bari

The unending saga of human rights deprivations in Somalia over the past two decades have now been compounded by another humanitarian crisis. The devastating drought currently ravaging the Horn of Africa, compounded by conflict and the denial of
humanitarian assistance, has resulted in a declaration of famine in two regions of South-Central Somalia. Already in the course of the independent expert’s sixth visit to Somalia, in February 2011, the drought had taken a heavy toll on livestock and food reserves. The full impact of the drought can be seen on the Somali population, a large number of whom have been forced to flee their homes in search of food and succour. Deaths caused by malnutrition have been documented among new arrivals in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia and into Mogadishu. The United Nations has already warned that, unless urgent measures are taken to increase the response, the famine will spread to the whole of southern Somalia within the next two months. This should not be allowed to happen and become another blot on the conscience of mankind.

Apart from the drought and famine, the armed conflicts between Islamist insurgents and the Transitional Federal Government, supported by the troops of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), continues to cause deaths and injury to the civilian
population. Indiscriminate shelling and firing in urban areas, and suicide and improvised explosive attacks by the insurgent group Al-Shabaab, are the main causes.

Recent offensive has resulted in territorial gains for AMISOM and Transitional Federal Government forces. On 6 August 2011, Al-Shabaab announced its withdrawal from positions it had held in Mogadishu for nearly two years. Although Al-Shabaab has been
under military pressure in Mogadishu from the combined operations of AMISOM and Transitional Federal Government forces forsome time, its sudden withdrawal came as a surprise.

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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

UNDPKO SSR Newsletter No. 13, January-March 2012

The SSR Newsletter, published on a quarterly basis, is aimed at providing an update on recent activities of the SSR Unit and an overview of upcoming initiatives, in addition to sharing relevant information and announcements with the greater SSR community.

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International Crisis Group - Watch List 2017

Crisis Group’s Watch List 2017 includes the Lake Chad basin, Libya, Myanmar, Nagorno-Karabakh, Sahel, Somalia, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela and Yemen. This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace.

For full access to the report, Watch List 2017, kindly follow the link. 

For an update on the report, Watch List 2017 – First Update with entries on counter-terrorism, Afghanistan, Egypt, Somalia and the Western Balkans, kindly follow the link. 

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United Nations SSR Newsletter, no. 26, January-August 2017

The latest UN Security Sector Reform newsletter covers the period January to August 2017 and highlights:

  • High-Level Conference on the Role of SSR in Sustaining Peace: Challenges and Opportunities
  • High-level dialogue on global experiences in SSR: Implications for the UN SSR agenda
  • Expert-level Discussion on SSR in Mali
  • Annual  Inter-Agency SSR Task  force  WORKSHOP
  • Supporting the Reform of the Somali Security Sector
  • Reminiscence from the field: Guinea 
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