High Level Panel on SSR in East Africa, 2-3 October 2012, Hosted at the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON), Kenya

- , Nairobi, Kenya

It is increasingly recognised that if states are to create the conditions in which they can escape from a downward spiral wherein insecurity, criminalisation and under-development are mutually reinforcing, socio-economic and security dimensions must be tackled simultaneously. An effective and accountable security and justice system is the cornerstone of meeting this challenge. The absence of professional, sustainable and capable security and justice institutions is often a major cause of conflict and relapse into conflict. It is also a major obstacle to conflict resolution, stabilisation, and longer term peacebuilding.

The African Union and the United Nations have been closely working together to advance, and oftentimes to lead, the discourse on security and justice sector reform (SSR), especially in relation to SSR policy and programming on the African continent. The partnership has been particularly pronounced in the process of drafting and developing the AU Policy Framework for SSR, which if approved by the AU Member States, will become the guiding strategic framework for SSR programming and policy on the continent.

It is envisioned that regional approaches to SSR will ultimately form critical building blocks for the AU’s continental approach to SSR. Indeed, regional cooperation and integration forms a core component of the AU’s SSR Policy Framework, which clearly states that the regional economic communities (RECs) are “leading stakeholders in all continental peace and security policies and strategies” (para. 69).

The High Level Panel will give an opportunity for the African Union Commission to present the AU SSR Policy Framework. Panelists and participants will be able to discuss, based upon specific case study examples, the opportunities and challenges for its implementation on the continent as well as the implications of the AU SSR Policy Framework on existing and future SSR programming in East Africa

Panelists and participants will also be given space to discuss how the dynamics of SSR change when considering the different phases of the development, rule of law and security spectrum.  Three country case study examples from the region, which have very different political, economic, social and security contexts in country, should provide the basis for this discussion. Each of the panel discussions will also present the opportunity for participants to highlight the best practices and lessons learned from engagements in SSR in each of the country examples and in the region as a whole. A common and recurring theme in the discussions will be how the AU SSR Policy Framework can be uniquely applied, shaped and implemented in such varying contexts.

The High Level Panel will conclude with a half day discussion on how the East Africa Community and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) can advance their respective approaches to SSR going forward in order to not only effectively implement the provisions of the AU SSR Policy Framework but also to better address the various challenges and opportunities in engaging in SSR in the region. In this regard, the panelists and participants will take into account the previous panel discussions to inform their discussions.

Outline Agenda :


DAY 1:

Panel discussions on the nature of SSR in varying political, security and developmental contexts:

1)       Security and Justice Sector Reform, the AU and UN Policy Frameworks, Key Issues and Emerging Trends

2)       SSR in the Republic of South Sudan: Lessons, Challenges and Next Steps

3)       SSR in Burundi: Lessons, Challenges and Next Steps

4)       SSR in Somalia: Lessons, Challenges and Next Steps

DAY 2:

5)       Panel discussion on Process and Programme Lessons from the Country Case Studies

6)       The Role of Regional and International Support to National SSR Processes  

7)       The Approach and Engamenet of the East African Community (EAC) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on SSR in East Africa

8)       Conclusions

Partners supporting the events: 


The Government of the Slovak Republic 

African Development Bank

The African Development Bank


United Nations


African Security Sector Network


ISSAT-DCAF_logo Arial dark orange 140x66pxl 2012-05-11

DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory



This event has been followed up by the 2014 Africa SSR Forum.

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Nairobi, Kenya (-1.292066, 36.821946)