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Since the late 1990s, security sector reform (SSR) has emerged as a principal activity for promoting peace and stability. The SSR concept has a four-fold heritage

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 General Major Patrick Cammaert, Dutch Commander of the Eastern Division of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), talks to General Agolowa of the Congolese armed forces, which receives training from MONUC.Sven Torfinn, Panos Pictures, 2005

 

 

General Major Patrick Cammaert, Dutch Commander of the Eastern Division of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), talks to General Agolowa of the Congolese armed forces, which receives training from MONUC.Sven Torfinn, Panos Pictures, 2005


Other articles in this issue


Understanding international influences on security reform in Africa

 Non-African nations have played a pivotal role in defining the relationship between security and development in Africa. There has been a huge growth in international efforts in security sector reform. But Africans are finding external influences can have unpleasant side effects. More...


What is security sector reform?

 The concept of security sector reform (SSR) refers to the set of policies, programmes and activities undertaken by a government, supported by international partners and civil society constituencies, to improve the way in which security and justice are delivered, in accordance with human rights, democracy and transparency. More...


Making progress in Francophone Africa

 Francophone Africa appears to have performed poorly compared to Anglophone Africa, in terms of progress in security sector reform (SSR). However, given that the continent as a whole has a poor record in the sector, this generalisation can be criticised. Further, it is only one aspect of the debate on the state of SSR in Francophone Africa. More...

 

Mixed outcomes in southern Africa

 South Africa is often regarded as a pioneer of security sector reform (SSR). Its SSR was comprehensive and involved the systematic reform of policing, defence and intelligence, while integrating seven different armed formations. There was no real disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR), however, and the security forces achieved an appropriate size mostly through natural attrition. But SSR was largely indigenously driven and grounded in the political process – and it preceded the international debate on SSR. More...


SSR is central to political reform in Arab countries

 The idea of security sector reform (SSR) in the Arab region seems highly unrealistic, given the sensitivity of the issues involved. Local initiatives from within the Arab world, however, mean that the topic is gaining prominence. More...


Partial reforms and new challenges in Latin America

 Security is an urgent problem in Latin America and the Caribbean. The topic varies in magnitude and characteristics in each county but is of central concern to citizens. Whether it is organised crime in Colombia and Mexico, youth gangs in Central America, or property crime in Chile, security issues affect the daily lives of individuals, and are at the top of the political and public agenda. More...


Agenda reforms needed in South Asia

 South Asia is probably the most ‘illiterate’ region with regard to security sector reform (SSR). The countries in the region (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) have some standard guidelines for governing their security sectors but these are largely ineffective. As a result, most of the security sectors in the region are characterised by excessive state control, lack of accountability and transparency, and the absence of civil society participation. More...

 

Democratisation and reform in South-East Asia

 The diversity of political systems in South-East Asia and the subsequent relationship between political power and the security sector make security sector reform (SSR) – and its implications for democratic transformation – problematic. More...


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