Showing posts tagged as "security"

Showing posts tagged security

13 Sep
Analysis: After Mali, Niger battles to secure its borders | IRIN
The takeover of northern Mali by Islamist rebels after a 2012 coup, and the subsequent French-led intervention, have widened fears of a spill-over of insurgency in the region. Niger, which has socio-political problems comparable to those of Mali, is battling to secure its territory from militants still operating in Sahel’s remote wilderness. 
Insecurity is an ever-present threat. The country suffered twin attacks on 23 May, when assailants struck a military base and a French-run uranium mine in the north, killing dozens. 
FULL ARTICLE (IRIN News)
Photo: United Nations/Flickr

Analysis: After Mali, Niger battles to secure its borders | IRIN

The takeover of northern Mali by Islamist rebels after a 2012 coup, and the subsequent French-led intervention, have widened fears of a spill-over of insurgency in the region. Niger, which has socio-political problems comparable to those of Mali, is battling to secure its territory from militants still operating in Sahel’s remote wilderness. 

Insecurity is an ever-present threat. The country suffered twin attacks on 23 May, when assailants struck a military base and a French-run uranium mine in the north, killing dozens. 

FULL ARTICLE (IRIN News)

Photo: United Nations/Flickr

Must it get worse before it gets better? | The Economist
“THE only road to paradise,” runs a joke doing the rounds in the cafés of Tripoli, Libya’s seafront capital, “is the one to the international airport.” Most Libyans still revel in the freedom and sense of possibility brought on by the NATO-backed war that ousted Colonel Muammar Qaddafi two years ago. “Yet before, when someone disappeared, you knew they were with Qaddafi forces,” reminisces a rebel-turned-security man. “Now we have no idea.” That was made clear earlier this month when the government denounced the kidnap of the daughter of Abdullah al-Senussi, Qaddafi’s former spy chief, only to discover that one of its own forces had nabbed her; she was freed a few days later.
FULL ARTICLE (The Economist)
Photo:  EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection/Flickr

Must it get worse before it gets better? | The Economist

“THE only road to paradise,” runs a joke doing the rounds in the cafés of Tripoli, Libya’s seafront capital, “is the one to the international airport.” Most Libyans still revel in the freedom and sense of possibility brought on by the NATO-backed war that ousted Colonel Muammar Qaddafi two years ago. “Yet before, when someone disappeared, you knew they were with Qaddafi forces,” reminisces a rebel-turned-security man. “Now we have no idea.” That was made clear earlier this month when the government denounced the kidnap of the daughter of Abdullah al-Senussi, Qaddafi’s former spy chief, only to discover that one of its own forces had nabbed her; she was freed a few days later.

FULL ARTICLE (The Economist)

Photo:  EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection/Flickr

29 Aug
The PSC and ECOWAS | Jimam Lar
Weak institutions are often blamed for Africa’s underdevelopment and insecurity. But this isn’t the case in West Africa, argues Jimam Lar. As recent interventions by the AU and ECOWAS in Guinea-Bissau and Guinea-Conakry demonstrate, an effective framework for maintaining peace and security in the region now exists.
FULL ARTICLE (International Relations and Security Network) 
Photo: US Army Africa/Flickr

The PSC and ECOWAS | Jimam Lar

Weak institutions are often blamed for Africa’s underdevelopment and insecurity. But this isn’t the case in West Africa, argues Jimam Lar. As recent interventions by the AU and ECOWAS in Guinea-Bissau and Guinea-Conakry demonstrate, an effective framework for maintaining peace and security in the region now exists.

FULL ARTICLE (International Relations and Security Network) 

Photo: US Army Africa/Flickr

28 May
"Many residents have taken up arms because the state has systematically failed to protect them."

—from Crisis Group’s recent report, Justice at the Barrel of a Gun: Vigilante Militias in Mexico

"The government needs to work with the authentic and unarmed community police and clearly define the parameters of what they can and cannot do."

—from Crisis Group’s recent report, Justice at the Barrel of a Gun: Vigilante Militias in Mexico

Justice at the Barrel of a Gun: Vigilante Militias in Mexico
Mexico City/Bogotá/Brussels  |   28 May 2013
The rise of civilian militias to combat lawlessness will make it harder than ever to defeat the cartels unless the government regulates the vigilantes.  
Crisis Group’s latest briefing, Justice at the Barrel of a Gun: Vigilante Militias in Mexico, examines the rapid expansion this year of civilian armed groups that claim to be fighting crime. Although many contain well-meaning citizens and have detained hundreds of suspected criminals, they challenge the government’s basic monopoly on the use of force to impart justice, and some have their own links to the cartels.
The briefing’s major findings and recommendations are:
The epicentre of these groups is in Michoacán and a second Pacific state, Guerrero. Thousands of armed men are participating in a range of vigilante organisations. This has coincided with protests against government reforms, including road blockades and looting of food trucks, that are part of a broader challenge to state authority. Mexico’s recent law-enforcement offensive in Michoacán state demonstrates the limits of a militarisation of anti-drug cartel policies.
The spread of these militias in the coming years could lead to parts of the country existing outside the control of official law enforcement. As the militias proliferate, there is also concern that some are being used by criminal groups to fight their rivals and control territory.
The government of President Enrique Peña Nieto needs a coherent policy on vigilantism so it can work with authentic community policing projects, particularly in indigenous communities, while stopping the continued expansion of unregulated armed groups. This requires demonstrating that the state has sufficient capacity to restore law and order on its own.
There are signs that the militias can be contained. Many community police units are keen not to be associated with the more violent groups and may be prepared to compromise over how they operate. Agreements between some vigilante leaders and governors show voluntary disarmament can be achieved. If the government formulates a coherent policy, vigilante militias need not become an integral feature of the national landscape.
“Community policing can make a good contribution to fighting insecurity, but only if it is legal and works with the government”, says Javier Ciurlizza, Crisis Group’s Latin America and Caribbean Program Director. “Groups that take the law into their own hands only add to violence and can be used by criminal organisations for their own objectives”.
“The clamour for security is legitimate,” says Mark Schneider, Senior Vice President and Special Adviser on Latin America. “But justice is better served through effective law enforcement institutions than the barrels of private guns”. 
FULL BRIEFING

Justice at the Barrel of a Gun: Vigilante Militias in Mexico

Mexico City/Bogotá/Brussels  |   28 May 2013

The rise of civilian militias to combat lawlessness will make it harder than ever to defeat the cartels unless the government regulates the vigilantes.  

Crisis Group’s latest briefing, Justice at the Barrel of a Gun: Vigilante Militias in Mexico, examines the rapid expansion this year of civilian armed groups that claim to be fighting crime. Although many contain well-meaning citizens and have detained hundreds of suspected criminals, they challenge the government’s basic monopoly on the use of force to impart justice, and some have their own links to the cartels.

The briefing’s major findings and recommendations are:

  • The epicentre of these groups is in Michoacán and a second Pacific state, Guerrero. Thousands of armed men are participating in a range of vigilante organisations. This has coincided with protests against government reforms, including road blockades and looting of food trucks, that are part of a broader challenge to state authority. Mexico’s recent law-enforcement offensive in Michoacán state demonstrates the limits of a militarisation of anti-drug cartel policies.
  • The spread of these militias in the coming years could lead to parts of the country existing outside the control of official law enforcement. As the militias proliferate, there is also concern that some are being used by criminal groups to fight their rivals and control territory.
  • The government of President Enrique Peña Nieto needs a coherent policy on vigilantism so it can work with authentic community policing projects, particularly in indigenous communities, while stopping the continued expansion of unregulated armed groups. This requires demonstrating that the state has sufficient capacity to restore law and order on its own.
  • There are signs that the militias can be contained. Many community police units are keen not to be associated with the more violent groups and may be prepared to compromise over how they operate. Agreements between some vigilante leaders and governors show voluntary disarmament can be achieved. If the government formulates a coherent policy, vigilante militias need not become an integral feature of the national landscape.

“Community policing can make a good contribution to fighting insecurity, but only if it is legal and works with the government”, says Javier Ciurlizza, Crisis Group’s Latin America and Caribbean Program Director. “Groups that take the law into their own hands only add to violence and can be used by criminal organisations for their own objectives”.

“The clamour for security is legitimate,” says Mark Schneider, Senior Vice President and Special Adviser on Latin America. “But justice is better served through effective law enforcement institutions than the barrels of private guns”. 

FULL BRIEFING

8 May
"The dependence on the petroleum industry is unsustainable, and the need to develop alternative anchors may be more urgent than it appears."

—from Crisis Group’s recent report, Timor-Leste: Stability at What Cost?

"The military has become more professional, but as it doubles in size and deploys across the country, the reluctance to outline a clear division of labour between the security forces poses greater risks."

—from Crisis Group’s recent report, Timor-Leste: Stability at What Cost?

15 Apr
Security on the line in Kosovo-Serbia | Today’s Zaman
By Sabine Freizer, Crisis Group’s Europe Program Director
The situation between Kosovo and Serbia has just become a lot more insecure. Last week, EU Special Representative Catherine Ashton announced it was the last time that she was meeting Kosovo and Serbia prime ministers formally in the context of the mediation effort she has led since October 2012. Serbia said that it rejects the European proposals. Unless some form of talks continue, tensions will rise, and the EU’s credibility as a conflict resolution actor will suffer another serious blow.


After years of posturing, punctuated by outbursts of violence in 2009 and 2011, Kosovo and Serbia first agreed to take part in EU facilitated talks in March 2011. They clinched agreements on trade relations, participation in regional meetings and recognition of one another’s diplomats. Ashton then took up the reins of the dialogue to focus more broadly on the political challenge of normalizing Kosovo-Serbia relations and transforming Belgrade-financed institutions in Serb majority northern Kosovo into ones that could fit into Kosovo’s jurisdiction.

FULL ARTICLE (Today’s Zaman)
Photo: Flickr/European Parliament

Security on the line in Kosovo-Serbia | Today’s Zaman

By Sabine Freizer, Crisis Group’s Europe Program Director

The situation between Kosovo and Serbia has just become a lot more insecure. Last week, EU Special Representative Catherine Ashton announced it was the last time that she was meeting Kosovo and Serbia prime ministers formally in the context of the mediation effort she has led since October 2012. Serbia said that it rejects the European proposals. Unless some form of talks continue, tensions will rise, and the EU’s credibility as a conflict resolution actor will suffer another serious blow.

After years of posturing, punctuated by outbursts of violence in 2009 and 2011, Kosovo and Serbia first agreed to take part in EU facilitated talks in March 2011. They clinched agreements on trade relations, participation in regional meetings and recognition of one another’s diplomats. Ashton then took up the reins of the dialogue to focus more broadly on the political challenge of normalizing Kosovo-Serbia relations and transforming Belgrade-financed institutions in Serb majority northern Kosovo into ones that could fit into Kosovo’s jurisdiction.

FULL ARTICLE (Today’s Zaman)

Photo: Flickr/European Parliament

4 Apr

Yemen’s Military-Security Reform: Seeds of New Conflict?

Sanaa/Brussels, 4 April 2013: Yemen must take further steps to reform its security forces, or longstanding divisions could well undermine its political transition, which entered into a six-month “national dialogue” on 18 March.

Yemen’s Military-Security Reform: Seeds of a New Conflict?, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, analyses the corruption, impunity, tribal divisions and vested interests that have plagued Yemen’s security forces and now threaten the transition process in a country that is also engaged in an armed struggle with al-Qaeda-linked Islamist extremists. Restructuring the security forces must be accompanied by a larger effort to produce an inclusive political consensus – without which Yemen’s major security stakeholders are unlikely to accept critical reforms.

The report’s major findings and recommendations are:

  • Fault lines within the security forces persist from the popular protest movement of 2011, when General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar threw his support behind protesters, while other commanders, mostly hailing from the family of then-president Saleh, remained loyal to the government.
  • Since Saleh’s resignation, his successor, President Abdo Robo Mansour Hadi, has loosened the grip of the old regime, ordering a personnel shake-up and eliminating controversial military organisations commanded by General Mohsen and Saleh’s son. However, implementation is nascent, and reforms must go deeper than reshuffling individual positions.
  • President Hadi must not ignore deeper issues, such as enforcing non-partisan rules regarding the management of personnel, integrating tribesmen into security forces and ensuring civilian oversight. Changes on this scale require an inclusive political consensus, without which major stakeholders are unlikely to relinquish their independent powers.
  • Such a political consensus should result from the national dialogue that began on 18 March. However, this process must genuinely include two major constituencies that have been essentially excluded in the past: the Huthis – a primarily northern movement unhappy with the central government – and southern separatists. These groups are unlikely to support restructuring of the security forces without broad agreement on the parameters of the future Yemeni state.

“President Hadi must avoid ruling simply by decree, or making security appointments that smack of his own brand of partisanship”, says April Longley Alley, Crisis Group’s Senior Yemen Analyst. “To that end, he should communicate to stakeholders and the public the rationale behind new appointments”.

“The national dialogue’s goal is to generate a virtuous cycle in which security restructuring and the national dialogue reinforce one another”, says Robert Malley, Crisis Group’s Middle East and North Africa Program Director. “That’s a tall order, and international actors can and should lend a hand. But Yemenis themselves will have to get the sequence and timing right”.

FULL REPORT

Photo: Flickr/Ammar Abd Rabbo