African Security Review - Volume 17, Issue 2, 2008
Volume 17, Issue 2, 2008
Private military contracting in weak states : permeation or transgression of the new public management of security? : featuresAuthor Carlos OrtizSource: African Security Review 17, pp 2 –14 (2008)More Less
New Public Management (NPM) models the emerging public administration orthodoxy. With the aim of raising the efficiency of government, the theory and practice of NPM favour the participation of private firms in public service provision. Out go bureaucracies and traditional public administration; in come flexible management and private sector input into the affairs of government.
From welfare services to defence, this paradigmatic strategy has proven to be applicable to any aspect of the public sector and its influence is global in scope. The trend towards NPM reform has been gaining momentum since the 1990s and it has unfolded alongside the proliferation of private military companies (PMCs). The shift of the global political economy towards neo-liberalism has contributed considerably to this transformation. Against this background, key structural changes in the relationship between the public and private sectors that have contributed to the emergence of new modalities for the management of state security are discussed in this article.
The notional underpinnings of NPM are discussed first. Second, through a focus on the robust outsourcing and contracting out dynamic of Western states, there is an overview of the operational logic of the NPM of security. In this regard it should be noted that many PMCs originating in these countries operate in weak states, where government and the market economy are embryonic structures. Third, noting that the handling of military and security tasks by PMCs to some extent can be extrapolated in such cases, it is argued that there appears to be three emerging modalities for the privatisation of security characteristic to weak states, in particular in sub-Saharan Africa. The identification of variants of the NPM of security allows the author to propose that the efficiency assumed to be inherent in NPM will remain elusive unless both countries that supply PMCs and those that are predominantly receptors of their services synchronise NPM reform.
Author Marco BoggeroSource: African Security Review 17, pp 15 –27 (2008)More Less
In the Central African Republic, successive rebellions and unstable governments have created a palpable sense of insecurity for decades, which often seemed to require outside solutions. In this issue of the African Security Review the relevance, to the outside world, of African responses to the challenges of peace and security is explored and this article contains a survey of the local private security sector in the Central African Republic as a local response to the challenges of security. The author presents some evidence about how private security companies operate in the field and reveal interesting findings on the growth of one local sector. He also discusses some of the relationships between private and public provision of security in the local context. This work is based on fieldwork and secondary literature; it is part of wider research on how the private security industry operates in the sub-regional context that includes Darfur, Chad and the Central African Republic.
Author Anneli BothaSource: African Security Review 17, pp 28 –41 (2008)More Less
An intelligent strategy based on the understanding of terrorism and related conditions conducive to the manifestation and threat of terrorism is essential to prevent and combat terrorism. Instead of a state-centric reactive approach, a proactive approach in addressing the underlying factors conducive to the spread of radicalisation is essential. This approach was particularly highlighted at the international level with the introduction with the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The only challenge to African countries is to appreciate and implement these principles in an environment where the relationship between the state and its citizens is often in question.
Source: African Security Review 17, pp 42 –60 (2008)More Less
In this article an overview is provided of the terrorist threat and vulnerabilities in southern Africa and the capacity of governments in the sub-region to respond to these threats and vulnerabilities.
In this region the threat of international terrorism is considered to be far less pressing than issues such as violent crime, poverty, public health and corruption. The article focuses on the mechanisms of sub-regional counterterrorism cooperation and how they may be improved. It also looks at how the United Nations can help to strengthen that cooperation and examines how the September 2006 UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy offers an opportunity to allow the UN system to engage more effectively on counterterrorism-related issues with countries and other stakeholders in southern Africa. The conclusion is that an effective sub-regional response to the threat will require the engagement of a wide range of stakeholders with technical, financial and other resources as well as the inclusion of not just states but regional and sub-regional bodies, the UN system, and other donors and assistance providers and civil society.
In light of the widespread perception that terrorism is primarily a Western problem and that underlying conditions and gaps in capacity must be addressed, a strategy that focuses on narrow security and law enforcement concerns - particularly if viewed as merely an extension of the US 'global war on terror' - is unlikely to gain much currency within the sub-region. The UN Strategy is an attempt to bridge the divide between the security interests of the global north and the development priorities of the global south, putting the need to address conditions conductive to the spread of terrorism front and centre. The challenge will be to operationalise this link between security and development.
Security sector reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo : the status of military reform : Africa watchAuthor Henri BoshoffSource: African Security Review 17, pp 62 –65 (2008)More Less
On 25 February 2008 the long-awaited round table on security sector reform (SSR) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was finally held in Kinshasa. The aim was to bring about a reform of the Armed Forces (Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo, FARDC) and the national Congolese police (Police Nationale Congolaise, PNC).
Author D.D. ZounmenouSource: African Security Review 17, pp 66 –71 (2008)More Less
The war that erupted in 2002 in Côte d'Ivoire - a former beacon of peace in West Africa - seems to be dying down. President Laurent Gbagbo's direct dialogue with the leader of the Forces nouvelles, Guillaume Soro, which resulted in the framework for peace known as the Ouagadougou Peace Agreement and the complementary agreements, looks set to pave the way for the resolution of the crisis. Concluded under the aegis of President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, these agreements, which defined the steps necessary to guide Côte d'Ivoire out of the crisis, were seen as a diplomatic and political milestone. Despite the sporadic setbacks on a number of issues, the situation in Côte d'Ivoire continues to improve. Of major concern, however, is whether Ivorian political actors will keep the new date set for the presidential election.
Source: African Security Review 17, pp 72 –74 (2008)More Less
Author Geoff HarrisSource: African Security Review 17, pp 76 –92 (2008)More Less
This article commences by examining the nature and extent of armed conflict in Africa and the meaning of some key terms from the discipline of peace studies. It then examines two main questions. First, is a national policy of nonviolence possible? Attention is paid to successful examples of demilitarisation from Central America, particularly Costa Rica, which illustrate that such a policy is both practical and highly beneficial. Second, can nonviolence bring about social change? Contrary to popular belief, the military has a poor track record in dealing with disputes while nonviolent campaigns have achieved a great deal by way of sustained social change. The article concludes by suggesting practical ways in which nonviolence can be promoted.
Source: African Security Review 17, pp 93 –104 (2008)More Less
The concept of security sector reform (SSR) entered the repertoire of development cooperation in the late 1990s as a novel aproach emphasising core values such as legality, transparency and accountability, and focusing not only on state security, but also on the safety of individuals. Within this framework, 'local ownership' of reform processes is a central tenet of SSR; however, there is no agreement on the precise meaning of the term, nor on the purposes local ownership of SSR should serve. Despite the theoretical commitment to a broad notion of local ownership, in practice it is often reduced to a demand for acquiescence on the part of recipient governments, leaving other relevant actors out of the equation. The authors argue for an invigorated understanding of the term that would guarantee the participation of those affected by SSR; this implies that both donors and recipients need to develop mechanisms and strategies that would allow all voices in society to be heard and so make SSR an inclusive endeavour.
Author Issaka K. SouareSource: African Security Review 17, pp 106 –112 (2008)More Less
For more than two decades, the rebel Lord's Residence Army (LRA) has committed some of the most appalling human rights violations and war crimes against civilian populations in northern Uganda. The Ugandan government has been unable to defeat the rebel movement and effectively protect the civilian population from its atrocities. At the request of Kampala, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for the top five leaders of the movement in 2005 (Apuuli 2006). (In March 2008 four warrants remained after the death of one of the indicted men.) To many observers, this was a strategy by the government to put pressure on the rebels to come to the negotiating table. Effectively, peace talks began between the government and the rebel group in 2005 under the auspices of the government of South Sudan.
Peasant revolution in Ethiopia : The Tigray People's Liberation Front, 1975-1991, John Young : book reviewAuthor Donovan C. ChauSource: African Security Review 17, pp 114 –116 (2008)More Less
As the challenges posed by Africa's various security problems increase, so too does the need for Westerners to better understand the histories and cultures of Africa's modern states. This is especially true of those countries on the frontlines of the fight against Islamic terrorism. The paperback reprint of John Young's Peasant revolution in Ethiopia (originally published in 1997) is, therefore, a necessary addition to the collections of scholars, analysts and policymakers alike.
Author Jakkie CilliersSource: African Security Review 17, pp 117 –119 (2008)More Less
At a first reading I thought that the writing of Johan Ghazvinian was in the league of Michela Wrong (In the footsteps of Mr Kurtz and I didn't do it for you). However, despite the preparatory research and field trips, his narrative does not have the depth and context of that of Ms Wrong.