Analysis of security sector reform in post-conflict Sierra Leone : a comparison of current versus historical capabilities
Skora, Patrick W,
Mensch, Eugene M.
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Security Sector Reform (SSR) is a holistic approach to nation building that focuses on building strong police, military and justice systems that adhere to the rule of law and have a firm commitment to operating under democratically elected civilian governance. The British effort in conducting SSR is, to date, the most comprehensive effort that has been conducted. While UK and international involvement remains high in Sierra Leone, the security sector has operated independently since the removal of the last UN peacekeepers in late 2005. In order to assess the effectiveness of the SSR programs, this paper compares the current capabilities of the Sierra Leone security sector with those it had in the 1970s, before the country began its slide into civil war. Overall, this thesis finds that the current state of the security sector is comparable to that of the 1970s, with some exceptions. While the military has added the capability to participate in UN peacekeeping missions, overall the gains remain tentative and a lack of capacity is hampering the effectiveness of the police and justice sector, threatening the gains that have been made. These findings suggest that SSR, as conducted in Sierra Leone, has not been successful as envisioned and the results have been comparable to those of more traditional programs.
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