Governance in the security sector


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Governance in the security sector

  1. 1. Governance in the Security Sector Nicole Ball J. ‘Kayode Fayemi ‘Funmi Olonisakin Martin Rupiya Rocklyn Williams Revised August 17, 2001
  2. 2. I. Introduction[General concern: We really do not deal with the police/judicial system verymuch. I’ve put in a few references but we could use more. Additionally,intelligence is not mentioned once. Nor paramilitary/gendarmerie forces. Can weplease rectify the imbalance?] This chapter begins from the premise that people and states must be securefrom the fear of violence at the local, national, regional and international levels if anenabling environment for sustainable political and economic development is to becreated. This means both that states must be adequately protected against externalaggression and internal subversion and that the lives of ordinary citizens must not becrippled by state repression, violent conflict, or rampant criminality. Since the beginning of the colonial period, African security forces have frequentlybeen a cause of insecurity for both the state and its citizens, rather than a means ofguaranteeing individual and collective security. African governments have often failedto abide by the rule of law in their relations with their neighbors or their citizens. Manyof sub-Saharan Africa’s recent wars have their roots in élite attempts to protect theirprivileged position domestically or to undermine other African governments whoseforeign policies are viewed as injurious tothe ability of these élites to remain in The Insecurity of the Poorpower. “The criminals have public safety; we do not.” A woman, Sacadura Cabral, Brazil What is more, African historical “Officers do not even care to talk…if they are not given money. If a poor man is beaten by a richexperience demonstrates that if internal man and goes to file a case against the rich man, the officer concerned does not even register theand external security are not viewed as case.” A discussion group participant, Gowainghat, Bangladesh.two sides of the same coin, it will bedifficult to create societies that function Source: Deepa Narayan, Robert Chambers, Meera Kaul Shah, and Patti Petesch, Voices ofon the basis of the rule of law and protect the Poor: Crying Out for Change. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Published for the Worldindividual security. All too often, the Bank, 2000, pp. 163-164, poverty/voices/reports.htm#cryingarmed forces have been given – or haveassumed – the responsibility for 1
  3. 3. guaranteeing law and order. This is not, however, a task for which they are well-suitedand can hamper their ability to fulfill their primary function of protecting the state. Theproblem has been compounded by the failure to provide police forces and other portionsof the criminal justice system with the resources they require to guarantee law andorder. This chapter will accordingly be concerned both with the protection of the stateand the protection of the state’s citizens. The inability of African security forces to provide a safe and secure environmentfor economic and political development arises to a large degree out of poor governance– both of the state in general and of the security sector in particular. This chapter isconcerned with democratic governance. While public-sector institutions will be a majorfocus of the discussion below, democratic governance implies more than the effectiveand efficient management of the public sector. It requires a legitimate, transparent, andtrusted state that is accountable to its citizens. Legitimacy and trust are fostered by a state whose government is democraticallyelected and operates on the basis of a constitution that is an expression of the generalwill of the nation. Accountability involves both the capacity, or the power, to requiresomeone (an individual or an organization) to justify behavior and/or the capacity toimpose a sanction. Participation requires that due attention is given to the role of thelegislature as the representatives of the citizenry and that citizens are able to expresstheir concerns in other ways as well. Participation is one of the hallmarks of democraticgovernance, but non-state actors can have both positive and negative effects on thequality of governance. It is therefore important that non-state actors are alsoaccountable for their actions. Specifically with regard to the security sector, the security forces must beaccountable to democratic, civilian governments but these governments must also beaccountable to the security forces. Thus, it is important that the government respect theprofessional autonomy of the security forces at the same time as they expect the 2
  4. 4. security forces to be subordinate to elected civilian officials and the civil authorities interms of policy making and to refrain from playing a direct political role. Section II identifies the major actors involved in security-sector governance.Section III argues that security sector reform is more appropriately viewed as a processof transformation than one of reform. Section IV outlines some of the key issuesrelating to governance in the security sector. Section V explores a series ofcrosscutting issues that affect the quality of democratic governance in order to identifythe specific challenges and opportunities presented by the security sector: 1)constitutionalism; 2) leadership; 3) ownership, including the role of external actors; 4)human and institutional capacity, including the ability of civil society to fulfill three keyfunctions: demand change, act as watchdogs, and provide technical input; and 5)incentives for change. Section VI provides recommendations aimed at strengtheningdemocratic, civilian-led governance in the security sector.II. The Security Community A country’s security community is composed of the totality of the actors thataffect the security of the state and its citizens. Not all of these actors have as theirprimary objective enhancing state and individual security. Rather, as in the case ofwarlords, criminal gangs, and repressive or predatory governments, their existence andactivities are a major cause of insecurity. Additionally, the same type of actor can playdifferent roles, even within the same country. For example, there is a tendency to viewcivil society organizations as an unalloyed “good” while private security firms aregenerally viewed in a negative light. In fact, both can enhance the security of states andtheir citizens, and both can undermine it. The security community consists of the following components.• Core security institutions: armed forces; police; paramilitary forces; coast guards; militias; and intelligence services 3
  5. 5. • Security-sector oversight bodies: legislatures and legislative committees; ministries of defense, internal affairs, justice, foreign affairs; office of the president; and financial management bodies (ministries of finance, budget offices, auditor’s general’s offices)• Non-core security institutions: judiciary, customs, correctional services, and other uniformed bodies• Non-statutory security force institutions: liberation armies, guerrilla armies, traditional militias, political party militias, private security companies. Historical experience plays an important role in determining how the securitycommunity is constituted in each country. Countries that lived under French colonialrule generally have gendarmerie, for example, while most former British colonies do not.In some countries, especially where ruling parties have emerged out of liberationmovements, political parties have security cells; in others, they do not. Private securityfirms are not active in all countries. Nor are warlords, militias and other informalsecurity groupings. Thus, a first step in assessing the quality of security-sectorgovernance in any country is to identify the members of the security community in thatcountry and to develop as full a picture of each actor as possible by analyzing factorssuch as its organizational culture and structure, its roles and strategies, and itsmanagement systems, practices and styles.III. Security-Sector Reform or Security-Sector Transformation? In both the literature and official discourse on improving security-sectorgovernance, the process of changing the security sector is described as “security-sectorreform.”1 However, reform processes tend to be incremental and relatively ineffective indealing with the main problems of the institution in question. Reforms may change thesuperficial appearance of an organization without fundamentally altering its character,culture, or the de facto balance of power within the organization as the many attemptsat restructuring post-coup armed forces in Africa and Latin America have repeatedlyshown. In consequence, countries with serious governance deficits may require a 4
  6. 6. fundamental transformation of relations between the civil authorities and civil society onthe one hand and the security forces on the other hand.2 What is more, the term “reform” has many pejorative political connotations indemocratically-inclined communities in the developing world, especially in Africa.Politically it is often associated with the implementation of policy decisions from abovewithout any attempt to secure the broader participation of and consultation with non-state or legislative actors. Many of the reform strategies adopted in Africa have had astheir objective the legitimization of unpopular regimes and have failed to alter theexisting balance of power within state and society to any meaningful extent.Transformation, in contract, entails a more profound intent on behalf of electedgovernments to ensure that the practices of the security forces are consistent with thedemocracies, which they serve. Given the unreconstructed nature of many of Africa’s security communities, it ispreferable to attempt to transform these communities. Such transformations shouldoccur within a framework of democratic oversight and control and, equally important, besupportive of the roles and tasks that the security forces are mandated to execute.Transformation processes need to address four institutional aspects of each of thesecurity forces (core, non-core, and non-statutory): its organizational character, itscultural make-up, its human resource practices and, critically, its political relationshipswith both the elected authorities and with the civil power. Failure to address all four ofthese areas will, invariably, result in a failure to address the fundamental character andpurpose of the institution in question and thus reduce the likelihood that thetransformation process will succeed. Wide-ranging transformation process are immensely difficult to accomplish intheir entirety as efforts to transform the Lesotho, Sierra Leonean and South Africansecurity sectors have demonstrated. The restructuring of the security sectors of manyAfrican countries, particularly those that are attempting to emerge from either anauthoritarian or a violent past, demands a visionary and integrated transformationalstrategy capable of ensuring that the country’s security institutions do not regress into 5
  7. 7. previous patterns of behavior. In practice, shifting priorities, resource limitations, skillsdeficits, weak leadership and the sheer novelty of the transformational terrain maybedevil such initiatives. However, since the security forces have contributed in no smallmeasure to the decline of economic and political governance in these states, it will notbe possible to strengthen them without adequate attention to the security sector.Moreover, the security-sector transformation agenda is very much a human andinstitutional capacity-building agenda and, by definition, recognizes that states seekingto implement the agenda do not have strong institutions.IV. Democratic Governance and the Security Sector That a significant transformation of the security sector is integral to democratictransitions in Africa was underscored during the 1990s with the simultaneous rise ofpeople-driven challenges to militarization and authoritarianism of African politics and asharp deterioration in the security environment in a large number of African countries.As Eboe Hutchful has observed, Democratic consolidation requires that both issues — that of “security” and that of “accountability” – be addressed in a comprehensive manner. For this reason, security sector reform is a deeply political issue, not a technical one. Equally, for the transformation of the security sector to work, it must not be pursued in isolation, but rather form part of a more comprehensive restructuring agenda aimed at improving governance and promoting democratization.3 Hence, the crux of the security-sector governance challenge is the need todevelop both effective civil oversight mechanisms and viable security institutions capableof providing security for the state and its citizens within the context of democraticdevelopment. The current constitutional reform taking place in many African countries isthe latest episode in a long search to construct stable polities and civil-military relations(see section V below). 6
  8. 8. The constraints on achieving a form of security-sector governance thatconsolidates democracy in Africa are, to a large extent, the same constraints onimproving governance in other sectors. Existing constitutional frameworks have oftenbeen used to justify the status quo rather than promote change, a problem that iscompounded by weak rule of law and inadequate accountability. The politicalleadership and the security forces have frequently seen few, if any, benefits to changeand therefore have not been committed to a process of transformation. The human andinstitutional capacity among both public and non-state actors that is necessary for asuccessful transformation process has been notoriously weak. Insufficient attention hasbeen given to private enterprise as a change agent. External actors, particularly thedevelopment aid donors, have sometimes pressed reforms on governments. Evenwhere there has been local political will to effect change, transformation processes havebeen severely hampered by a failure of the external actors to promote ownership on thepart of the national stakeholders. Finally, regionalization and globalization are changingthe environment in which national stakeholders operate. The following section will examine these constraints in more detail. In order toovercome these constraints, however, it is important to have a sense of the desiredoutcome – in this case, the characteristics that a democratically governed securitysector should possess. A document published in 2000 by the UK Department forInternational Development has attempted to define principles of good governance in thesecurity sector: The key principles of good governance in the security sector can be summarized as follows: • Security-sector organizations, particularly in the security forces, are accountable both to elected civil authorities and to civil society; • Security-sector organizations operate in accordance with the international law and domestic constitutional law; • Information about security-sector planning and budgeting are widely available, both within government and to the public, and a comprehensive and disciplined approach to the management of defense resources is adopted; 7
  9. 9. • Civil-military relations are based on a well-articulated hierarchy of authority between civil authorities and the defense forces, and on a relationship with civil society that is based on the respect for human rights; • Civil authorities have the capacity to exercise political control over the operations and expenditure of the security forces and civil society has the capacity to monitor the security forces and provide constructive input to the political debate; • An environment exists in which civil society can actively monitor the security sector and be consulted on a regular basis on security policies, resource allocation, and other relevant issues; • Security-force personnel are adequately trained to discharge their duties in a professional manner consistent with the requirements of democratic societies; • Fostering an environment supportive of regional and sub-regional peace and security has a high priority for policy-makers.4 It is widely agreed that these principles define objectives that are desirable for allgovernments and that no government anywhere in the world currently meets theseobjectives in their entirety. It is also clear that there are different paths to achievingthese objectives. There is growing recognition that the principles, policies, laws, andstructures developed during a transformation process must be rooted in the reformingcountry’s history, culture, legal framework and institutions. Countries can borrow fromeach other and have successfully done so in the area of security sector governance.The solutions must, however, be developed locally. While no transformation process is easy, current African governments faceparticular constraints when seeking to implement these principles. Governancestructures and practices have traditionally been weakest and least defined in thesecurity sector. Until very recently, the security sector has not been part of efforts toimprove governance in Africa for reasons of domestic power relations, civilian capacity,and an unwillingness of external actors to address the problem constructively. This isnow changing, as both internal and external stakeholders are coming to recognize theimportance of strengthening security-sector governance in the context of peacebuildingand sustainable economic and social development. 8
  10. 10. V. Critical Issues of Governance as They Apply to the Security Sector in AfricaConstitutionalism The task of creating and maintaining a viable and legitimate state that isaccessible, efficient, accountable, transparent and equitable has been one of the mostcritical and complicated challenges of the political transformation processes that Africancountries are currently undergoing. Governance has been the major vehicle forattaining this legitimacy and viability. Fundamental to the notion of governance is theability of the state to provide efficient and well-functioning institutions and infrastructuresof government – legally backed and socially coherent – that together establish andmaintain an enabling environment in which human security is guaranteed and humandevelopment takes place.5 The meaning of good governance has been the subject of debate betweenpromoters of the shrinking state and the champions of the inclusive state in which theestablishment of a wide range of governmental and non-governmental institutionsenable people to participate in society. One area where there has been a great deal ofunanimity, however, is the need to arrest the withdrawal of citizens from a state that failsto meet their basic needs. In such countries, there has been a widespread questioningof the legitimacy of the state among its citizens in the quest for a transparent, trustedand accountable state. A major cause of this crisis of legitimacy has been the use of the constitution asthe defining instrument for organizing unaccountable governments. Africanconstitutions have been largely viewed as a set of rules and administrativearrangements meant not to regulate or limit excessive state power, but rather to validatenewly independent states. Post-colonial governments used the letter of the law as theinstrument for control and repression, and the military regimes that overthrew them 9
  11. 11. perfected the art of manipulating the law to justify their hold on power. Helped by ColdWar-era superpower politics that facilitated monopolies on power by coercive rulers, themanipulation, trivialization, and disregard of the constitution became the definingcharacteristic of governance in much of post-colonial Africa.6 Constitutions thatsanctioned one-party states and racial segregation and provided cover for authoritariancivilian and military rule have been not only seen as legal but also legitimate documentsregulating the conduct of state affairs, often to the detriment of the population.7[‘Kayode: Rather than this footnote, I think it would be useful to have a boxgiving a short but particularly noxious example from Kenya or Zimbabwe.Nicole: No problem - The Land question and the preventive detention clause aretwo examples we can use to illustrate this] Yet a constitution by its very nature should be more than a mere set of rules andlaws regulating society and government. It is more than a social contract or even thegrundnorm. A constitution is rather an expression of the general will of a nation and areflection of its history, fears, concerns, aspirations, and vision. It is, indeed, the soul ofthat nation. The constitution is that single document under which diverse and evenideologically opposed groups unite and rally in defense of democracy. However, for thisto happen, the citizenry must claim ownership of the document in a social contractbetween the governors and the governed. The hostility to the post-colonial state that developed during the Cold War yearshas encouraged the notion of a new constitutionalism that is people-driven and process-led. The objective is to reconstitute the African state along equitable, transparent,socially responsible and just lines. The idea that the African state must be refashionedto reflect the realities of multifaceted societies has taken root at every level on thecontinent. This has been reflected in the constitutional conferences in Benin, Mali,Niger, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Cameroon in the early 1990s; in thesuccessful constitutional arrangement of South Africa; and in the process-basedconstitutional commissions in Uganda, Ghana and Eritrea. From the experience ofthese countries, the last decade in Africa has witnessed an upsurge in the demand forconstitution-based governance that broadly reflects, in terms of process and outcome, 10
  12. 12. the will of the people. Today, there is a struggle for constitutional reform in at leasttwenty African countries. These struggles demonstrate to ordinary citizens why rule-based and consensus-driven governance matters. The change in focus from constitutionality – where these documents are merelylegal instruments with no standing with the people -- to constitutionalism – whereconstitutions are now seen as a tool for bridge-building among members of civil society– represents the first and perhaps most critical step in shifting state ownership from theleaders to the people. To date, attention has been focused mainly on government.There has been less consideration given to consensus-building within civil society andbetween the ordinary citizen and the state. Yet in order to formulate African politicalcultures grounded in human rights and good governance, an organic link is neededbetween the constitution as a rule of law instrument primarily concerned with restraininggovernment excesses, and the constitution as a legitimation of power structures andrelations based on a broad social consensus in diverse societies. The interest in constitutionalism in Africa provides an opening for areconsideration of the relationship among the security forces, the civil authorities, andsociety at large. The armed forces have played a central role in governing in a largenumber of African countries since the 1960s. Even where the armed forces have notdirectly ruled, the various state security forces have been actively involved in both thepolitical life and economies of their countries. The objective has been to ensurecorporate and personal power, prestige and economic gain for selected members of thesecurity forces and their civilian allies. Creating well-governed, developmental statesthat operate according to the rule of law has not been on the agenda. There is now widespread agreement that the achievement of humandevelopment and human security requires that the security forces leave the political andeconomic arenas. To ensure this outcome, constitutional principles based on keytenets of international law must provide the basis on which the security forces arecomposed and managed. Such principles should outline the chain of political command(including the role of the legislature), the chain of command within the security forces, 11
  13. 13. the roles and tasks envisioned for the security forces, and the broad democraticprinciples to which the security forces will be expected to adhere in their conduct asprofessionals. Prior to their adoption, the application of these principles to the securityforces should be discussed widely in order to achieve consensus on the generalpurposes, composition, and oversight of the security forces.Leadership It is clear that the need for a new social contract between the state and itscitizens which transfers the ownership of the state from the leaders to the citizens alsorequires greater attention to effective means of increasing the voice of the people in thegovernance of the state. To achieve thisobjective, greater attention needs to be Kofi Annan on Leadership in Africagiven to the quality of leadership in Speaking to the OAU Summit in July 2001 on the causes of violent conflict in Africa, UNAfrica, in both the public and non- Secretary-General Kofi Annan argued strongly for improved leadership.governmental sectors. Without a vision “…from Burundi to Sierra Leone to Angolaof a transparent, accountable, and just to the Sudan and Western Sahara, we are confronted with persistent conflicts and crises ofstate that is widely accepted throughout governance and security that threaten to derail our hopes for an African Union of peace andsociety, it will be impossible to generate prosperity. “Bringing these conflicts to an end requiresthe political will to effect a significant that we acknowledge two central truths: that they imperil the peace of all of Africa, and thattransformation of governance in the they are to a great measure the result ofsecurity sector. Without this misguided leadership which is unwilling or unable to put the people’s interests first.transformation of the security sector, These crises are the responsibility of each and every African leader….Individual leadershipefforts to strengthen governance in other is decisive here – whether it points towards war or peace, reconciliation or division, thestate sectors and in society as a whole enrichment of the few or the development of an entire society.”will ultimately fail. This argument applies equally well to the importance of leadership for democratic governance. Leadership is important at several Source: United Nations, “Secretary-Generallevels. The heads of state and Evokes Promise Inherent in Launch of African Union,” SG/SM/7884, AFR/331, July 9, 2001,government unquestionably set the tone ethical standards for those who work doc.htm. 12
  14. 14. in government and the public service. If the head of state chooses, for example, toundermine the judiciary, subvert the electoral process, or level apparently baselessaccusations against fellow politicians who disagree with his/her approach on particularsubjects, it indicates to less senior leaders that similar deviations from democraticpractice may be acceptable. If, on the other hand, the head of state toleratesresponsible political discourse even when it is at variance with his/her policies oraccepts constitutional limits on terms in office, the norms and practices of democracyare reinforced. Important as the leadership of the senior political actors is, leadership of lower-ranking politicians and bureaucrats is also crucial to the achievement of sounddemocratic governance. Constitutional reforms that promise democratic, civil control ofthe security sector will fail to produce the desired outcome if a country’s political andadministrative leadership is not committed to taking the steps necessary to createeffective institutions and ensuring that they function adequately. Simply creating aministry of defense separate from the armed forces, for example, does not guaranteethat relations among the various stakeholders will enable it to function as it should in ademocratic environment. Simply providing training to the police will not improve law andorder if the political leadership thwarts the efforts of the police force to bring criminals tojustice, prevents the police force from being adequately resourced, or fails to ensurethat the other components of accessible justice – the judiciary, the correction system,the legal system – function in accordance with democratic norms and practices. In African countries, where power has tended to be highly concentrated in theexecutive, particularly the office of the president, interest in reform has frequentlyextended only to changes that do not threaten the executive’s grip on power. However,the executive branch is by no means a homogenous unit. It is not unusual to findvariations in positions and approaches among the various actors that comprise theexecutive. The office of the president or prime minister, the ministry of defense, theministry of interior, the ministry of justice, and the ministry of finance may have differentrelationships with the security sector and different views of how that sector should begoverned. Finance ministries, for example, are frequently interested in gaining greater 13
  15. 15. control over the resources allocated to the security sector. Ministries of justice mayhave concerns about the quality of the police force or its use for political purposes.Differences such as these can open opportunities for reformers to try to set in motion atransformation process. Differences among executive branch officials can also complicate transformationprocesses once they are under way, as ministers and senior officials exert negativeleadership by seeking to retain their power and privileges. It is particularly important toguard against alliances of disgruntled civilians and security-force personnel. Few, ifany, of the coups in sub-Saharan Africa have occurred without civilian involvement orencouragement. The weakness of democratic institutions and the absence of strong,democratically oriented leadership facilitate the emergence of anti-democratic civilian-military alliances. Even democratically elected civilian-led governments have not always sought tocontrol the military and security institutions via a democratic process. True democraticcontrol requires legislative oversight and that involves the need for compromisesbetween the executive branch and the legislature. The notion that the people shouldparticipate in deciding governance strategies has been anathema to many Africanleaders and has more often than not been Executive versus Legislature in Sierra Leonediscouraged, both by the domestic In mid-1998, shortly after the democraticallyleadership and, at least until the end of the elected government of Ahmad Tejan Kabbah was restored to power in Sierra Leone, thecold war, by many external actors. Now, president developed a plan for restructuring the armed forces which had mutinied in 1997 andhowever many African legislatures are in joined forces with the Revolutionary United Front. A senior government official explainedno position to assume their appropriate that the plan had originally been drawn up by a very few individuals. “We believed,” he said,role in a security-sector transformation “that it was a very good plan.”process, much less spearhead such a The plan was then submitted to the legislatureprocess. for what was anticipated to be a pro forma review. Somewhat to the surprise of the executive branch, the legislators spent two weeks reviewing the plan and then sent it back In addition to a general weakness with many comments. “And,” related the senior official, “many of these comments turned out tovis-à-vis the executive, African legislatures be very helpful.”generally have minimal capacity to Source: Author’s interviews 14
  16. 16. exercise genuine oversight of the security sector, even where the appropriate oversightcommittees actually exist.8 Many legislators are caught between pursuing an agendathat serves the interest of the people and one that protects their own position or that ofthe executive, on whom their continued stay in power also depends. Many legislatorsare ignorant of the role that the legislative branch should play in ensuring oversight ofthe security sector are not well versed in the details of security policy. This is anenvironment that calls for responsible leadership on the part of legislators, particularlythe chairs of committees that oversee the activities and expenditures of the securityforces. In particular, they should seek to acquire the expertise necessary to make well-informed decisions and to enable them to carry out their oversight functions. Theyshould also avoid seeking political advantage over the executive branch andconcentrate on the substance of the issues under consideration. Civil society also needs strong leadership if its voice is to be heard by those ingovernment. Civil society in Africa has been hampered to some extent by limitedknowledge of the security sector. Its circumscribed expertise in security matters derivesin large measure from the secrecy with which security matters have been shrouded andthe prevailing view that security is appropriately the domain of the security forces andtherefore off-limits to civilians,particularly those outside government. Defense Management Courses in SouthernA few individuals challenged this Africaorthodoxy during the 1990s by “The Center for Defence and Securityestablishing non-governmental Management at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa has been conducting courses inorganizations designed to create a defense management to civilians and military personnel since the mid-1990s. These coursespublic policy debate on security issues. aim to strengthen participants’ interpersonal and leadership skills; enhance their conceptual,The Military Research Group in South theoretical and management skills; explore key issues in defence planning and civil-militaryAfrica, the Institute for Security Studies relations; and provide an environment in which(ISS) in South Africa, the African key players in the Southern African security field can interact in a structured way in order toSecurity and Dialogue Research develop the basis for common security.”(ASDR) in Ghana, and the Centre for Source: Information on the Center and its activities can be found at: and Development (CDD) inNigeria are examples of such path- 15
  17. 17. breaking efforts. One of the missions of these groups has been to support training for bothcivilians and security personnel. Thus, members of the Military Research Groupestablished the first [Is this correct??] non-governmental training program on defenseand security in Africa at the University of Witwatersrand in 1993 with grants from theDanish Government. The Defence Management Programme was transformed into theCentre for Defence and Security Management and is now the coordinating partner inthe Southern African Defence and Security Management Network, which links fiveSADC countries in defense and security research and training. Both security forcepersonnel and civilians in government and civil society benefit from the CDSM courses.In West Africa, the ASDR and CDD/Lagos began running training seminars forparliamentarians in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana in 2001. Theobjectives of these seminars are to strengthen the capacity of the parliaments to carryout their oversight responsibilities in relation to the security sector. These organizations and training programs are the result of the vision and effortsof a very small number of concerned individuals with a high level of experience in orknowledge of security matters. However, it is not always necessary to have suchdetailed knowledge and experience to demand accountability of the government. InSierra Leone following the restoration of the elected government that had beenoverthrown by the armed forces in May 1997, civil society began to question the needfor armed forces. The government’s announcement of its intention to reform the armedforces brought not only expressions of concern from civil society; it also engendered anumber of practical suggestion for vetting future members of the armed forces for pasthuman rights violations. Additionally, supported by resources from aid donors,government and civil society organized a consultation on the issue of a new armedforces in October 1998. Participants included former members of the armed forces whohad surrendered at the time of the May 1997 coup d’état and members of civil societyfrom all areas of the country controlled by the government. Most members of civilsociety present initially took the position that Sierra Leone did not need a new armedforces. Some proposed that resources be directed toward the paramilitary CivilianDefence Forces (CDF) which were composed of traditional hunting societies such as 16
  18. 18. the Kamajors which had stood by the government following the May 1997 coup. Afterthree days of serious dialogue, members of civil society concluded that the country didindeed require an armed forces. Unlike the old armed forces, however, any new armywould have to be subordinated to democratic, civilian control and oversight. Finally, the senior officers of the security forces need to demonstrate theircommitment to democratic principles and practices. They need to make clear that thesecurity forces are subordinate to the democratically elected government. They need topromise to uphold constitutional principles and accept the rule of law. They also needto support greater transparency in security sector planning and budgeting. As part ofthis process, they need to take a firm stand against the corruption that is often rife inresourcing the security sector as well as the diversion of state resources by the securityforces in other ways, for example by using military and police vehicles and manpowerfor private purposes.Ownership It is now well understood that reform processes will not succeed in the absenceof commitment on the part of those undertaking the reforms and that an importantsource of commitment is ownership.9 A major problem in the area of security-sectorreform and transformation in Africa has been precisely the lack of African input to andownership of the emerging reform agenda. Donors of both security assistance anddevelopment assistance aimed at supporting changes in the security sector havetended to dominate the process of defining the reform agenda and, as during the ColdWar, have generally sought to use aid to advance their own interests. Security assistance. During the Cold War, African recipients of securityassistance, particularly military assistance, often had to alter their military doctrine,training and arms procurement to suit the funders without any consideration of thetraditional policy patterns or the reality on the ground. The situation is much the sameat the beginning of the 21st century. 17
  19. 19. The US’s African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) exhibits many of theseproblems. It was established in order to reduce demand for US peacekeepingassistance in Africa. The training provided under ACRI by US troops has tended tofocus on conventional peacekeeping doctrine and techniques rather than on doctrineand techniques relevant to the difficult conflict environment in which African armedforces now find themselves, including counter insurgency operations against guerrillaforces in difficult terrain.10 Similarly, the French program Renforcement des capacitésafricaines de maintien de la paix (RECAMP) has focused on building the capacity ofAfricans to conduct peacekeeping operations in the region. The RECAMP conceptseeks to build this capacity through training schools for officers and other ranks, sub-regional peacekeeping training exercises and pre-positioning of equipment indesignated places in the region. While this approach complements ACRI in somerespects, for example in its sub-regional approach, the issue of relevant doctrineremains to be addressed and African participation in the thinking and planning has been African Crisis Response Initiative Training “Initial battalion training is conducted by U.S. army instructors in a professional program of peacekeeping and humanitarian relief operations. [It] includes instruction in military operational skills, command and staff operations, and computer-simulated exercises. Observance of human rights, issues of humanitarian law, negotiation and mediation, and other humanitarian concerns relevant to peacekeeping are interwoven into the training program. “Follow-on training…allows a progressive building-block process focused on commanders and staff at all levels, and is based on the "train the trainer" concept, combining classroom instruction, field training, and computer-assisted simulation. The ACRI program -- for both initial and follow-on training -- exposes the host nations military to the full range of peacekeeping tasks authorized under chapter 6 of the U.N. Charter: convoy escort, logistics, protection of refugees, negotiations, and command and control. Brigade-level training, scheduled for FY 2000, will provide for subregional command and control structures.” Source: <>minimal.11 Since RECAMP and ACRI are focused on peacekeeping, they do not addressthe broader issues of security sector governance. There are, however, other externallyfinanced programs that do that, to varying degrees. At the beginning of 2001, forexample, the UK had British advisers in Nigeria and Sierra Leone engaged in assistingthe governments of those countries develop the capacity of their ministries of defense. 18
  20. 20. The United States has also provided support to Nigeria to strengthen civil-militaryrelations and reprofessionalize the Nigerian armed forces. The private securitycompany, MPRI, has been taskedto carry out this work. Within Civil-Military Transition Assistance in NigeriaNigeria, this program has been “MPRI has fielded across functional team of expertswidely seen as an effort, albeit one to Nigeria to assist the Ministry of Defense, the National Assembly, and the armed forces developsanctioned by the Nigerian and implement an Action Plan for the national defense structure, with the goals ofpresident, to transfer “models of reprofessionalizing the armed forces, developing competence among civil leaders in defense,civil-military relations from a disengaging the military from civil government functions, and improving the standing of the armeddifferent social-cultural forces among the people. In addition, MPRI iscontext…into another context providing leader development seminars for senior and mid grade civilian and military leaders, budgetwholesale…”12 Opposition to this transparency assistance to the government of Nigeria in accordance with international standards,program has been particularly and assistance to the Ministry of Defense and the National Assembly in working together on defensestrong within the Nigerian armed matters. MPRI hosts delegations of Nigerian Defense and legislative leaders for exchange visitsforces and led to the dismissal of with US counterparts.”the Army chief-of-staff, General Source: Malu, in mid-2001.Objections from the armed forces, parliament and civil society are not based on thebelief that Nigeria requires no technical assistance in these areas. Rather, they ariseout of the concern that insufficient attention has been given to building on what alreadyexists in Nigeria by undertaking a domestically-driven process of assessing Nigeria’ssecurity needs and capacities and engaging external assistance only once thatassessment has been carried out. In 1998, the United States Department of Defense created the African Center forStrategic Studies (ACSS) to enhance “democratic governance in Africa by offeringsenior African civilian and military leaders rigorous academic and practical programs incivil-military relations, national security strategy, and defense economics.”13 Thesuccess of the ACSS in influencing security sector governance in Africa rests on itsability to engage local actors in the development and implementation of its programs.Only in this way will the norms that the ACSS seeks to embed be indigenized and asense of ownership be developed. While ACSS has from its inception encouraged 19
  21. 21. Africans to participate in its teaching program, it began to work more closely withAfricans in shaping that program only in 2001. It also began to work at the sub-regionallevel in 2001, having chosen to conduct a number of high-profile regional seminarsduring its first two years of operation. If the ACSS continues to engage Africans in developing its program and to workat the sub-regional level, its capacity to attract civilian and military leaders who are ableto influence the process of reform in their various countries will be enhanced, as will itsability to influence sub-regional initiatives that can support national reform processes.Even so, African participation in the development and implementation of ACSSseminars and workshops is only part of what is needed. If there are no mechanisms forsustaining and consolidating its achievements (for example, beginning a dialoguebetween key civilian and military actors), ACSS will have only very limited influence.ACSS needs to work in genuine, sustained partnership with local organizations alreadyinvolved in the reform process or with an ability to influence such a process positively. Itis by ceding ownership to local institutions that the practical effects of programs such asthe ACSS can be felt deeply within Africa. Development assistance. There are a variety of ways in which appropriatelydesigned and delivered development assistance can significantly benefit security sectorreform processes. Development assistance agencies can raise the profile of developingdemocratic control of military and security. They can help legitimate and empower pro-reform forces in the executive branch, the legislature, the security forces and civilsociety. The donors can also provide critical technical assistance and supplementnational financial resources. It does not automatically follow, however, that because donors can provide usefulassistance to countries seeking to improve the governance of their security sectors,they will do so. In fact, to date, very little such assistance has been offered. There aremany reasons why appropriate assistance has failed to materialize. Several of the mostcommon reasons are related, either directly or indirectly, to the question of ownership. 20
  22. 22. Most development assistance agencies have been simply unwilling to provideassistance they logically should be offering to support the evolution of a democraticallyoriented security sector. Theinternational development community Donor views on security and developmenthas come to realize that when security “Security is an essential component of goodsectors operate autonomously with scant governance and initiatives to ensure peace and sustainable development. Recognition isregard for the rule of law, democratic growing that what happens in this sector hasprinciples, or sound public-sector significant impact on a country’s overall prospects for development as well as themanagement practices, critical effectiveness of international assistance provided in other sectors. Many in thedevelopment objectives – such as international community and conflict-prone countries increasingly recognize that directpoverty reduction, strengthening the measures to help improve governance and accountability in their security sectors are a highstate to carry out key developmental priority for conflict prevention and development.tasks and fostering a vibrant civil society Source: OECD, Helping Prevent Violentsector – are extremely difficult, if not Conflict. Orientations for External Partners, Supplement to the DAC Guidelines on Conflict,impossible, to achieve. Nonetheless, Peace, and Development Co-operation on the st Threshold of the 21 Century, Paris, 2001, parathis knowledge has yet to be fully 59.incorporated into their policies orreflected in their operations. Citing legal restrictions and past practice, donor agencies have been especiallywary of providing assistance that might be construed as strengthening a countrysdefense forces. Since the early 1990s, a growing number of donors have begun toprovide assistance to police and related judicial sector reforms, but, as we argued at theoutset, unless internal and external security are viewed as two sides of the same coin,insecurity will continue to plague African countries.14 What is more, the legal restrictionsare in at least some cases overstated. World Bank officials, for example, frequentlytake the position that their articles of agreement forbid assistance “to the military.” Infact, the Bank’s articles state: “The Bank and its officers shall not interfere in the politicalaffairs of any member; nor shall they be influenced in their decisions by the politicalcharacter of the member or members concerned. Only economic considerations shallbe relevant to their decisions, and these considerations shall be weighed impartially inorder to achieve the purposes stated in Article I.”15 It is becoming increasingly difficult 21
  23. 23. to argue, however, that a governance approach to the health or education sectors isacceptable, while a governance approach to the security sector, focusing on public-sector and public-expenditure management, constitutes political interference. Often, it is the donors’ development agenda that dominates the decision of whatsort of assistance should be provided, and not the expressed needs of a reformingcountry. Because the external actors are providing the funds, they often argue, withsome justification, that they should be able to determine how their funds are used.Although more often than not African countries allow these sponsors to have their way,simply because of the attraction of the financial resources being provided, there havebeen rare cases where such assistance has been refused. Both South Africa andTanzania politely turned down the US when they were invited to participate in ACRI.16In the development sphere, aid recipients frequently have even less leverage. Thus,even when a country such as Ghana which has shown a clear interest in strengtheningcivil oversight of the security sector requests assistance in this area, its major donorshave declined to provide assistance because they have not seen improving securitysector governance as a priority for the country. [‘Kayode: Do we know whether thishas changed? I heard rumors that DFID was reconsidering its stance.] [Possiblealternative language: “…its major donors initially declined…because they did notsee improving...for the country. After the December 2000 presidential elections,however, when Jerry Rawlings was replaced by John Kufour…] However, even where donors do provide African countries with assistance fortransforming the security sector according to democratic principles, it has proven all tooeasy to provide the wrong kind of assistance. This occurs in part because donors donot take local conditions into account when offering assistance and allow their owninterests to take precedence over those of the reforming country. When the Office ofTransition Initiatives in the US Agency for International Development decided to help thegovernment of Sierra Leone think through its requirements in the security sector in1998, for example, it attempted to employ a computer-based methodology moreappropriate for making decisions about military hardware acquisition than resolvingserious political differences. It decided to use this methodology because the AID 22
  24. 24. official responsible thought it would be the best way to introduce “more rigor” into theSierra Leonean decision-making process. AID simultaneously ignored an Africanconsultant’s report outlining in some detail a locally-driven process for decision-makingthat was more suited to conditions in Sierra Leone. Why are the international donors of security and development assistance able todictate the agenda in Africa? To a large extent, or course, it is because aid recipientgovernments require the financial support that the donors provide. But there are alsodomestic reasons. Local stakeholders can also have priorities that lead to the wrongkind of assistance being offered and accepted. Too often, for example, security sectorreform is equated with professionalization of the security forces. An eagerness toreceive this assistance makes governments willing to accept assistance that is less thanoptimal. Additionally, newly democratizing governments may not trust their securityforces, particularly the armed forces, and are unwilling to allow them to play a major rolein shaping a reform process. This was a major reason for President Obasanjo’sdecision to accept the US offer of assistance to reprofessionalize the Nigerian armedforces. Additionally, some African leaders have no interest in a significant reform of thesecurity sector that has at its heart more transparent, accountable, democraticallygoverned security forces. They may rely on the security forces to remain in power andtherefore be unwilling to antagonize them and risk removal through a coup d’état or tootherwise undermine their power base. The apartheid regime in South Africa, forexample, was highly dependent on the repressive power of the state security apparatusas was the Mobutu regime in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Africanleaders, their families and close associates may also stand to gain personally from thelack of transparency and accountability in the security sector. 23
  25. 25. Benefiting from the Second Scramble for Africa In April 2001, the United Nations Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo issued its report. It focused on the activities of Uganda and Rwanda, while recognizing that numerous other countries and private entities were also involved. It also noted that the World Bank had turned a blind eye to suspiciously large increases in exports of gold and diamonds from Uganda. Although the governments of Rwanda and Uganda strongly disputed the findings of the report, the evidence appears convincing. Among other things, the report provides evidence that family members of President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda have been heavily involved in business activities in the DRC. Close associates of Rwandan President Paul Kagame appear to be benefiting from the exploitation of DRC resources, although the panel rejected information suggesting that Kagame family members were involved. Additionally, Rwanda and Zimbabwe are cited as using the war “to transfer wealth from one country to their national economy,” while top Zimbabwean and Ugandan officials and military officers reportedly “endeavour to sustain the war for political, financial or other gains…”. Source: United Nations Security Council, S/2001/357, April 12, 2001, available on, search by report number. These problems are compounded by the significant lack of capacity amongAfrican political leaders, bureaucrats and civil society to analyze security problems andmanage and monitor the security sector which often leads to a feeling that they areincapable of specifying their own needs and reinforces the tendency to accept whateverassistance is offered.Human and Institutional Capacity In common with many other developing and transition countries, most Africanstates lack the ability to provide public goods for their people, including a safe andsecure environment. At best, central governments possess a nominal administrativepresence throughout their entire territory and are often severely constrained in theirability to formulate policy, plan appropriate strategies, prioritize their interventions, andexecute those plans. Additionally, civil society is often limited in its knowledge of policymaking and implementation in the security sector and is also constrained in its ability tofulfill three key roles – demand change; act as watchdogs; and provide technical input tothe executive and legislative branches of government. 24
  26. 26. In part this lack of human and institutional capacity derives from historical factors.Africans had little experience of governing any aspect of the states they inherited at theend of colonial rule, and many African countries had no security forces to speak of atindependence. What is more, in many parts of Africa, there was little opportunity toconsolidate early post-colonial institutional development in the area of civil-militaryrelations as authoritarian and military-led governments proliferated. Even in more opensocieties, the responsibility for formulating and executing security policy has been theallocated primarily to the security forces themselves, especially the armed forces. Onlya few civilians in the executive branch have been part of the policy process. Mostmembers of government, the legislature, the civil service, and civil society have beendiscouraged from engaging in discussions of security policy or implementing securitypolicies. It should come as no surprise that in countries with powerful militaries or with ahistory of military rule, such as Ghana and Nigeria, civilians have been particularlyreluctant to engage in security debates in view of the sanctions suffered by those whosought to express opinions on the subject. The problems arising from inadequate human resource capacity have takendifferent forms. Perhaps the most profound are those arising from the lack of expertisein the area of policy formulation. Policy is a critical ingredient of sound governance inthe security sector. The act of policy formulation holds both governments and theirinstitutions accountable for what it is they profess they will be doing. As such, policyconstitutes a critical interface between the citizenry and those institutions that claim tobe representing their interests. Policy should also reflect the core values and principlestowards which people should aspire and, as such, provide an element of continuitywithin the governance framework. Finally, from a management perspective, good policyconfers predictability on the actions of government and provides a rational frameworkwithin which resources can be allocated and options investigated. Some of the capacity weaknesses of the executive branch, the legislature, andcivil society have been summarized above (see section on “Leadership”). There areseveral general points to be made here. First, it is important to distinguish betweencapacity gaps that exist in the security sector alone and those that are found throughout 25
  27. 27. the public sector. For example, many of the basic skills involved in policy developmentand the management of the security sector are essentially those that are required inother government sectors. Thus, for example, an auditor examining the accounts of thedefense sector needs essentially the same skills as an auditor examining the accountsof the education sector. He or she will require some additional knowledge of defenseequipment and will need to work under higher degrees of confidentiality, but acompetent auditor can make substantial headway without a large amount of specializedsecurity-related knowledge. The main problem is finding qualified auditors. In contrast,in order for a legislator or a staff member in the ministry of defense to make anappropriate decision on defense policy, resourcing, or procurement, he or she needsdefense-specific, technical knowledge, just as he or she requires education- or health-specific, technical knowledge in order to make decisions on social policy, resourcing, orinvestments. In the early days of its transition, South Africa was able to draw on civilsociety to obtain much of the securitysector expertise it lacked. This option is Tracking Defense Spending in Zimbabwenot available to most other African In Zimbabwe, defense expenditure has notcountries. been used efficiently and effectively, with negative effects on the basic needs of service personnel and force readiness. The A second general point pertains to Parliamentary committee responsible for security sector oversight has issued reportsthe politics of policy development and highlighting specific problems, but the government has failed to act on these reports.implementation in many African countries. Some of the problems identified include overcrowded, deteriorated troop livingWhen processes are seriously inadequate, facilities, overcrowded military medical facilities which also had no medicineseven the most effective human resources available, and grossly underfunded rationswill not be able to overcome the allowances that forced commanders to send troops on protracted home leave to assuredeficiencies. When, for example, the they were fed. In 1998, military units reportedly lacked most or all of the vehiclesexecutive branch refuses to act on necessary to function effectively while the vehicles on hand tended to be very old,legislative reports demonstrating that dilapidated, or unusable for lack of spare parts. Similar deficiencies were noted forresources in the defense sector are not aircraft.used as planned, significantly undermining Source: Martin Rupiya and Dan Henk,the armed forces’ capacity to function “Funding Defense: Challenges of Buying Military Capability in Sub-Saharan Africa,”effectively, the problem is not one of unpublished working paper, ca. 2001, p. 29.human capacity. Similarly, when the office 26
  28. 28. of the auditor general and the legislature are legally forbidden to examine the choice ofweapons procured or whether value for money has been obtained in arms procurement,the problem is not one of human capacity. Third, the processes themselves may not be deficient, but civilians’ knowledge ofthese processes, rather than security issues per se, may be inadequate. Many Africanlegislators do not know what kinds of questions they can ask or do not understand thefeasibility of undertaking certain types of studies in order influence executive branchdecisions. Many of them also do not understand how to draft legislation on securitymatters and do not understand how to use the committee system. In countries wherethe executive has tended to dominate relations with the security forces, legislators mayalso not be inclined to employ fully the powers vested in them by the constitution, evenwhen the balance of power between the legislature and the executive begins to shift.Until recently, for example, there was no defense committee in the Nigerian parliament.Furthermore, in most African countries legislators do not have the resources to acquiresupport staff and consultants for technical advice. Added to this is the problem of gender imbalance. Women occupy less than 10percent of the seats in the legislature. [‘Funmi: In Africa as a whole?] Only onewoman serves on the parliamentary committees on defense in Nigeria; none in policeaffairs or security and intelligence. There are no women on these committees inGhana, Sierra Leone or Côte d’Ivoire. Some countries such as South Africa as well asUganda and, to a lesser extent, Ghana, are taking steps to rectify these problems as anintegral part of the transition to democratic rule. Finally, levels of mistrust between civilians – in the executive branch, in thelegislature, and in civil society – and security officials are often very high. Particularly,but not exclusively, in countries making a transition from military or authoritarian rule,many civilians find it difficult to interact with anyone in uniform. Even in countries withmore open political systems, professional contact between civilians and securitypersonnel has tended to be limited, although this began to change in the early 1990s assub-regional conferences began to be held for the purpose of generating dialogue 27
  29. 29. between security officials and their civilian counterparts. The civilians’ lack of technicalknowledge of security matters often creates a sense of inferiority that can make itdifficult to interact on an equal basis with security personnel. Security personnel oftenexploit this situation, claiming that the civilians’ lack of technical knowledge makes themincapable of managing or overseeing the security sector. For their part, members of the security forces fear that they will lose theirprerogatives and privileges if the civil authorities gain more control over security policyand resourcing. In countries where the security forces have committed serious human-rights abuses, they are also concerned about being called to account. This createsstrong disincentives to accepting greater transparency and accountability to the civilauthorities among members of the security forces.Incentives for Change The transformation of security policy is the product of a range of factors which,more frequently than not, are interlinked and interdependent. In some countries, localactors drive the transformation process. In other countries, the process is stronglyinfluenced by external actors. Even where external actors play a central role in pressinggovernments to engage in a transformation process and in determining the nature ofthat process, the reasons why change has become necessary are essentially the sameas in countries where external actors play a smaller role. There are four majorcategories of factors that create the incentive for change, within Africa and elsewhere:1) major shifts in the political environment; 2) major shifts in the strategic environment;3) major shifts in the economic environment; and 4) cultural crisis within one or more ofthe security institutions. Major shifts in the political environment within which security sector institutionsoperate can be either internally or externally driven. Most often, they are a combinationof both. The vast majority of post-1990 transformation processes within both thedeveloped and developing world owe their genesis to the end of the Cold War to one 28
  30. 30. degree or another. The ending of East-West global rivalry created an opportunity fordomestic actors to reassess their relations with each other. In some cases, the loss ofexternal support meant that domestic actors were faced with the necessity ofaddressing the political problems confronting their country, rather than using thoseproblems as a means of leveraging political and financial support from their major powerpatrons. The end of the Cold War also enabled norms such as human rights protection,democracy, good governance, human development and human security to expandinternationally. While there is good reason to question the sincerity and effectiveness ofsome of the groups and individuals calling for adherence to these norms, all of theseappeals can by no means be dismissed as mere rhetoric. As the discussion about thenew constitutionalism earlier in this chapter demonstrates, Africans will desert statesthat they do not believe are legitimate and which cannot provide them with the safe andsecure environment that is necessary for human development. The new political spacecreated by the end of the Cold War that has enabled reformists in the state and the non-state sectors to express their views on a range of issues, including security policy, hasbeen an important contributing factor to the spread of these norms.17 Other reform processes have come into being primarily as a result of majorpolitical developments within the country concerned. The end of apartheid ushered in aprocess of significant transformation throughout South African society that has led tomajor changes in the structure and functioning of the country’s security forces. InNigeria, the end of the Abacha era also opened the way for economic and politicalsignificant reforms. In Sierra Leone, the war against the Revolutionary United Frontmade it impossible to continue ignoring the failure of the political system to provide anenvironment conducive to either human development or human security. Inconsequence, the government has set out to reverse almost 40 years of security sectorunaccountability to the civil authorities. Major shifts in the strategic environment within which the security institutionsoperate may be a result of a fundamental shift in the regional balance of power (the end 29
  31. 31. of the Cold War) or a shift in the sub-regional balance of power (the demise of apartheidwithin South Africa). They may be long-term or short-term in nature. Shifts that appearlikely to endure require a reassessment of a country’s strategic environment and theroles that the security forces will play in protecting the state and its citizens againstthreats of violence. In the current African strategic context, most countries do not require armedforces for “traditional” roles and tasks associated with defending the country againstexternal threats. In the future, very few African countries will have the luxury ofmaintaining armed forces for traditional roles alone. Already many African armed forcesare used for a variety of non-traditional purposes such as participation in regionalsecurity arrangements and peace missions, aid to the civil authorities during naturaldisasters, delivery of humanitarian assistance, support to domestic police services,protection against poaching activities, and provision of maritime security. The role ofthe police is increasingly shifting and expanding to include, for example, transnationalcrime. Changes in defense and police missions necessitate a review of a country’ssecurity environment and afford an opportunity to examine the governance of the entiresecurity sector. Transformation of a country’s security functions can, and often does, emerge asa result of a significant change in the economic climate within which the securityinstitutions operate. Economic collapse and ongoing conflict in Sierra Leone havecontributed to the initiation of a major transformation of both the armed forces and thepolice services. Finances, in this case, are simply not available to sustain the institutionin the manner to which it was accustomed in the past. The reprioritization of nationalneeds by governments can also produce a decline in the share of the budget allocatedto the security sector. The post-1994 policy reprioritization in South Africa was reflectedfirst in the Reconstruction and Development Programme and subsequently of the GEAR[Rocky: spell out acronym] macroeconomic strategy. Together, these havecontributed to a 60 percent drop in the defense budget in real terms during the 1990s.In some cases, economic constraints are created by the need to shift financialresources within the security sector. There is a sense within much of sub-Saharan 30
  32. 32. Africa that the current crisis of public security has created an urgent need to transferresources from defense to the police. A fourth factor affecting the propensity of a country to engage in security-sectortransformation is a cultural crisis within one or more of the security sector institutions.Wide-ranging transformation processes are often initiated by a cultural crisis within aspecific institution (which may, or may not, be a product of changes in the externalenvironment.) The behavior of both Canadian and Belgian soldiers in Somalia in 1991led to a profound reexamination of the very essence of the armed forces in bothcountries. In Canada, this reexamination led to major changes within the armed forces.More recently, armed forces in South Africa, Nigeria and Rwanda have been forced totransform in light of their previous history, their lack of representativeness at all levels ofthe organization, and the culturally [Nicole: What do you mean by this?] problematicnature of these institutions. An important question facing reformers is how to use these various changefactors to begin a process of transformation. Within Africa at the beginning of the 21stcentury, there are a number of opportunities that seem worth pursuing in this regard. The first is the regional nature of many of the security problems confrontingAfrica. The wars in Sierra Leone and the Congo will not be resolved without regionalapproaches. The land crisis in Zimbabwe has potentially explosive implications forother countries in Southern Africa such as Malawi and South Africa. Cross-bordercriminal activities – such as smuggling vehicles, narcotics and firearms and illegalimmigration – have grown in magnitude through sub-Saharan Africa.DO WE HAVE BETTER EXAMPLES TO USE IN THE FOLLOWING TWO PARAS? These growing regional problems have begun to produce regional responses.Twelve Southern African countries created the Southern African Regional Police ChiefsCo-operation Organisation in the mid-1990s to combat cross-border crime. In WestAfrica, a concern about the illegal transfer of small arms and light weapons led thesixteen members of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) to endorse amoratorium on the import, export and manufacture of light weapons in the region at the 31
  33. 33. end of 1998. In addition, a mechanism for conflict prevention, management andresolution had been put in a place and has started to function. Not all initiatives toaddress regional problems are appropriate vehicles for strengthening governance in thesecurity sector. Efforts should be made, however, to identify those regional initiativesand activities that lend themselves to strengthening security sector governance. The program established to Mission and Objectives of SARPCCOimplement the West African Small Arms 1) promote and strengthen co-operation andMoratorium, the Programme for to foster joint strategies for management ofCoordination and Assistance for Security all forms of cross-border and related crimes with regional implications;and Development or PCASED, envisions 2) prepare and disseminate relevant information on criminal activities to benefittraining for military, security and police member countries to contain crime in the region;forces of member states. Such training 3) carryout regular reviews of joint crime management strategies in the light ofcould in principle offer an opportunity to changing national and regional needs andreinforce the importance of priorities; 4) maintain a system and structure to ensureprofessionalization, human-rights efficient operation and management of criminal records and effective jointprotection, transparency and monitoring of cross-border crime.accountability.18 Similarly, SARPCCO Source: “Combating Cross-border Crime - The Southern African Experience,” Speech by Juancould be used as a vehicle for Kotze, Inspector, Interpol National Crimestrengthening aspects of sound Bureau, Pretoria, South Africa, March 23, 2000, at the Microsoft Combating Cross Bordergovernance in the police sector. Crime 2000 Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, and sub-regional political public_sector/Gov_Agencies/127.htm.organizations such as the Organizationof American States, Southern African Development Community (SADC), ECOWAS, andthe Mano River Union (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) are also organizations thatcan be encouraged to promote security sector transformation among member states.At present, however, these organizations do not have the capacity to undertake thenecessary activities. A second avenue worth pursuing involves civil society. Although there arerelatively few African civil society organizations with the capacity to influence theprocess of transforming security sector governance, it was argued in the section on 32
  34. 34. “Leadership” that some of those that do exist have shown considerable potential forhelping to change the terms of the debate in their countries as well as to providetechnical support to reform processes. In addition to the activities described earlier, civilsociety organizations are undertaking a range of programs designed to inform policyand strengthen human and institutional capacity. The Africa Leadership Forum, based in Nigeria, undertook a best practices studyon demilitarization and security sector reform in 2001 which drew on research beingundertaken in across the continent. A major objective is to feed this work into policy-making processes and political decisions at the national, regional and internationallevels, including dialogues in civil and political society that seek to influence policy. Aconsortium of civil society organizations composed of the Institute for Security Studies,CDD, ASDR and the African Strategic Peace Research Group (AFSTRAG) is workingwith SADC, ECOWAS and the ManoRiver Union to enhance the capacity Developing Capacity in Security Sector Governance in Southern Africaof these organizations to support “Since the end of the Cold War, most countries aresecurity sector transformation. The engaged in a process of restructuring and re- organising their militaries. Security Sector Reformconsortium also seeks to work with is on the agenda of most African countries wherethe West African Parliament to development is a priority. Many countries in Africa however, lack the capacity to deal with security anddevelop a common constitutional defence issues and it was with this in mind that the Security Sector Transformation project wascode and principles on security sector established. The SSTP aims to enhance the understanding of critical defence and securitytransformation and civil-military issues in both southern Africa and Africa. The programme aims to contribute to the developmentrelations. The Southern African of an indigenous African intellectual and practicalDefence and Security Management capability in the spheres of defence and civil- military management. More broadly theNetwork has as one of its major programme aims to ensure the development of policy analysis and policy synthesis skills amongstobjectives the improvement of key executive, legislative and civil role players in the African countries under study.”democratic management of defense Source: Institute for Security Studies website,and security functions in Southern, click on “Research Areas”Africa. Clearly, well-informed,professional civil society organizations can make a difference to the development andimplementation of security policy, and opportunities to incorporate them into theseactivities should be pursued by all stakeholders. 33
  35. 35. One of the challenges of effecting change in the security sector is to convince thesecurity forces that it is in their interest to engage in a transformation process. By itsvery nature such a process may seem threatening to the security forces. The argumentcan be made, however, that the security forces will benefit from a change in the statusquo. There are two avenues that seem particularly fruitful to pursue in this regard. Thefirst is professionalization of the security forces. The second is to enhance theeffectiveness and efficiency with which resources are used by the security sector.Although both activities imply strengthening the technical capacity of the security forcesand the ministries that oversee their activities, both have linkages to broader policyissues. In each case, it is important to have an adequate policy framework that willdefine the nature of the changes that need to take place to create more professionaland improve resource use. African states are already highly resource constrained, and the security forces inmany countries have felt the effects of budgetary limitations. As the security sectorbecomes subject to effective, democratic civil management and oversight, resourceconstraints are likely to be felt with increasing intensity within the security sector. Moretransparency in the management of state resources, a more level playing field betweenthe security sector and other government sectors, and greater expectations ofaccountability for all state institutions without exception will produce an environment inwhich the effective and efficient use of resources has a high priority. Indeed, in theabsence of significant political and strategic changes, the effective and efficient use ofresources is likely to be a potent stimulus for change in African security sectors. This isthe area in which the donors have focused attention since the early 1990s, but, asexplained above, not in a very constructive manner. While there is considerable internalsupport within Africa for fiscal responsibility in the security sector, the reform cause isnot served by external demands for reductions in outlays on the security forces withouta concomitant capacity for developing an affordable security sector strategy againstwhich resources can be allocated and managed. Finally, African societies are increasingly prepared to address the problemscreated by “the big man syndrome.” One of the major impediments to security sector 34
  36. 36. reform and transformation in Africa has been the unwillingness of heads of state andgovernment to accept the need for improvements in security sector governance. Amajor reason for that unwillingness has been the dependency of these leaders on thesecurity forces for their positions of power, and hence their economic well-being. For along time, it was impossible to discuss the need for an orderly, democratic transition incountries with strong presidential systems. With the end of the Cold War and thepolitical transitions that have occurred in countries such as Ghana, Mali, Nigeria andSouth Africa, the need to promote democratic transitions throughout sub-Saharan Africais discussed increasingly openly. While there is reason to believe that the days of agingleaders clinging to power are numbered, the path to that end is by no means straight.VI. Key Challenges in Creating a Democratic Security Sector[Again, I am concerned by the lack of references to the police/judicial system,intelligence, paramilitary/gendarmerie forces.Let us do some work in the Hague to address this ] The key challenges in restructuring the security sector in a manner consistentwith democratic, civil control of the security forces center around the creation ofappropriate, accountable and affordable security services. To achieve this objectiverequires the creation of an adequate policy framework within which such restructuringcan be managed. The appropriate implementation agencies within both the executiveand legislative branches of government should be capable of acting on and respondingto the immensity of the challenges facing them in managing and monitoring the securityforces, as well as overseeing the transformation process. An environment must exist inwhich civil society is able to play its roles of watchdog, promoter of change, andprovider of technical input. Finally, it requires that the policies emerging from thetransformation process are viable and sustainable. 35
  37. 37. Previous reform experiences in Africa and elsewhere around the world indicatethat three factors are especially important to efforts to transform the security sector in amanner consistent with democratic, civil control of the security forces:1) The national leadership must be committed to a significant transformation process.2) The principles, policies, laws, and structures developed during the transformationprocess must be rooted in the reforming country’s history, culture, legal framework andinstitutions.3) The transformation process should be consultative both within government andbetween government and civil society. As suggested in the previous sections, the existence of these conditions dependsto a very large degree on domestic vision and political commitment to a transformationprocess. Translating vision and political commitment into concrete action, requiresattention to the following issues.• Constitutional principles. One of the initial steps that any democratizing government needs to undertake is the clear and unambiguous elucidation of the key constitutional principles upon which the management of the security forces will be predicated. Such principles should outline the chain of political command (including parliament), the chain of security force command, the roles and tasks envisaged for the different security forces, and the broad democratic principles to which the armed forces should, in their conduct as professionals, adhere.• Policy framework. It is essential to provide a clear policy framework within which the transformation of the security forces will be managed. This generally tends to assume the form of white papers, strategic defense reviews, concept documents, and transformational strategies. The advantage of providing such a policy framework for all members of the security community is threefold. First, it provides each stakeholder with a clear understanding of those activities upon which the resource 36
  38. 38. allocation to the security forces should be based. Second, the management of such processes can provide the opportunity for government to ensure that as wide a range of non-security actors are included in the policy formulation process as possible – thereby removing security sector decision-making from the hands of a small group of technocratically-inclined individuals. Third, if correctly managed, such processes can bestow considerable levels of legitimacy on the members of the security community in the management of the nations civil-security force relations and can significantly defuse the often adversarial relationship that exists between the civil authorities and the security forces.• Human and institutional capacity. It is vital to undertake a realistic appraisal of the capacity of all member of the security community to manage and implement ambitious security sector transformation initiatives. Well-intentioned policy that has not taken into account the resource constraints, institutional limitations, human resource limitations and political priorities of the country concerned will act as no more than a vision with little long-term, “on the ground” utility. Therefore, it is critically important to conduct a comprehensive “force-field analysis" of the capabilities of each institution comprising the security community and an appraisal of the human resources available to those institutions. Civil society organizations should undertake similar assessments. It is particularly important to ensure that civilians and the civil institutions of state are capable of carrying out their management and oversight responsibilities. Activities such as legislative training, creating security units within the ministry finance and the auditor general’s office, creating a civilian-led ministry of defense and strengthening the judicial system should have high priority. It is also very important to increase the skills and knowledge of civilians working in both the public sector and civil society in areas such as security studies; defense budgeting, planning, management and procurement; conflict management; judicial reform; and community policing. Important as strengthening the knowledge and skills of the civil authorities and civil society and strengthening critical civil management and oversight bodies may be, it is also essential to strength the capacity of the security forces themselves to adhere 37