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The Reform of Guinea-Bissau's Security Sector

19.12.2014 - (idw) Hessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung

The latest PRIF Report analyzes the reasons leading to the failure of Security Sector Reform in Guinea-Bissau. Since its independence in the early 1970s Guinea-Bissau has been characterized by political instability, interventions of the military into politics and coups d'état, as well as economic and social imbalances. Labeled as a "failed state" Guinea-Bissau has developed into a transshipment place for drug trafficking and a transit country for irregular migration to Europe. The international community of states has primarily blamed the security sector for the ongoing condition of crisis that the West African small state is in. Hence Security Sector Reform was seen as a means of clearing out political, economic and social deficiencies.

Repeated attempts at reform since 2005 are widely regarded as failed. In PRIF Report No. 126 "The Reform of Guinea-Bissau's Security Sector. Between Demand and Practice", Christoph Kohl shows that the concept of Security Sector Reform in its current application is impracticable. Diverging ideas and expectations on giving and receiving ends, the insufficient consideration of local concerns and the missing opportunity for local actors to participate amongst others can be adduced as reasons, why the implementation of the reform cannot live up to its ambitions. The author traces the causes for the ill success, provides a critical analysis of the concept of Security Sector Reform and shows starting points for alternatives.

This PRIF Report can be downloaded for free.

PRIF Reports offer scientific analyses of current political issues as well as recommendations to decision-makers and journalists. Weitere Informationen:http://hsfk.de/fileadmin/downloads/prif126.pdf PRIF Report No. 126http://hsfk.de/PRIF-Reports PRIF Reportshttp://www.hsfk.de/Publikationen PRIF Publications
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