Democratic Republic of Congo’s sexual violence epidemic is not only a weapon of ongoing violent conflict but an expression of entrenched systemic problems. Indeed, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is most commonly perpetrated by the security services in place to protect civilians. In Quartier Panzi in South Kivu province, innovative processes of security sector reform and strengthened police-civilian channels of communication may be providing an opportunity for change, argues World Bank adviser Edward Rackley.
In considering security sector reform, questions of affordability have often been subordinated to questions of effectiveness and expediency. A recent series of reviews of security expenditures by the World Bank and other actors in Liberia, Mali, Niger and Somalia has highlighted several emerging issues around the (re)construction of security institutions in fragile and conflict-affected states.
A new alliance between the Mexican security forces and citizen ‘self-defence’ groups in Michoacán state has brought some short term success in the fight against the Knights Templar cartel. But what will be the long-term consequences of legitimizing heavily armed vigilante groups in Mexico?
Facing a myriad of public security challenges that have provoked some of the highest indices of crime and violence in the world, authorities in Central America have followed a variety of different responses, ranging from repressive and reactive policies to grass roots prevention. Of these approaches, the Nicaraguan National Police’s Proactive Community Policing model stands out due to the results it has achieved. In the second of our two-part discussion, ‘Countering Militarisation of Public Security in Latin America’, Matt Budd explores the lessons that Latin American countries can extract from Nicaragua’s unique approach to public security.