Policies on security sector reform

Slightly different from the examples above, SSR has been a policy field developed more formally at ECOWAS; however, it has drawn a lot on earlier hands-on experience, for example, supporting SSR efforts in Liberia and C6te d'Ivoire since the mid-2000s. However, early SSR efforts led by ECOWAS and CPLP actors in Guinea-Bissau since 2010 have played a particularly important role in the development of a more general policy (cf. Uzoechina 2014, 20ff.). Since 2008, drawing their mandate from the ECPF (ECOWAS 2008, Arts. 72-6), staff of the Regional Security Division started working on a policy document, assisted by staff of the International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT).26 Following an internal sensitization workshop in January 2009 in Abuja, in November 2010, nine regional experts met to produce a first draft, which was subsequently revised during a consultative meeting in September 2010, and based on input from ISSAT/DCAF (cf. Uzoechina 2014, ll).27 In 2011, this process resulted in the adoption of the ECOWAS Code of Conduct of the Armed Forces and Security Services. Subsequently, in interaction with actors at the AU and UN (see below), RSD staff finalized the Policy Framework for Security Sector Reform and Governance, which the

ECOWAS Authority adopted in June 2016, at its 49th ordinary session (cf. ECOWAS 2016).

This process at ECOWAS co-evolved with similar developments at the AU. In direct relation to the AU Policy Framework on PCRD, which provided the larger context, the AU Policy Framework on SSR resulted out of a process that emerged at the AU Commission during the mid-2000s (cf. AU 2013, 1). Again following the emergence of a more global concern with SSR within the UN system,28 in February 2008, the AU Assembly decided to task the AU Commission with drafting a “comprehensive” continental framework (AU Assembly 2008, para. 19). That document should aim to provide guidelines for the AU, RECs, member states and “other stakeholders” on how to implement SSR programs (AU 2013, para. 13). As in the case of ECOWAS, and happening at the same time, ISSAT/DCAF staff also assisted in the drafting of the AU document.25 In January 2013, at the 20th ordinary session of the AU Assembly in Addis Ababa, African heads of state and government in January adopted the Policy Framework on SSR (AU Assembly 2013, para. 21).

While political approval for the SSR Framework had been achieved, implementation turned out to be more difficult, especially facing various political sensitivities of member states when it comes to their security forces. Therefore, the tool of choice again became joint assessment missions (JAM), as well as stakeholder workshops and the creation of the Africa Forum on SSR (meeting in November 2014 and October 2018), to get the process started, sensitize different stakeholders and to build some confidence among them. The first SSR JAM went to CAR in May 2014, concluded by a stakeholder workshop. Following that, a second mission visited Madagascar in October 2014 and, in March 2015, Guinea-Bissau became the third member state to receive such a mission. Subsequently, similar missions visited Mali and Gambia, in November 2015 and May 2017 respectively.30

These are examples taken only from the security departments of ECOWAS and the AU, where 1 did most of my research. However, other departments (directorates, units etc.) have also adopted specific ‘cases’ to their agendas (cf. Tieku 2016, 127ff). One example, in this regard, has been the AU Department of Political Affairs, and in particular its Democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit (DEAU), which has striven to ‘continentalize’ its efforts as much as possible. The DEAU has increasingly covered elections in almost every African country, sending election observation missions, short- and long-term, as has been the case for Guinea-Bissau (see Chapter 4). Where respective requests by host governments were missing, AU officers have initiated the process nevertheless, using persuasion to check that formality. Here again, the aspiration has been to cover all of Africa, thereby making every country equally important for the development and consolidation of coherent regional policies and approaches.31 At the same time, however, different units, divisions and their staff have also sought to gain or enhance their respective profiles (vis-à-vis each other, was well as towards international donors), looking out

Regional security policies 157 for activities that increase their visibility and testify to their abilities and value. Be that as it may, integrating as many ‘cases’ as possible into these different agendas has significantly contributed to the construction and formatting of regional spaces.

 
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