SCG’s SSR Program works with security sector institutions and forces to enhance effectiveness and accountability by building human and institutional capacity.
SCG assists international donors to frame and prioritize foreign assistance to support SSR goals and recipient governments to strengthen, reform, or (re)construct their security sectors.
Security force-community engagement in Mali is extremely fragile and, in some areas, non-existent. The general population and security forces remain highly suspicious of one another within their respective communities and operational environments. Armed conflict and consequent occupation of northern Mali in 2012 dramatically impacted social cohesion between different socio-political and ethnic groups, and citizens continue to hold strong feelings of abandonment as a result of the withdrawal of security forces and government institutions during the rebellion of 2012. Violence has now spread to Mali’s central Mopti and Segou regions, aggravating pre-existing conflict drivers, amplifying distrust, and stymying effective engagement between communities and security forces.
The complex security environment in the Sahel poses unique challenges that criminal justice sector actors are struggling to navigate. Although the threats confronting countries in the Sahel vary, their strategic, operational, and even tactical challenges share important commonalities. To support the region’s criminal justice sector actors mitigate threats arising from transnational organized crime, terrorist networks and armed conflict, the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) has partnered with the Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) to launch a comprehensive capacity building program for five Sahelian countries—Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal.
Across the Sahel, police, gendarmerie, and civilian law enforcement institutions, and the ministries that oversee them, are grappling with how to implement, reform, or otherwise strengthen community-oriented policing initiatives. Over time, conflict, corruption, a lack of transparency, and uneven service provision have eroded public trust. An endemic lack of public trust has in turn inhibited police and community collaboration, impeding efforts to build capable and accountable criminal justice sectors across the Sahel. Although the concept of community policing is not new to the region, its effective application remains a challenge. Nascent efforts on the part of the region’s civilian law enforcement institutions and a willingness on the part of civil society to engage with them suggest that community-oriented policing remains a viable approach for improving service provision and rebuilding trust across the Sahel.
The emergence of unified, civilian-led security institutions in Libya continues to be stifled by serious political and security instability. The insecurity is fueled by the proliferation of non-state armed groups seeking to fill the post-2011 governance vacuum, which has created a complex mosaic of actors and institutions with varying security functions. Effective security sector reform (SSR) and eventual disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of Libya’s armed actors are critical for long-term stability and the development of effective governance institutions. Earlier SSR efforts were fragmented, hampered by political deadlock, the ongoing civil conflict, and the absence of inclusive forums for Libya’s many stakeholders. Both Government actors and citizens require support to develop the resources, skills, and mechanisms to shape the formulation of a strategic, inclusive, and sustainable action plan for future SSR/DDR.
Haiti faces serious security challenges exacerbated in the last decade by a catastrophic earthquake and category 4 hurricane that affected millions of citizens and caused massive destruction and displacement. In the aftermath, anti-government protests, kidnappings, and gang warfare continue to disrupt life in Haiti. To build the capacity of Haiti’s criminal justice system to respond to the growing insecurity, the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) has partnered with Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) to deliver training, technical assistance, and mentoring for Haiti’s police and justice institutions and forces.
Thailand is a key US partner in the region and plays a critical role in halting the trend of increased transnational crime throughout Southeast Asia. Its criminal justice sector faces significant regional challenges, including international criminal and drug networks, illegal trafficking, and transnational terrorist threats. The Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) has partnered with Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) to provide logistics support for capacity building activities in Thailand to combat these threats and respond to the growing insecurity across the region.