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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - A joint African Union (AU) – United Nations (UN) – European Union (EU) and African Security Sector Network (ASSN) security sector reform (SSR) sensitization and training workshop took place in Tunis, the Republic of Tunisia from 16 – 18 September, 2014. The workshop brought together security sector practitioners and other officials from countries in North Africa and facilitators from the partner organizations.

Participants were informed of the latest issues in the development of regional, continental and global trends in SSR, and what the partners are doing to assist Member States in their SSR efforts. In particular, the AU facilitators highlighted the development and implementation of the AU Policy Framework on SSR, and how Member States could use it especially but not only in post conflict situations. The UN facilitators highlighted the global trends in SSR and the role of the UN while the EU facilitator informed participants of the various EU facilities that can fund SSR activities in Africa.

Participants discussed the various security issues in North Africa as a region, and in the individual countries. A number of messages were highlighted including the following:

1)      The importance of highlighting the various notions of human security in addition to state security.

2)      The centrality of national ownership of security sector reform activities in Member States, and that, foreigners should not use SSR as an excuse to interfere in the internal affairs of African countries.

3)      The sensitivity of the subject of civilian control of the security sector and the role of civil society in SSR in relation to issues of national sovereignty.  

4)      The need for a regional approach to security in North Africa, in view of the serious security challenges that some countries such as Libya are facing especially in the wake of recent and ongoing violent conflicts.

5)      Regional security in North Africa is complicated by the rampant flow of arms and drugs across borders, and the illegal movement of people in and out of the region and especially across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

6)      Terrorism and religious fundamentalism are further complicating an already volatile North Africa, with the effects being felt far beyond the region.

7)      The centrality of collaboration of neighboring countries to deal with the many and complex cross border security challenges.  

 

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Posted by Lulit Kebede

Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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