The Risks Assessment of Security Sector Reform in a Post Conflict Country


Security Sector Reforms (SSR) refers to concepts that rebuild or reform the security sector of a state. The concept first came out in Eastern Europe during the 1990s in addressing issues whereby the security sector in states was not fully functional and failed to effectively meet the security requirements of the state and its citizens in keeping with the principles of democracy. A security sector that is not fully functional can impose several complications for the state by creating obstacles in the promotion of peace, democracy and sustainable development. In recent times SSR has come to become a matter of concern for international agencies in effecting human security. It is also considered a crucial aspect in the democratisation process. The security sector comprises of all the organizations that are authorized to protect the state and its people by using appropriate force or the threats of force. One of the main prerequisites for economic development and sustainable peace is for the state to provide effective justice and security within the country. Such measures comprise of essential services and basic human rights. In effect the provision of such services requires a wide and interrelated series of private and public structures which go further than just the police and military. It is now widely accepted that if the given activities are carried out by poorly governed, poorly trained and a corruption prone justice and security service, the objectives of the state and government are unlikely to be fulfilled in providing a sense of security and confidence amongst the common people. In this context international efforts in providing security continue to suffer from a number of hurdles. The given activities are often not planned and executed in keeping with the best interests of the states and are also not organized in sync with the current priorities of the state. Most international programs do not at all times meet the requirements of the concerned communities, thus rendering the process ineffective. This paper will examine the different aspects in which Security Sector Reforms have come to be used in different countries and under what circumstances they can prove to be effective in reducing the hardships of people in states that have been torn by strife, economic slow downs and instability. The different parameters will be specifically examined in reference to Bosnia and Haiti where post conflict security sector reforms have been consistently introduced in bringing relief to people and in normalising the democratic process and governance.


Security Sector Reforms aim at effectively and efficiently providing state and human security contained within the structure of democratic governance. In a broader perspective the security sector in a given state is viewed as the country’s justice and security framework along with the related civil organizations authorized to manage the same. The model of SSR adopts a holistic methodology for the security sector and requires that all concerned instruments and actors be made a part of the process in transforming the sector from a dysfunctional state to one that is efficiently reformed. It involves the security forces and non state actors, paramilitary forces and the public at large. Different states have different contexts in regard to the implications of the applications of security sector reforms. Security sector reforms are viewed as efforts towards Security Sector Reconstruction in post conflict situations. Efforts that aim at modernizing the armed forces by way of purchasing new weaponry and reorganizing the hierarchical structure are not viewed as security sector reforms unless there is democratic accountability in the sector. Essentially all activities concerned with security sector reforms must aim at improving the security sector governance.

Prerequisites for Security Sector Reforms

If there is inadequate security in a state it becomes a major hurdle for social and political stability as also for economic development. It is essential to deviate from the descending spiral so as to break the patterns of underdevelopment, criminalisation and insecurity; otherwise they will reinforce each other. To offset the adversities it is imperative to simultaneously address the security, governance, economic and social elements within the internal settings of the state. The security sector entails the involvement of government sectors that have authority vested in them to use force, arrest and detention in protecting the interests of the state and its people. The security sector comprises of the police force, intelligence service, military and paramilitary forces, border guards, customs, judicial services, parliamentary and administrative management systems (Dick Baly, 2000).

The prime actors and elements of SSR are broadly based on the principle of democratic controls and accountability, transparency and public participation, public expenditure management and good governance. Security Sector Reforms in enhancing peace and security are seen as public goods (Mendez, 1999) since the entire society benefits from such measures. Hence SSR has to be understood from a broader perspective since they relate to the efficient allocation of scarce resources in enhancing security. It is essential to have a civilian and democratic control of security services in the larger interest of the citizens. Since accountability and transparency is required while making decisions in a democracy the population of the given state has to be involved in the process. At the same time democratization does not automatically entail improvement of security in the country. According to Luckham (2003), “The fact that democratisation has so often been associated with rising political violence is probably no coincidence since it challenges established privileges and raises political expectation which are not always fulfilled”. Hence it is imperative to security sector reforms that there be effectual civil supervision and the formation of organizations that are competent to provide adequate security (Ball et. al. 2003).

Essentially the need for security sector reforms arises where the state proves to be ineffective to provide security to its people and for its national interest. Hence such reforms will never work effectively where the administration is ill equipped in serving its citizens and in providing support to the leadership to take appropriate and effective decisions. In effect such circumstances render the state to be inherently insecure which makes it very difficult to promote sustainable development and a peaceful environment. The basic purpose of SSR is to provide for an effective and efficient state of human security by making the best use of the structure of democratic governance. In effect the security sector in a country is a reflection of the working of its judiciary and security system as also the effectiveness of the civilian authorities in maintaining law and order. The model of SSR entails that a holistic approach has to be adopted in approaches towards the security sector so that there is a shift from dysfunctional circumstances towards a reformed sector. In its entirety it implies not only the involvement of the country’s machinery but also the other actors such as civil society and the armed organizations. SSR works differently in different circumstances in terms of the applications to be used. In a typical post conflict situation, the concept is mainly construed as security sector construction. SSR measures have to aim at concentrating on the reform aspects since the important branches of security have to be integrated and measures taken to increase effectiveness and efficiency to improve democratic governance. According to Heiner Hanggi (2009), new investments have to be made to modernize the security forces; hierarchical structures have to be reorganized and new weapons purchased. However such measures cannot be considered as falling within the purview of SSR unless the sector is made democratically accountable. It is essential that all efforts for SSR must be directed towards the improvement of efficient governance of the security sector.

The implementation of security sector reforms are primarily the duties of the respective states, but they cannot be fully successful without the support of international agencies that support democratic practices in guaranteeing the protection of human rights and the rule of law. Involvement in security sector reforms by international agencies is considered in the light of the largely accepted links between human rights, development and security. A dysfunctional security sector becomes a source of insecurity in creating hurdles for both the accrual of human rights and developmental efforts. All the relevant issues in this regard are significantly influenced by the cultural, political and historical realities of each state which implies that all efforts to bring about security sector reforms should comply with these realities, (Ricardo Alberto Arias, 2007).

The United Nations plays a significant role in the field of security sector reforms though not in a very coherent way in view of the varying operative competency levels of its agencies and organs. Its role has comprised of mainly taking initiative in regard to non proliferation and disarmament, reintegration and demobilization of irregular forces as also to combat human trafficking. Other roles include the prevention of circulation of illicit drugs, weapons and small armaments. The UN works towards framing a wide range of policy measures such as the reinforcing of the judicial system. The biggest challenge before the UN is to adopt an operational and thematic method that focuses on a coordinated and integrated effort in defining priorities and objectives. Hence concrete measures have to be promoted to ensure a rational and holistic approach towards the issues. A major role of the Security Council is to curb conditions which can hurt efforts for international security and peace. The challenge becomes more critical when conflict situations have to be handled while improving the security sectors in post conflict circumstances (OECD, 2005).

The US is also engaged in security reforms in different countries since its security is enhanced with such efforts in contributing to the strengthening and democratizing fragile states with weak governance. The National Security Strategy of the US, in promoting national security has recognized the important role of security sector reforms in fragile states which has been aptly narrated by USAID, “A world where some live in comfort and plenty, while half of the human race lives on less than $2 a day, is neither just nor stable. Including all of the world’s poor in an expanding circle of development—and opportu­nity—is a moral imperative and one of the top priorities of U.S. interna­tional policy” (Nicole Ball, 2003). In fragile countries security sector reforms are a prerequisite for bringing about long lasting peace, human rights, security and good governance.

The overall governance in these countries cannot be brought about without strengthening the security sector. Countries receiving aid are responsible for a civil society and civil authorities that are democratically elected. The security forces in such states should have a judicial system that ensures the implementation of the due process of law in a transparent manner. Although such responsibilities fall on the local actors, international support can considerably strengthen local efforts in transforming the security sector since the donor agencies get into partnership in offering operating competencies on a complementary basis. Additionally it helps a great deal in combating challenges and threats from terrorist and criminal activities while helping the participating states also. It improves the state of governance within the given state and strengthens its abilities in meeting the challenges imposed by the post conflict circumstances. Basically the agenda for security sector reforms is almost the same for all states but some variations have to be adopted in fragile countries where consistency in the partnerships is of importance. In post conflict environments opportunities are available in bringing about reforms that are broad based which add strength to the capacity of the local authorities in managing and overseeing the security force. In order that security sector reforms prove to be fruitful it is imperative that the democratic sector governance be made strong which requires an understanding of the way local institutions work and cultivate relationship with other stake holders. External interventions if implemented successfully will result in an environment that is reform friendly which is required for developing consensus in regard to the manner in which the reform process is being directed. Such efforts are fruitful if they are amalgamated into wider growth oriented efforts that indicate an all inclusive structure of a government that is reforming.

Democratic consolidation is a prerequisite for moving towards a state of democratic governance and human and institutional resource capacities can be strengthened only at a speed that is in keeping with the speed of democratic consolidation. Even with the existence of the most ideal circumstances, considerable time is required for countries to implement the given tasks. Fragile states impose considerable challenges in view of the deficiencies they suffer in terms of their human resources and institutional capabilities. Poor governance of the security sector contributes to significant decline in the political and economic governance in these countries and hence it is not possible to make strong the over all governance unless adequate importance is given to the security sector. To bring about effective strengthening of the security sector it is essential to bring about institutional and human capacity building. In essence, nations that make attempts in implementing the measures do not generally have the required human resources and capabilities nor do they have the strong institutions to cater to the requirements (Louise Andersen, 2006).

To ascertain whether a given set of security sector reforms will work in a given state, it is first necessary to take into account the social, economic and political circumstances prevailing in that country. It is vital to consider the context in which the security sector is to be reformed and the similarities and differences between different countries in this regard have a major bearing on the success of the efforts. A necessary condition for the success of the efforts is the willingness of the different actors in bringing about the reforms while the factual position of the state in regard to the prevalent circumstances also has a bearing on the success of the plans. In a country which is characterized by constant violence and war there are very bleak chances of success in the efforts due to the absence of any strong will amongst the actors to reform. Instead, the aggressive parties are more in the nature of aggravating the offensive in attempts to establish their supremacy over the opposite parties. Hence it cannot be expected to bring about reforms by way of democratic governance in states that are at war and in those that are structurally fragile. Civil control over the security forces is difficult to achieve and so is the disarmament and demobilization of the aggressors. But it is under these very circumstances that democratic governance is required so as to act as a whistle blower and watchdog. A framework can be drawn during such conflicts for reintegration, disarmament and demobilization by using the available means of support. Countries with high probabilities of armed conflict also do not have potential for success in security sector reforms, because in such countries civil norms are not applicable. In such circumstances it becomes necessary to use external support in strengthening human security (Herbert Wulf, 2004).

According to Ann M Fitz (2009), countries that are moving towards failure or collapse present very few opportunities for security sector reforms to succeed. Typical characteristics of such developments are the lack of state control over the security forces and under such conditions there is very less chance of getting external support. Under such circumstances the country cannot have legitimacy in state coercion due to fragmentation of the active warlords and military groups which makes the preconditions being out of place for bringing about the security sector reforms. In countries that have an ongoing process of conflict mediation, and that have scope of resolving the conflicts, there is good potential for reforms to be effective. But there is often a lack of trust in embarking upon widespread reforms under such conditions; hence it is better to conclude on agreements during periods of ceasefire and ongoing peace negotiations. In post conflict countries such as Bosnia and Haiti the reform prospects are positive but there should be preparedness for confrontation by the security sector forces. The inactiveness on the part of the police and security forces in view of their pattern to stick to conventional practices and conditions restrains the effectiveness of the reforms. The lack of willingness on the part of the security organizations is not primarily attributed to illogical oppositions to the reform movement but is normally due to the curbing of their privileges and authority.

In post conflict states the prospects for security sector reforms are very bright since peace agreements would be in place and adjustment and reduction of the security force would have been decided upon. Security Sector Reforms in such countries are donor driven and donor countries insist on the prevalence of post conflict circumstances for the aid to be given to them. Democratization of the civil military relations also is imposed as a requirement in the national agenda of the states, (Clem McCartney et al, 2004). Such countries have the will to be receptive to external aid for effecting positivity into their systems. In this regard Nupi, (1999) has aptly said, “The role of intelligence services in the security sector should be recognised and addressed. Practically all governments find it necessary to maintain specialised forces in this area… Intelligence agencies should be included in security sector reform where their work is concerned with internal security threats. In this area, donors have been reluctant to contribute, as the need for transparency that pervades all other efforts in security sector reform is difficult to reconcile with the development of secret services. To counteract the obvious lack of transparency, the intelligence agencies must be subject to some form of civilian control. A complete detachment of such services from a general process of reform may easily undermine constructive development in other areas.”

According to the UN Secretary General’s report, “the role of the United Nations in supporting security sector reform, stresses that while the UN has much experience helping nations reform their security sector, “there are no quick fixes for establishing effective and accountable security institutions” and any effective strategy would depend on willing and able national partners” (Guehenno, 2008). The UN contributes by elaborating on the basic standards and principles to ensure that there is a sustained and answerable international support in regard to the effort made by countries under pressure to restructure their security sectors. The report goes on to say that “By virtue of its mandate, legitimacy and presence, the United Nations can support national actors, particularly in post-conflict environments, to make informed security choices that are conducive to long-term development, sustainable peace and democratic governance,” (Guehenno, 2008). The UN has recognized and is aware that an unaccountable and inefficient security system in any country can have far reaching consequences in becoming a hurdle for democratic governance and can greatly destabilize the performance of the strategies for poverty reduction.

Bringing about a well managed security sector requires not only large scale police and military reforms but also prioritizing the stabilization process of missions and the framing of accessible and impartial justice and correction segments. In order that the measures are sustained such reforms must be formulated and implemented on the strength of democratic norms, civilian protection, equality, transparency and respect for human rights without which they will just not take off. Security sector reforms in post conflict countries such as Haiti are very much possible if sufficient international support is harnessed along with responsible internal actors. In such a country there has to be a sustained and long term involvement of international communities failing which it may lead to disruptions in an already fragile peace process. There have to be effective and well governed security organizations in existence so that peace becomes everlasting. In Haiti the introduction of sustained security requires strengthening of the processes and institutions and the introduction of effective oversight, sustained funding and capable management. The UN has made efforts in Haiti through its Standing Police Capacity to assist the internal authorities in bringing about law enforcement organizations on a sustainable basis. In order to achieve a situation of sustainable security it is imperative that measures be adopted that reach beyond the reintegration of soldiers or just equipping and training personnel in the police force. In Haiti it became difficult to maintain peace for a sustainable period since the security institutions were not well governed and effective. The need arose for sustainable funding and a competent management. A big challenge in Haiti is to coordinate the different actors and to create synergies amongst them so as to meet the challenges of security sector reforms (Andrew Stroehlein, 2008).

High priority has to be given to the protection of human rights. It is required of security forces to respect human rights. Although it is the security forces that are responsible for indulging in human rights violations, they are in most cases instructed to do so by the civilian authorities who wish to acquire and hold on to power. There is also a trend amongst security forces and civilians in promoting the formation of paramilitary agencies to suppress civilians in general or civilians belonging to given sects or race or class; main motive being to curb major changes in the social and political set from taking place.

Sometimes amnesty is adopted as a compromise measure to reintegrate and demilitarize combatants. However there is mostly an absence of legislation in regard to amnesty because of which the anticipation of getting a blanket amnesty may encourage insurgents to adopt criminal and violent methods of achieving their objectives. In fact as and when any promise of amnesty is given, the international community is charged with abetting in the opposition to successfully introduce the security sector reforms. Paramilitary forces that are presently in service on account of having been granted amnesty are often viewed with mistrust and also inhibit the chances of future control that they may have (Helena Cobban, 2007). Hence the process of evaluating post war security organizations has to include all contenders including the commanding officers. In this regard, Brzoska, (2004) has written, “Flagrant violations of humanitarian law, including genocide, war crimes, torture, terrorism, rape, and hostage-taking, should be exempted from any amnesty. Given the wide array of acts of violence, the reintegration and re-assimilation of combatants warrants a proactive reconciliation policy. Insufficient amount of attention has been dedicated to issues of human rights and gender, which have tremendous implications for security. If mechanisms to protect the rights of women and prevent human rights abuses are not erected in the security sector, the SSR process will serve to perpetuate gender-based discrimination and egregious human rights violations” (Brzoska, 2004).

In post conflict situations the schedule for security forces includes components of wider security worries most of which are dealt with in subsequent situations of the conflict interventions. An example in this regard is the involvement in Bosnia of security forces in matters such as the resolution of persons who are displaced internally and of minority returns. The forces in Bosnia are also engaged with the assistance to determine action agendas and the gathering of light weapons and small armaments from different groups and locations within the country. The subject matter of the role of security agencies and the police force occupies a rather complicated position since SSR is identified as a pertinent challenge faced by governments in fragile countries. According to Chris Smith, “the academic history behind the evolution of SSR is one of fits and starts, lacking continuity and lucidity. It has emerged with the wider examination of military institutions in the Third World and with the study of defense diplomacy, or the development of democratic market-based defence forces. Important linkages have also been drawn between defence expenditures and economic development in these countries, which is often seen in bloated defence budgets and the absence of any civilian oversight governing the activity of the military” (Gerald, 2003).

The framework for SSR activities as outlined by Ball (2003) makes a distinction of the players between the activities and the enablers in the security sector of a given country. According to him the central players in the given country comprise of the judicial services, police, armed forces, intelligence services and paramilitary services. On the flip side the enablers are described as the well established systems of transparent and answerable legislative structures, policy and budgetary planning, capability and structure and civilian oversight. If there is an element of professionalism applied to the given areas the result will be rewarding in terms of multilateral and bilateral policies that cater to the more important issues in the categories.

The building of sustained peace has to be made possible with arrangements of regional security. Since conflicts emanating from across the border are quite common due to ethnic reasons that occur due to religion and border related complications, it becomes important to apply the strategy within the structure of the provincial security arrangements. To ensure that peace building efforts are consistent especially in view of the several ways by which instability is brought about from neighbor countries through guerrillas and smuggling of arms, it becomes important to expand the assistance and cooperation at regional levels. In the post conflict context the armed forces and other security organizations are not well organized and their chain of command and control is rather poor. The security personnel have low doctrinal and moral orientation and are much prone to adopting corrupt practices and indulging in violations of human rights. Rebels and guerrillas thrive in escalating ethnic disturbances and make profits in the grey market. The money generated from such activities is used to finance guerrilla activities and to pay the unemployed former fighters who return and join the warfare to survive (Robert Perito, 2009).

Role of Army, Police and Paramilitary Forces

All the authorities in the security sector that have the power to use force are to be reformed so that the sectors work efficiently and effectively. The goal of the reforms is to ensure that the objectives of the security sector are achieved in protecting the people and the state. The security forces and the armed forces, ministries of home affairs, justice, interior and defense, the national government offices and parliament are the major actors involved in the process. Sometimes the organizations from civil society such as NGOs also are included. The tasks require that the security and armed forces function efficiently and effectively, and essential capabilities for management of armed forces and democratic oversight are built. According to Dr. Hans Born (2002), the security forces have to be transformed into a professional body that has well defined missions and duties and with the hierarchy clearly established. The number of people in the forces must be in keeping with the requirement and all weaponry that is in excess should be gradually phased out. Above all there has to be an effective civilian management of the security sector which is the main element of bringing in the process of democratization. The sectors that monopolize the police and defense forces tend to be influential in internal political circles which have the potential to become threats within their own country. Hence it is imperative that a system of good governance must be built so as to manage and control such elements in keeping with the objectives of security sector reforms.

Military, police and paramilitary forces play a very important role in the process of peace building in post conflict countries. Armies from external sources build confidence and facilitate the social, economic and political transformation towards a long term peaceful environment. Just the presence of defense forces is sufficient in most cases to prevent the return of violent attacks. Moreover the army is often made to engage itself in vigorous tasks of rebuilding. It is essential to flush out the negative influence from the local armed forces so that they can provide the given security task after the external militaries return. Hence, if the security sector reforms are not adequate, post conflict countries will face the risk of gong back to a situation of disintegration and violence.

Programs of socio economic reconstruction have to be established in order to ensure that there is consistency in the maintenance of security sector reforms programs, failing which long term programs of security sector reforms would not succeed. Socio economic reforms are the force behind security sector reforms since economic development is crucial in post conflict states. It is true that economic instability will occur if ex combatants are not reintegrated into the mainstream, refugees are not rehabilitated and the black and grey markets are not controlled. Hence it is essential to take care and precaution in implementation of the programs of security sector reforms (Atsushi Yasutomi, 2007).

Coordination of Internal and External factors in Security Sector Reforms

A major hurdle in the implementation of security sector reforms in post conflict countries pertains to the oscillating interactions amongst the local and external actors which are responsible for the implementation of policies of security sector reforms in the concerned conflict country on the one side and the media, judicial systems, parliament, government and other civil societies of the post conflict countries on the other. The question arises as to the extent to which local actors should engage in operations of peace building in the promotion of local ownerships. According to Simon Chesterman (2004), the local actors are engaged in the under mentioned processes of peace building:

  • External actors base their peacebuilding policies on their own analyses of the local needs while not getting involved with the local authorities. [minimum or no local ownership];
  • External actors promote local leaders (e.g. traditional leaders of villages and tribal units) and so participate as consultants with the local stakeholders over their peacebuilding strategies;
  • External actors promote local actors and participate in some peacebuilding implementation tasks (e.g. border control activities and national election committees);
  • Local actors participate in activities to enhance accountability of the peacebuilding activities (e.g. participating as ombudsman in the peacebuilding activities in the region)
  • Local actors participate in the decision-making processes of the peacebuilding operation under the supervision of the external actors;
  • External actors hand the power over to the local authorities. [maximum ownership].

Although the given concept will play important roles in defense plans, it is gradually becoming less pertinent in altering the security environment where security risks at the international level has begun to be related to conflicts that are intrastate. In essence, intrastate or internal conflicts have the power to threaten the stability of the entire region. In some states such threats have assumed alarming proportions and have become an unending threat factor to the peace in the respective countries. Some areas which were considered to be stable and peaceful have now become prone to the threats of territorial and ethnic disturbances especially after the end of the Cold War. Such conflicts have consequences that are often disastrous and include regional destabilization, massive refugee movement, humanitarian calamities and organized terrorism and crime. The increasing incidents of terrorism have activated political and military reactions by several countries.

Main Issues for Justice, Security and Human Rights in Post-Conflict Situations

In post conflict situations the immediate provision of justice and safeguarding of human rights is rather far fetched and cannot be catered to with immediate effect by the administration. This results in the erosion of public confidence and credibility in the human rights efforts and judicial systems. In most post conflict nations there is widespread prevalence of ineffective justice systems and human rights promotions. Efforts to provide solutions in this regard for people adversely impacted by the violations become a very difficult task. The people manning the resources such as judges, human rights institutions, prison guards, police officers, administrators, defense attorneys, prosecutors and civil society organizations would have either been killed or run away during the conflict. Similarly the required infrastructure for these services such as police station, prisons and courtrooms would have been destroyed. In order to get hurried results in this regard there will be tendencies to place incompetent people in positions of responsibility within the human rights and judicial systems. This kind of situation would further lead to more political and social instability and the disregard of the law and human rights principles (Greg Hannah et al, 2005).

Attempts to get hurried results will detract the achievement of long term objectives for capacity building and reforms. In fact there will be immense pressure from the local people as also from international organizations to decide in regard to the accountability of crimes committed during the conflict which will become a dominating factor in the national agenda for the judiciary and human rights practitioners. Although such priorities are in keeping with the need to ascertain the causes of the conflicts and to punish the guilty, it is more important that such efforts become a part of the state’s approach in developing the legal framework which will meet international human rights standards and norms and to improve the capacity of the justice system to provide remedies. The effective coordination of international help is impeded by political and institutional barriers. Hence it is important to coordinate amongst the main institutions on priority so that human rights protection and judicial reforms are effectively introduced. In fact the justice sector has to be viewed as a system that builds and strengthens every institution and ensures the effective coordination between such institutions (Valeria Vilardo, 2008).

However bringing about an effective coordination in a post war setting is not a simple task. Most often the state is not fully functional and thus there is no existing institution in the human rights and justice sectors. Sanam Naraghi and Camille Pampell (2009), have said in this regard that all the institutions have to be constituted from scratch which also implies that there is no coordination mechanism amongst different institutions. The efforts for collaboration between human rights and justice sectors can prove to become complicated in view of the need to consider the independent status of the institutions that must be respected. The need to collaborate amongst the institutions will tend to become more complicated if the heads of the institutions would have been members of rival factions during the conflict. There is also a tendency for the lack of understanding amongst donors in post conflict situations which can damage the interests of the state in terms of its human rights and justice sectors. It will result in a discordant and fragmented movement towards capacity building measures as also in a perilous conflict of doctrines, cultures and languages and an unviable mix of legal systems leading to chaos and confusion (UNDP, 2004).

Access to justice and human rights for all has to be emphasized so that it is available to disadvantaged groups, women, poor and the displaced. Some post conflict states initially focus on providing short term solutions in terms of transitional justice initiatives, infrastructure rehabilitation and capacity building, but it is essential to focus on the rights of access to justice for the underprivileged and poor people in the long run. It is strongly believed that if justice is not made available for everybody, it is non existent.

The Case of Haiti

Multilateral attempts were made during the 1990s to introduce security sector reforms in Haiti, but the lack of elite support, constant corruption and insufficient capacities in the judicial sector has resulted in the reoccurrence of violence. A large number of crises in recent times have brought severe problems for Haiti in the current year. The violent riots of April 2008 which are said to have been politically motivated against the rising cost of living resulted in extensive suffering and disruption and subsequently resulted in the removal of the government of Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis. Hundreds of people died in tropical hurricanes and storms in August and September, 2008, food shortages became widespread and more Haitians were pushed into conditions of poverty. Big losses accrued to agriculture and infrastructure and the global financial crisis made it difficult for donor countries to come forward with remittances (Johana Mendelson, 2006). Recently international interventions have been made in regard to the instituting of security sector reforms but for the measures to be a success it is essential to have dialogues with the local elites to enable long term donor involvements. This would result in good governance which will ensure that development, security and justice sectors are built concurrently so that the nation does not prove to become a failed state.

During the over two centuries of its existence, Haiti has experienced abject poverty, military dictatorships, instability, violence and a scarcely functioning political system. In 1994, a formal government was restored in Haiti with the help of a US led multinational force and this was followed by the launching of wide ranging security sector reforms to establish responsible security institutions and to restore public security. The security sector reforms entailed introduction of the concept of policing for human security, demobilization of the army by concurrently creating a provisional defense force and a permanent police force for the nation. However such actions resulted in some complications in view of the country’s legacy of institutional and political chaos (David Law, 2006).

The demobilization of the army led to failures in resolving the varied issues between the US and the Haitian government. The complications related to the issue of which soldiers to keep in the army and what kind of compensations should be given to soldiers who were demobilized. The training given to police personnel did not address the procedures of detention and arrest nor were they effectively instructed as to the process of the law of human rights. Although the police personnel were given appropriate training in being effective and honest, the force began to be gradually sucked back into the vicious circle of politicization, incompetence and corruption in which it was strongly entrenched previously. Although security sector reforms were introduced with good intentions, the reforms in regard to the police, courts and penalties were initiated in seclusion from each other. There has been substantial funding for judicial reforms but the rule of law still appears to be in the nascent stage; in effect a fully functional legal and judicial system has yet to see the light of the day. It is unfortunate that the security forces continue to be involved with drug trafficking which continues to be the core problem faced by the police and government. The security sector reforms in Haiti have not succeeded much because they were not supported by the country’s political elite (Heiner Hanggi and Vincenza Scherrrer, 2007).

Haiti will become a failed state unless there is more donor involvement by the US and other countries. The security sector reforms so far have hardly yielded any positive results in view of the peculiar circumstances prevailing within the country. The reforms were laudable but Haiti is too poor to afford to pay on its own for the policing and judicial functions within the country. There is now increasing mistrust amongst the public in regard to the security institutions and the initial popularity gained in favor of the security sector has fizzled out back in favor of the system of vigilante justice. Security sector reforms are a means to facilitate the smooth functioning of the state, but the problem with Haiti is that its governance sector hardly functions. In order to become effective the security sector reforms must be as per the expectations of the USA as also of the citizens and business elite of Haiti. Ultimately the future of Haiti is entirely dependent on the elite in its political leadership who should involve themselves in meaningful dialogues in meeting future needs of the country.

According to a study conducted by Isabelle Fortin and Yves-François Pierre (2009) the Haitian National Police (HNP) has to be reformed so that there is better communication amongst the HNP, national and international stakeholders, general public and civil society groups. The transparency within the police has to be improved along with the vetting process and the reform plans. There has to be improved structures of management for both material and human resources and priorities given for training and recruitment. To encourage greater involvement of women, their treatment within the police force has to be improved. The problems faced in effecting police governance are aggravated by issues that plague the entire security system. For example there is extreme lack of effective communication between the judicial police and the HNP. Parliament is unable to exert its influence over the HNP due to poorly defined rules and regulations which create hurdles in the decision making process. The process of legislation is also slow and the means to explain the enactment of laws are virtually non existent. In an ideal society, civilians play an important role in implementing changes for the given functions but with the prevailing conditions in Haiti, not much headway has been made in this regard.

Several key patterns have come together in focusing international attention in regard to the security sector reforms in Haiti. Although the required recognition has been given by national and international actors to the security sector reforms in the country, there are several critical policy issues and practical gaps that remain unresolved. There is a lack of research to guide as to how exactly the reforms should be formulated and implemented in building peace and the security sector (Stephen Baranyi et al 2006).

The Case of Bosnia

Security sector reforms in Bosnia have proved to become very sensitive issues after the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement. The Agreement resulted in the creation of two independent bodies in the country; the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska. Both the entities have their own armies and independent authorities to defend themselves. In effect there is also a third force which is an offshoot of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina which is divided into the Army of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (AFBiH) and the Hrvatsko Vijece Obrane (HVO). The AFBiH is dominated by the Bosniac Muslims while the HVO is controlled by the Croats. Military reforms were conceived as per the Dayton Peace Agreement by dividing and balancing power between the two armies which are now considered to be entirely homogeneous. The US helped both entities to build their armies and capabilities in meeting the challenges imposed by each other. But the FBiH came to have greater strength which fostered a great deal of mistrust within the ranks of the Bosnian Serbs. Such developments made it extremely difficult to integrate the Bosnian army and created challenges for the success of security sector reforms in the country. Since then efforts have been made in restoring a small degree of control and authority within the security set up as applicable to the weaker central authorities. The functioning of parallel security organizations that are ethnic in nature has proved to be a major outflow of financial resources for Bosnia. The extent of the given expenses is so huge that they have accounted for over 5% of the country’s defense budget every year since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement. NATO described the amount as being excessive and in being a major drain of funds in leading the country towards bankruptcy (Enja Ebnoether et al 2007).

The Bosnian political system anticipated a weak state with most of the authority being conferred on the two entities; the Federation and the Republica Srpska, with the former being further bifurcated into ten regions. While the fragmented Federation was divided into eleven independent and different police organizations, Republica Srpska was a central entity and comprised of a single police organization which was divided on regional basis only. Additionally the Brcko District was given a unique position in Bosnia in having its own legal system. All the police organizations in the country were of varying sizes and had different legal foundations thus averting the creation of a single security region within Bosnia.

Such practices resulted in a financial impasse and provided ground to the international community for insisting on the reforms in addition to giving offers for providing equipment and training for the reorganized armed forces as a bait. The Office of the High Representative (OHR) has taken several initiatives in driving security sector reforms in Bosnia as also in developing better relationship with NATO. In May 2003 the Defense Reform Commission was set up to amend and draft legislation to reform the defense structures in Bosnia (Marina Caparini, 2005).

The restructuring efforts of the police in Bosnia have been influenced by the international community by leveraging European integration to achieve reforms aimed at transforming the disjointed police system so that they get away from the purview of political influence. The efforts ended in the concluding of an agreement that was not strong enough to meet the objectives. The reason for the difficulties in this regard was the fact that restructuring of police concentrated more on the fundamentals of the subtle ethno political model of power sharing in post conflict situations. Additionally the approaches adopted by the international community bore grave shortcomings since the external donors did not stick to one line of action thus considerably reducing the impact of the available leverage (Thomas Muehlmann, 2008).

The case of Bosnia, in the context of being a post conflict state poses a number of problems in making security sector reforms effective especially when there is active involvement of international approaches in supporting civil societies. Firstly the international agencies and external rehabilitation agencies which were involved in Bosnia after the conflict favored lesser investments and funding for the delivery of the service programs without having much concern for sustainability on a long term basis. The internal NGOs proved to be opportunist in making use of the donor funding which was abundant in supply for the purpose of providing employment and security. NGOs in Bosnia began focusing on the provision of services to please the donors instead of assisting in the broader political involvement. Civil Society Organizations were not viewed by the people of Bosnia as contributing to their cause and in serving their interest.

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that take on the role of the weakened state in providing necessary services could be the major roles to be taken by civil societies in a post conflict environment. It is imperative that native CSOs realize the need to cater to the requirements within their constituencies. Those that assume donor agendas without familiarizing themselves with the conditions prevailing in their areas will face the threat of being unable to relate with the state and with society. It is important to have the local information and knowledge in the right context; which can be brought about by engaging the local representatives and experts in society who will work towards the peace building process as per policy guidelines. The donor countries must have the competence to be able to differentiate amongst CSOs, which understand the donors but are separated from the native communities, and those which can connect to the local communities but are not essentially in the know of the donor strategies and project policies.

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