Reports and papers

Supporting SSR in the DRC: between a Rock and a Hard Place

03 Jun 2010 - 11:32

Security Sector Reform (SSR) is rapidly becoming the central pillar of the international agenda for stabilisation and reconstruction in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Since the Transition period there has been a proliferation of donor-supported initiatives in the justice, police and defence sectors. The consensus however today is that progress as regards reform has been limited. This paper seeks to explain why by analysing the approach taken by international partners and situating this within the Congolese political context. It sheds light upon several structural impediments to SSR in the DRC which have not been adequately taken into account in external assistance programmes and identifies key challenges which international partners should strive to address.

This paper, written for policy-makers, is the fruit of a collaborative research effort by Henri Boshoff, Institute for Security Studies, South Africa, Dylan Hendrickson, Conflict, Security and Development Group, King's College London, United Kingdom, Sylvie More, Conflict Research Unit, Clingendael, The Netherlands, and Thierry Vircoulon, Institut francais des relations internationales, France.