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No will, no way

US-funded security sector reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo

This paper is a follow-up case study to Oxfam America's 2009 report on US security assistance and the protection of civilians. In that report, Oxfam America examined the importance of SSR and the evolution of US policy and doctrine and then surveyed US practice. DRC is an important and useful case study of US implementation of SSR because the US government has committed to improving the security of the Congolese and to helping promote development and democracy in DRC, and SSR is crucial to solving the problems in the country.

The US has provided tens of millions of dollars in support of armed forces and police reform in the DRC, yet the impact of the US efforts has not been measured and thus is not actually known. Moreover, notwithstanding these and other donor efforts, it is clear that true reform in the DRC security sector has yet to occur: “No progress at all,” according to one senior MONUC official. True reform, including the training of all security forces in civilian protection and human rights principles and the implementation of that training in field operations, plus effective application of military justice and measures to remove known human rights abusers from the army and the implementation of a judicial system based on the rule of law, is crucial to improving the humanitarian situation in DRC and moving DRC to a position of stability, economic development, and robust democracy.




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