Dr. Elshafie Khidir Saeid
Security sector reform (SSR) is not a Sudanese invention or a mere outbid by the politicians, civil forces and activists, as the remnants of the defunct regime claim. The concept appeared for the first time, in the nineties of the twentieth century, in the countries of the socialist camp in eastern Europe, after the popular uprisings that overthrew the totalitarian regimes in those countries, then it developed and gained international legitimacy by Security Council Resolution No. 2151, dated April 28, 2014. The resolution included twenty items emphasizing that reforming the SSR in post-dictatorship environments is crucial to consolidating peace, stability, the rule of law and good governance, extending the legitimate authority of the state and preventing a return to dictatorship and the country’s slide back into conflict. The resolution stresses that efforts to reform the security/military sectors target not only the military, security and police institutions, but also all the civilian government institutions, such as the judiciary and other justice agencies, penal institutions, the customs, as well as all the institutions and the participants who play a role in designing and formulating all the security processes and the national security strategy. and monitoring its implementation and management, and other entities that contribute to providing security for the state and its people. In some contexts, SSR also targets the militias and armed groups outside the regular forces, as well as the private security companies.
The process of reforming the security/military sector in Sudan is governed by a set of basic principles, including: First, it does not aim at dismantling and replacing the military and security institutions, but rather the development and modernization of these institutions so that they are positioned in line with concepts of democratic transformation, peace, justice, human rights, and sustainable development. Secondly, it is not done with one blow and over a short period of time, but rather it is a series of complex operations, processes, that may take a long time. Third, it is linked to the comprehensive reform of all other civil institutions in the state. Fourth, it is not just political, administrative or technical decisions or procedures, but rather it is based on scientific concepts that are internationally agreed upon, and is guided by the successful experiences that took place in other countries. Fifthly, it is not necessarily subject to the whims and the political and media outbids. Sixth, it is implemented from within the military and security institutions and by their employees, but under the principle of transparency and the oversight of the government civil institutions mainly the legislative council. Seventh, the SSR process can be initiated during the transitional period, provided that this is done in accordance with the principle of transparency, and in coordination with civil institutions. However, completing the process and approving its final results should only carried out by the democratically elected institutions. Eighth, and by virtue of the Sudan’s political history and its intersections with military institutions, as well as by virtue of the global experiences in this field, the main headings for reforming the security/military sector in Sudan must include, for example, but not be limited to, the following measures: 1- the integration of any military formations and groups in the country into the national army which should be the only military force in the country. 2- modernizing and developing all the regular institutions and providing them with the material capabilities. 3- the security and the military doctrine of the regular institutions should be free from any political and ideological biases, but based on the principles of the democratic transformation and human rights in accordance with international conventions… (To be cont.)