This study explores Security Sector Reform as a concept to address peace building or post-conflict reconstruction in a country attaining independence or emerging from a major conflict as in the case of South Sudan. Although various descriptions for a security sector exist, it is a common term applied to refer to structures, institutions, and personnel who are responsible for managing, providing, and overseeing security within a state. In general it refers to the armed forces, law enforcement agencies, national intelligence agencies, border control agencies, and civil protection entities. SSR refers to actions aimed at strengthening legitimate institutions and governance to provide citizens security, justice, and jobs which is crucial to break the cycle of violence. SSR is also conceptualised within the enlarged definition of security which includes human security. This emphasises the approach that SSR is not only restricted to defence and the role of law and order, but is also included in wider political, economic, and social issues. Within the concept of SSR, various prerequisites are stated for the effective execution of SSR within a state. For an analysis of effective SSR in South Sudan, the following aspects were identified to apply as a theoretical model to analyse the execution of SSR in South Sudan. These aspects were the necessity of a formalised peace agreement; the execution of a clear and effective DDR programme; the importance of foreign involvement and international military involvement; the importance of the institutionalisation of security sector structures, and civil oversight.
The study concludes that certain aspects of the SSR plan contributed to peace building and post-conflict reconstruction such as certain provisions of the peace agreement, the involvement of the international community, and financial support. However, SSR in South Sudan mainly failed due to a failure of the DDR process, the inability of the international involvement to address outstanding security issues, a failure to address border demarcations, and a total failure to install effective security sectors and civil oversight mechanisms over the military.
The study on the other hand suggests SSR as a concept for post-conflict reconstruction, specifically within a state acquiring independence such as South Sudan, should be viewed as a workable concept. As a model to address peace building or post-conflict reconstruction, SSR can indeed be effective. It provides for a wide spectrum of measures to address security, political, and economic disparities within a state emerging from a conflict and aspiring to democratise as a new state such as in the case of South Sudan. The failure of the SSR concept in South Sudan is not ascribed to an insufficient SSR process or plan, but due to the non-adherence of the provisions of the plan by the signatories of the plan and the socioeconomic, ethnic, and security challenges in independent South Sudan that would have complicated any SSR attempt.
SSR as a concept can be applied for peacebuilding if certain conditions such as enforced DDR, commitment by international role players, the enforcement of provisions of the peace agreement, and effective measures to institute the de-politisation of the military are provided.
Mini-dissertation (MSecurity Studies)--University of Pretoria, 2015.