The Case for Security Sector Reform in Zimbabwe

  • Citation: Chityo, Knox. “The Case for Security Sector Reform in Zimbabwe.” Royal United Services Institute, September 2009, 1–52.
    • Topics:
    • Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding
    • Keywords:
    • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Zimbabwe
    • SSR
    • military operations
    • politics
    • international engagement
    • UK

This paper assesses the security sector’s role in Zimbabwe and identifies key areas for reform. Will the security sector be a constructive partner in Zimbabwe’s recovery? Or will it be a spoiler, bringing the nation back to the brink? The author makes four main propositions: first, that Zimbabwe needs a National Defence and Security Strategy based on a ‘security plus’ ideal, which integrates traditional defence policy with ‘people-centered’ security. Second, that Security Sector Reform is a major component of the National Defence and Security Strategy. Third, that Security Sector Reform in Zimbabwe should be appropriate to the local context, and led by the Zimbabwean people in a consultative process. Fourth, that the international community, including the United Kingdom, has a role to play and that ‘smart security’ partnerships are of great value. The paper acknowledges that political will is a prerequisite for successful reform, but argues that it cannot wait until the country is stabilised. Security Sector Reform must begin now.

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