Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Ethiopia: a prerequisite for Democracy
By De Birhan Media10 September 2012
Ethiopia is entering a new era. A new era without its Meles Zenawi, who ruled the nation for 21years to the amusement of his clans, party members and Western allies and to the enormousdisgruntlement of the majority of Ethiopians and also a new calendar year 2005. It is a new erabecause, when Meles Zenawi departed, he left a regime, party, plan and policy that would onlybe energized and operational in his presence. He has built and left a security apparatus that is
militarily “strong” but very weak in “leadership, accountability, transparency, inclusiverepresentativeness”. Believing that democracy is
a necessity for the peaceful and sovereigncontinuation of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa region, Ethiopian and international stakeholders
have been arguing that the Ethiopian security apparatus needed a “comprehensive and urgentreform”. This thesis argues that if the post Meles Zenawi leade
rship/administration is to call for a
genuine “reconciliatory dialogue” with all concerned parties or at least wants to be a “democraticregime”
; it must immediately start a comprehensive Security Sector Reform (SSR).
What is Security Sector Reform?
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
DevelopmentAssistance Committee [OECD-DAC] (2007) report broadly speaking,
the security sector isusually understood to encompass all the organizations that have the authority to use, or order theuse of, force in order to protect communities, individuals, and the state.
These include themilitary, police, border guards, intelligence services, government bodies that monitor suchorganizations, and those institutions charged with upholding the rule of law, including the judiciary and the penal system.