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The Challenges and Opportunities of Security Sector Reform in Post-Conflict Liberia

31 December, 2004



Table of Contents


Executive Summary

List of Acronyms

1. Introduction

2. The Liberian Post-conflict Reconstruction Process: ‘War Carry Everything!’
2.1. Background and Context of Post-conflict Reconstruction
2.2. Overview of Liberia’s Reconstruction Process

3. Security Sector Reconstruction: ‘We Want America. America Should Come Help Us’!
3.1. New Armed Forces for Liberia?
3.2. From ‘Taylor’s Police’ to Liberian Police
3.3. Judiciary: Don’t Blame it on the war!

4. Enabling Environment for Democratic Governance of the Security Sector
4.1. Constitutional Framework
4.2. The Role of the Governance Reform Commission (GRC)
4.3. The Role of DynCorp: Private Response to a Public Challenge?
4.4. The Limits of Parliamentary Oversight
4.5. Restructuring the MoD
4.6. The Role of Civil Society
4.7. UNMIL Unlimited?

V. Conclusion and Recommendations


Liberian Comprehensive Peace Agreement

Report of the CSDG-DCAF Liberia Consultations

Report of the Liberia National Dialogue on Security Sector Reform



Liberia presents one of the most challenging contexts for post conflict reconstruction since the end of the Cold War, featuring a protracted civil war and the concomitant destruction of the state, society and economy. This Occasional Paper examines post conflict reconstruction in Liberia, with particular focus on the security sector. The paper argues that opportunities for security sector reform (SSR) are conditioned by the mutually reinforcing relationship between the state of security on the one hand, and the security of the state on the other. The prospects for stability and peacebuilding are enhanced by the extent to which SSR is predicated on the state of security broadly defined, as opposed to the narrower focus on the security of the state.