Guinea Citizen Security Project I-III
Partners is supporting Guinean civil society to participate in dialogue around the national security sector reform process.
With support from Partners, Partners West Africa and the Committee Civilo Militaire (CCM) have been conducting workshops to help Guinea undertake a national security sector reform (SSR) process that considers the interests of civilian leadership and civil society. The Guinea Citizen Security Project began in 2011; it is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and endorsed by the Guinean Minister of Defense. Since its inception, the initiative has successfully brought civil society into the SSR process through education, engagement with Guinean security forces, articulation of issues at the local level, and identification of opportunities for civil and security sector collaboration.
GCSP has been implemented in each of Guinea’s main regions. In the first year, it included Lower Guinea, Upper Guinea, and the Forest Region. The second year included the more contentious Medium Guinea. In the third year of the GCSP, Partners West Africa will build on the momentum generated during the first two years, replicating the curriculum in Boké and Kindia—cities within the strategically significant stretch along the coast of Lower Guinea.
Why is Partners Supporting Security Sector Reform in Guinea?
The need for security sector reform in Guinea is related to the changing role of the Defense and Security Forces (DSF), which have historically been considered professional and effective force because of its role in the struggle for Guinea’s independence. However, beginning in the early 1980s, the DSF rooted itself deeply within Guinea’s political structures. With growing political power came a cycle of military coups, widespread corruption, impunity, violence, and human rights abuses. On September 28, 2009 the DSF massacred more than 150 pro-democracy protestors in a soccer stadium in the country’s capital, prompting domestic and international demands that Guinea’s security sector be reformed.
The GCSP began in 2011 in the shadow of the September 28 massacre and the 2010 democratic elections. The elections created much-needed space for SSR to begin. The national reform effort being led by the government of Guinea with the support of international donors is critical, but it is largely unfolding in Conakry’s halls of power, with little consultation with ordinary citizens, especially outside of the capital. Partners West Africa and Partners believe that, in order for these reforms to be successful and lead to real improvements in human security in the country, civilians must be engaged in the process.
In 2011, Partners' African Institute for Security Sector Transformation, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS), and the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), held a joint conference on the theme “Developing a Guinean National Security Policy.” The conference brought together members of Guinea’s ACSS community, as well as official representatives from the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Security, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the National Transition Council, and Guinean civil society organizations. Read the conference report here: