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Julie E. Chalfin and Linda Thomas-Greenfield
The Security Governance Initiative

Based on years of security assistance delivery, the U.S. Government has concluded that if the aim has been to develop sustained and effective African capacity to tackle security and justice challenges, then the traditional approach for providing security assistance has been incomplete. President Obama in 2014 introduced the Security Governance Initiative (SGI) to respond to this quandary. The Initiative seeks to align partner priorities with U.S. national interests, resources, and expertise to enhance the management, oversight, and accountability of the security and justice sectors. SGI also offers a more comprehensive, effective, and efficient approach for partners addressing security challenges, and for the U.S. Government in providing security assistance. Though still in its infancy, the SGI has ongoing programs in six countries.

African Security and Justice Sector Challenges

Security and justice sectors that are weak, poorly managed and coordinated, and degraded by corruption, present significant impediments to sustainable development, democracy, stability, and peace across Africa. Democratically governed security sector institutions and professional forces rooted in the rule of law and held accountable to civilian oversight are critical. Governments are more effective in the delivery of services to their population—and are better partners for addressing shared security interests—when they can communicate priorities, capabilities, and requirements, and can efficiently and transparently manage human, material, and financial resources. It is no coincidence that the first pillar of President Obama’s 2012 Presidential Policy Directive for Africa was to strengthen democratic institutions.3

Decades of imbalances in power between military and civilian security institutions, including allocations of resources that heavily favored the military and, more specifically, military operations, have left many African countries with anemic civilian security institutions that lack the capacity or confidence to carry out core functions. This imbalance has further perpetuated an over-reliance on the military. The dynamic created has led to security institutions that do not trust one another and a stove-piped approach for planning and budgeting for security requirements. This paradigm inhibits governments from meeting the demands of complex security challenges that require a whole-of-government effort. The stove-piped approach also leads to redundancies, confusion of roles and responsibilities, and wasteful practices.

While the mismanagement of personnel and resources can lead to inefficiencies in the security sector structure, the lack of oversight and accountability within the entire security system allows corruption and abuse to thrive. Tolerance for corruption and abuse not only erodes security capabilities, but also the trust of the population in the government and its security services. The U.S. Government recognizes that professionalism and sustainment challenges are faced by security institutions around the globe, not just in Africa. However, given that African states are earlier in their state formation process and continue to be dominated by problematic relations between populations and government security forces, the African continent was selected first for this initiative. It is likely that the SGI approach will expand to other parts of the globe as demand for such partnership grows.

Similar problems plague African judicial sectors, which have frequently been marginalized or otherwise neglected by the continent’s strong, executive-centric governments. Conceived of as the formal institutional mechanism that ultimately holds individuals—including government representatives—accountable for civil and criminal infractions, judiciaries are an integral part of the security sector apparatus. Without effective, independent courts that are able to hold security actors accountable, there is nothing to assure citizens that predatory acts will be punished. While traditional justice systems will continue to play an important role in mitigating conflict and meting out justice for Africans, SGI focuses on strengthening modern systems wherever possible, and establishing citizen confidence in the justice process.

The Initiative is distinctive in the broad scope of its institutional mandate which includes armed forces, civilian oversight agencies, police and other internal security organizations, legislatures, and civil society, reflecting a holistic understanding of security. SGI emphasizes collaborative processes and U.S.–host country partnership in pursuing shared national and international security goals.

U.S. Government Assistance

For more than a decade, the U.S. Government has supported security sector reform and defense institution building efforts in Africa, primarily in countries transitioning from conflict, such as Liberia and South Sudan. In Liberia, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) led the early planning and execution of the reform of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) beginning in 2004. The DOS led policy formulation and played the lead role in implementing defense institute building (DIB) within the fledgling Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) of southern Sudan and eventually South Sudan. These major attempts at reform produced results that were both positive (Liberia) and mixed (South Sudan), which are worthy of close study for DIB practitioners operating in post–conflict contexts.

The commitment by the Liberian political and security leadership to the defense reform process, supported by significant U.S. assistance, resulted in the formation of a professional, competent, and civilian-led Liberian defense force. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) joined with DOS in reform efforts early on, playing a significant training and mentoring role for the AFL, alongside efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other international partners.

U.S. assistance and Liberian political will were instrumental in disbanding the entire existing defense force and re-constituting it from scratch. This fresh start allowed the government to establish institutional norms, infuse national purpose in the AFL, and undertake necessary reforms that would have been resisted by personnel from the AFL serving under the former head of state Charles Taylor. Liberia’s Defense Ministry drew from shared U.S. best practices, such as the recruitment of personnel from across Liberia’s regions and the establishment of and adherence to military induction standards.

Alongside this AFL rebuilding effort, the Liberia National Police (LNP) was maintained and was able to provide public order in coordination with the United Nations (UN) Mission in Liberia so that the AFL development could advance without distraction. The increasing competence of the AFL, and Liberia’s demonstrated ability to protect its people and borders permitted the UN to draw down its peacekeeping mission and plan for its complete withdrawal within the next few years—the mark of a successful exit strategy for U.S. security sector reform efforts. This relatively successful endeavor took place in conjunction with LNP reform, economic progress, and other post–conflict reconstruction efforts that have buoyed the Liberian body politic and placed the country on a solid reconciliation path.

In South Sudan, U.S. assistance began following the signing of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement,4 with a focus on transforming the SPLA from a largely guerrilla force to a professional military, respectful of the rule of law and civilian control. These efforts occurred along with similar work to improve South Sudan’s police and justice systems. In addition to building headquarters and unit infrastructure, and supporting the development of tactical and operational capabilities, U.S. assistance focused on enhancing the command, control, and administration of the force, as well as the establishment of policies, strategies, and procedures to guide the transformation process. Partly owing to the lack of DOD personnel resources and a permissive security and political environment, DOS led the defense institution building mission using training and advisory teams composed primarily of retired U.S. military personnel embedded in the offices of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army leadership. Later, a second U.S. team was embedded within the offices of the South Sudanese Ministry of Defense directorates.

Despite some initial progress, a number of challenges stymied the overall military professionalization and the DIB effort in South Sudan. These included: 1) a lack of sufficient South Sudanese buy-in as indicated by a lack of resources invested in the sustainment of the force; 2) a lack of coherence with the wider budget and immature public financial management; 3) the inability of leaders to delegate responsibilities; 4) the lack of a human resource management system to strategically vet, develop, and employ personnel; 5) entrenched antagonism to civilian control, even within the Defense Ministry; and 6) the preoccupation of South Sudanese leadership with ongoing conflicts and other political priorities.

As these starkly different outcomes illustrate, certain conditions are necessary for successful institutional reforms to endure. Without political will, absorptive capacity, credible and effective institutions, willingness to independently manage U.S. and other international donor investments, an equal stake in the success of security sector initiatives, and policy commitment to security sector reform, governments will not sustain long-term reforms undertaken with U.S. assistance. In addition, it is imperative that civil society engagement and parliamentary oversight be strengthened to ensure that the security system has checks and balances, and eventually can produce increased government legitimacy.

In 2013, Presidential Policy Directive 23 on Security Sector Assistance (PPD–23) endorsed a comprehensive U.S. strategy for building sustainable partner security sector capacity.5 PPD–23 provided a framework for the U.S. Government to coordinate efforts and ensure transparency and consistency in security sector assistance delivery. The policies and guidelines offered in PPD–23 also provided the foundation for developing a whole-of-government approach to address the governance obstacles that threaten the sustainability of security sector assistance. Defense institutional capacity building is crucial to these general security assistance management efforts since defense institutions play a pivotal role in the governance of a major component of the security sector. For greatest impact, these efforts must be jointly planned and monitored by the DOS, DOD, and other relevant agencies.

A New Approach

President Obama launched the SGI at the August 2014 United States–Africa Leaders Summit, offering a new approach to improve security sector governance and capacity in Africa. SGI is a coordinated interagency process that promotes inclusivity and partnerships.6 The Initiative is informed by consultations with a broad audience, including U.S. Government experts, civil society, international donor partners, and other international nongovernmental organizations. This approach is to ensure a thorough understanding of issues and efforts to address security sector governance challenges.

Through SGI, the United States partners with countries to undertake strategic and institutional reforms required for governments to tackle key security challenges, both in regard to the mission of protecting state institutions and assuring citizen security. The Initiative calls for high-level, bilateral commitments. A foundation based on shared goals and commitments ensures appropriate management, coordination, and prioritization of efforts undertaken under SGI. The SGI focus is intended to foster resiliency within partner governments to not only address short-term disruptions in the security environment, but also to be better able to make strategic choices about their future security posture. SGI also emphasizes productive dialogue with civil society stakeholders.

The SGI approach applies well-known development principles to ensure the commitment of governments and the sustainability of good security sector governance. These principles include: promoting partnership and collaboration; coordinating interagency and inter-ministerial efforts; and adopting a flexible and adaptable approach based on the needs of the SGI partner and the evolving environment.

Partnership and Collaboration

The SGI process is based on the premise that sustainable solutions to security sector challenges must come from within the partner country. Through SGI, the U.S. Government launches a dialogue with the partner to identify opportunities to tackle urgent and emerging threats. After securing senior level commitment to the SGI approach, U.S. Embassies facilitate consultations between the SGI interagency teams and other stakeholders, such as representatives from parliaments, local nongovernmental organizations, academics, and other international donors. Consistent diplomatic engagement provides the opportunity for the United States and partners to manage expectations and proceed at the pace in which reforms can occur. Despite good will and intentions, partner institutions might lack skilled human capital to receive assistance, and governments might not have the resources readily available for reforms to which they have committed. The United States and its partners must consider the absorptive capacity to take on the reforms and present a realistic timeline to set up the government for success. SGI design is, therefore, founded on an inclusive developmental approach to help manage expectations and undertake the appropriate efforts at a tempo that does not place undue burden on the partner government.

Based on priorities and requirements articulated by the partner country the U.S. Government will propose specific focus areas for SGI engagement. Focus areas not only reflect partner-country interests, but are selected to draw on a range of available expertise and experience from the U.S. interagency, present options for improving systems to sustain and complement other U.S. security assistance, and provide opportunities for addressing underlying governance challenges that prevent partners from meeting their security objectives. Focus areas proposed should of course also align with U.S. national interests.

Several partners identified defense institution capacity building as a priority area of focus, including Mali, Niger, and Nigeria. Partner countries expressed a desire to improve resources management in particular. In Niger, for instance, a main component of SGI programming is improving the defense sector’s human, material, and financial resource management. Enhancement in these areas not only helps countries to overcome their own security challenges more effectively, but also makes them more capable and sustainable long-term partners for the United States, with the ability to contain local conflicts and prevent them from rising to a threat level that could more directly threaten U.S. interests.

Best practices and lessons learned can be shared through sustained, high-level engagement and through the process of conducting joint analyses in which government officials are more likely to openly discuss any capacity gaps and root causes of security sector challenges. Consultation teams have been able to build a rapport with officials in partner countries, which has facilitated honest and open exchange. This process also establishes a common understanding of the current environment and allows the U.S. Government to offer better informed and targeted assistance to address the systemic issues unique to the partner’s context. Hence, the final Joint Country Action Plan (JCAP) presented to U.S. and partner leadership, upon which an SGI program is based, is the product of in-depth consultations between partner and U.S. government subject matter experts.

SGI activities are developed and implemented using the JCAP as the roadmap. A senior-level SGI Steering Committee comprised of U.S. representatives and senior officials from the partner country, including ministers, deputy ministers, and representatives from the Office of the Presidency, meets regularly to review progress made on the focus areas and intermediate objectives outlined in the JCAP.

Interagency and Inter-ministerial Coordination

Interagency coordination and collaboration both within the U.S. Government and with the partner is a hallmark of SGI. The Initiative applies a comprehensive, whole-of government approach for addressing complex and emerging security challenges. Liaisons from the relevant U.S. government agencies and departments are detailed to the SGI Coordination Office in DOS in order to maintain a constant flow of information between home agencies and SGI planning.

The SGI approach adopts the premise that governments that have a comprehensive understanding of their security sector capabilities, gaps, and deficiencies can more efficiently align resources to address security priorities, and that well-developed policies, systems, and processes allow governments to more effectively manage their security and justice sectors. For some countries however, inter-ministerial coordination can be especially challenging. Often, partner governments need to overcome years of mistrust and rivalry between ministries, and systems that perpetuate stove-piped decision-making processes. The lack of reliable and practical information-sharing between security sector organizations can undermine the effectiveness of each organization. The majority of SGI engagements identify, organize, and call together inter-ministerial representatives to discuss shared interests and challenges. Repeated interactions over the course of an SGI project, which is expected to be several years, can create and cultivate important intra-governmental relationships.

Despite existing hurdles, SGI countries have voiced a desire to attain the benefits of this approach, recognizing that inter-ministerial coordination and a whole-of-government approach to security builds resiliency and efficiencies into the security sector. Clearly defined roles and responsibilities of each organization, as well as systems for sharing information help to reduce redundancies, ensure a common mission, and institute a process for ministries to hold one another accountable. For example, in Kenya SGI has encouraged improved border management by breaking down stovepipes and providing opportunities to communicate between agencies.

Flexible and Adaptive

As threats evolve, priorities shift, and a better understanding of the environment emerges, SGI endeavors to be flexible and to adapt to changing requirements. The SGI Steering Committee within each participating country provides a forum for the U.S. and partner leadership to assess progress and determine whether the objectives presented in the JCAP reflect the evolving environment. For SGI to remain relevant to the partner and, at the same time, satisfy U.S. interests, modifications to the JCAP are open for discussion and must be mutually agreed upon by both the U.S. and partner senior leadership.

Defense Institution Building

While SGI is not solely focused on capacity building within defense institutions, there are direct and indirect contributions that SGI makes to enhance the governance of those institutions. There are also many lessons learned from U.S. Government experience in undertaking institutional capacity building efforts in Africa that have informed the SGI process, most importantly, that success depends on the partner’s political commitment and embrace of institutional reform.

Through SGI, mechanisms for information sharing and coordination between ministries are being established, new relationships between the defense sector and other security agencies are being formed, and the distinct roles and functions of the various security agencies are becoming more clearly defined and understood. These outcomes have the potential to result in militaries relinquishing some of the de facto responsibilities they inherited from their colonial legacies or might have acquired over time, and allow ministries of defense to more effectively and efficiently target their efforts and resources to fulfill their primary defense functions.

In some cases, such as in Mali and Nigeria, partners specifically identified the enhancement of defense institution systems as a priority. For example, defense human resource development and management was selected for Mali, and the enhancement of defense procurement and acquisition processes were selected for Nigeria. Although activities to support these areas primarily focus on and benefit the defense sector, the holistic SGI approach encourages the partner to consider institutional capacity building in one sector in relation to broader security priorities and public budget resources.


The U.S. Government selected SGI partner countries based on existing relationships, a commitment by the governments to the guiding principles of the initiative, and an expressed desire to undertake necessary security sector reforms. Kenya, Niger, Mali, Ghana, Tunisia, and Nigeria are the six initial SGI partners. Since the August 2014 launch, SGI has enjoyed modest successes, and the approach to SGI implementation has been well received.


Kenya is the most advanced in SGI implementation. The Government of Kenya was the first of the SGI countries to: receive an interagency consultation team; finalize a JCAP, which was signed on the margins of President Obama’s visit to Nairobi in July 2015; appoint a senior representative as the primary SGI point of contact; and host SGI Senior Steering Committees. The SGI engagement with Kenya has informed the SGI process, including validating the importance of sustained high-level communication and feedback. Progress made to date is mainly due to excellent bilateral collaboration at the senior and working levels, and proactive steps taken by Kenya to meet desired SGI objectives. An example is the development of a plan and process to establish a new Kenyan Customs and Border Protection Agency to integrate border management capabilities and capacities. Without the support of senior Kenyan leadership, working-level officials would not have been empowered to propose the new structure and offer innovative ideas for advancing an integrated border management framework.

The three mutually agreed areas for SGI–Kenya focus on enhancing and coordinating internal security processes and responses. In addition to establishing a holistic approach to border management, which involves elements of the defense sector, SGI is working to enhance police human resources management and the administration of justice. An overarching goal of SGI, and a national security priority for the Government of Kenya, is to foster greater public confidence in security and justice institutions, and prevent the marginalization and radicalization of segments of Kenya’s population. Building institutional capabilities—beyond the defense sector—to detect, deter, prosecute, and eliminate terrorists and violent extremists, will ensure a comprehensive approach for addressing threats that require more than a military response.


Niger is a country with significant security challenges, including fighting a three-front battle against extremists along the Malian, Libyan, and Nigerian borders, and facing major budgetary challenges as one of the least developed countries in the world. The country has a relatively small military (estimated 12,000) to handle these difficult tasks. SGI seeks to assist the Nigerien Armed Forces and has a large capacity building component. Two of the SGI focus areas, while not dedicated solely to supporting the defense sector, require inputs from the Ministry of Defense and seek to enhance defense institution capacity. Specifically, focus areas are aimed at improving decision-making processes that determine the allocation of human, materiel, and financial resources for security sector requirements. SGI work to date with Nigerien defense institutions includes reviewing processes for managing military personnel, logistics, and budgets, and establishing systems for multi-year planning to more effectively anticipate and respond to current and emerging threats. For example, SGI is supporting the Defense Ministry to enhance human resourcing procedures, including ensuring consistency in job qualifications and developing a merit-based promotion system. As a result of active participation by senior level defense officials in SGI activities, the government has already begun to institute several of these reforms.


Mali, once held up as an exemplar of successful, democratic development, has been in a crisis since the coup and collapse of the government in 2013, and the subsequent routing of the military by terrorists. This catastrophe weighs heavily on the country today as it simultaneously works on the peace process, institutes systematic security sector reform, and conducts limited counterterrorist operations. Mali’s security institutions, including its defense sector, are addressing several challenges as they work to consolidate and build on the 2013 restoration of democracy and implementation of the 2015 Algiers Peace and Reconciliation Agreement.7 SGI has provided a forum for the Government of Mali to engage in inter-ministerial discussions on security sector governance priorities, and the opportunity to explore innovative reform options outside of the current system of governance. Through SGI, the U.S. Government has facilitated discussions with Defense Ministry officials to strengthen internal decision-making processes and improve systems that manage the budget, human and materiel resources, strategy, and policy.

Enhancing its defense institutions’ human capacity and budget management will allow the Government of Mali to be more efficient in directing defense resources and governing the defense sector. Establishing processes for managing defense logistics and matching resources to identified needs will enhance the effectiveness of defense efforts and assist the Government of Mali in rebuilding defense institutions that address its national security, and enhance citizen security throughout the country. This foundation will allow the Malian military to better address the requirements of the peace process, as well as the fight against terrorism, in a more sustainable way, which is certainly part of the exit strategy for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.


As a partner with arguably stronger democratic institutions and a closer connection between the security institutions and the state, Ghana does not have the severity of security challenges faced by some of the other partners. Still, Ghana contends with increased threats along its maritime and land borders, and must continue to be an able contributor to UN and regional peacekeeping operations. The SGI focus in Ghana is to develop and implement comprehensive strategies that address key security sector challenges, which include maritime security, border management, and cyber-crime and cyber security. At the same time, SGI seeks to improve the administration of justice within these domains.

Enhancing defense systems to more effectively coordinate and communicate with other maritime and border-related agencies is a component of SGI in Ghana. Through SGI support, the roles, responsibilities, and legal authorities of the various agencies involved in maritime and border security will be clearly defined. For example, to protect the future of oil production and the fisheries, both of which are important for state revenue generation, the Ghanaian Navy must engage with civilian security entities. SGI is working to improve the ability of Ghanaian defense institutions to coordinate policies and procedures with other agencies responsible for providing maritime security, and to respond more effectively and efficiently to maritime threats. A clear definition of roles will ensure that suspects and evidence are properly gathered and handled following a maritime event, such as piracy, armed robbery at sea, human trafficking, or illegal fishing. Demonstrating its commitment to SGI, the Government of Ghana has established inter-ministerial working groups to support the implementation of SGI activities.


In the wake of the Arab Spring, Tunisia has had to contend with a major political transition, following free and fair elections and the establishment of a new government with high public expectations. SGI in Tunisia focuses primarily on enhancing the legitimacy, capacity, and transparency of the civilian security and justice sectors. Specifically, through SGI, the U.S. government will work with the Government of Tunisia to improve police policies and procedures, particularly with respect to community engagement, and strengthen the judiciary and law enforcement agencies to address key drivers of radicalization. Defense institution capacity building will be addressed in Tunisia through the SGI focus on integrating Tunisian border management functions. SGI aims at defining the roles and responsibilities, and coordination and decision-making mechanisms for all border-related agencies, including the military. The coordination and communication between defense institutions and other border-related agencies is critical to stem the flow of extremists, weapons, and illicit goods in and out of Tunisia and, at the same time, facilitate trade and the safe movement of people across the borders.


Following the corrupt and poorly run administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari faces major challenges and opportunities. Popular expectations are high and the country must contend with significant security challenges, from militias and oil bunkering in the Delta region to the terrorist group Boko Haram in the northeast of the country. The Nigerian military has significant operational missions with which to contend and still requires significant reform to maximize its capacity to protect Nigeria’s citizens.

Corruption has long diverted resources away from development and governance in Nigeria, fueled instability and violent extremism, and hindered military readiness and effectiveness on the battlefield. The enhancement of defense procurement and acquisition procedures and processes is one of the SGI focus areas for Nigeria. SGI aims to improve the Defense Ministry resource management systems through targeted reforms to procurement and acquisition processes. Established and transparent procedures for needs identification, management, and accountability of defense materiel acquisitions could improve the performance and morale of Nigeria’s defense services by ensuring that service members have the equipment they need and that equipment is maintained and replaced on an appropriate schedule. Systems that ensure that budgetary resources for military acquisitions are used effectively also establish safeguards that can deter corruption.

SGI activities will also contribute to the development of Nigeria’s nationwide emergency response planning and coordination, and the reestablishment of civilian security and justice in Northeast Nigeria. While these two areas primarily focus on determining the roles and capacity of civilian agencies to address these goals, current and future defense sector roles and responsibilities must be reviewed and considered in these plans. Establishing a plan for transitioning civilian responsibilities from the military to civilian agencies, and mechanisms for defense institutions to effectively communicate and coordinate with civilian agencies, especially in the event of an emergency, will be essential for either of these two focus areas to achieve their objectives.


The comprehensive approach that the United States is pursuing with SGI is the culmination of years of lessons learned through providing security sector assistance to African countries in a range of developmental and fragility settings—from extremely poor to institutionally solid, and from post-conflict to steady state. The DoS prioritizes good governance and has learned that the solutions to Africa’s security challenges rely on both the political will of the partner and its adherence to good governance policies and practices. SGI is helping the U.S. Government to avoid past disappointing results from earlier “train and equip” efforts that were not founded on a solid political and governance dynamic.

SGI provides a blueprint for linking democracy and governance programs and objectives with security assistance to improve the management, accountability, and oversight of the security and justice sectors. Involving a multi-year approach and an active system for monitoring impact, SGI is poised to assist partners in developing security sectors systems that more effectively and efficiently respond to contemporary security challenges, while also supporting African countries’ need for greater transparency and accountability of their institutions. This new approach SGI offers also increases the likelihood that U.S. assistance will be responsibly used and sustained.

The whole-of-government approach to providing security sector assistance allows the U.S. Government to better coordinate interests and assistance, apply our collective understanding to designing programs, and present to partners the wide range of expertise and experience our government has to offer. Engagement with multiple stakeholders, including incorporating the voice of civil society into the process, allows SGI to support a path for greater accountability of security institutions, and enhanced legitimacy of African governments. PRISM


1 The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, “Fact Sheet: U.S. Strategy toward Sub-Saharan Africa,” June 2012, available at <https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/africa_strategy_2.pdf>.

2 U.S. Department of State, Diplomacy in Action, “Foreign Military Financing Account Summary,” January 2016, available at <http://www.state.gov/t/pm/ppa/sat/c14560.htm>.

3 The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, “Fact Sheet: U.S. Support for Peacekeeping in Africa,” August 2014, available at <https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/08/06/fact-sheet-us-support-peacekeeping-africa>.

4 “Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement, “January 9, 2005, accessed through the University of Notre Dame Peace Accords Matrix, available at <https://peaceaccords.nd.edu/accord/sudan-comprehensive-peace-agreement>.

5 The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, “Fact Sheet: U.S. Security Sector Assistance Policy,” April 2013, available at <https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/05/fact-sheet-us-security-sector-assistance-policy>.

6 SGI is not intended to replace training and equipping assistance programs. Rather, SGI’s central objective is to complement these other efforts, and enable countries to develop policies, institutional structures, and systems that allow them to more efficiently, effectively, and responsibly deliver security and justice to their citizens.

7 “Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali Resulting from the Algiers Process,” PA-X, Peace Agreements Access Tool, May 15, 2015, available at <http://www.jurist.org/paperchase/Agreement%20on%20Peace%20and%20Reconciliation%20in%20Mali.pdf>.

Dr. Julie Chalfin is a foreign affairs officer in the Bureau of African Affairs at the U.S. State Department. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield served as the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2013–17 and as Ambassador to Liberia from 2008–12.

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