In April 2008 the Central African Republic (CAR) has held its first national seminar on Security Sector Reform (SSR) during which governmental and non-governmental, private and public actors have all engaged in an in depth analysis and frank discussion on what is traditionally a very sensitive policy area, particularly in post-conflict situations.
Beyond its historical importance and the impact it has had at the local level, this event is noteworthy for two specific aspects: on the one hand the unprecedented level of ownership of the process by the Central African authorities; and on the other the relationship developed between local and international actors which has allowed Belgium to engage in a facilitation role.
This report analyses the nexus between security and development and its relevance for Security Sector Reform and discusses the issue of ownership as a key feature of successful and sustainable SSR. It then goes on to identify the specificity of CAR’s approach to SSR and reviews aspects of practical implementation linked to the national seminar held in April 2008. The relation between CAR and its international partners, the specific methodology adopted and the facilitation work carried out by Belgium are all constitutive elements of such analysis intended to focus on identifying lessons learnt for the success of this and similar future initiatives.