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‘Security’ and the reconfiguration of development in north-east Africa. Jeremy Lind Institute of Development Studies j.lind@ids.ac.uk. Setting the scene.

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‘Security’ and the reconfiguration of development in north-east Africa

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Security and the reconfiguration of development in north east africa

‘Security’ and the reconfiguration of development in north-east Africa

Jeremy Lind

Institute of Development Studies


Setting the scene

Setting the scene

  • The coupling of development with security is a strategic response to presumed threats to international and regional stability and security post-9/11

  • Development a core technique in the post-9/11 global security regime

Post 9 11 global security regime

Post-9/11 global security regime

  • Enhanced intelligence gathering and surveillance

  • Security attention on mosques and preachers

  • Greater emphasis on policing of some communities

  • More sophisticated policing practices (consulting influential local opinion makers to keep dialogue open rather than storming homes at night)

  • Security policies

  • Anti-money laundering legislation

  • Central bank directives

  • More vocal demand for reform of the security forces (domestic pressure for security sector and policing reforms)

  • Emphasis on local development to avert instability

Development security and its critiques

Development-security and its critiques

  • Human rights – the coupling of western security imperatives with development will compromise commitments to democratisation and human rights

  • Humanitarian – linking aid with security, and the delivery  of certain types of assistance by security actors, threatens the safety and security of humanitarian workers as well as communities receiving assistance

  • Poverty – the integration of development with security objectives and agendas shifts the orientation of aid away from need and reducing poverty to become an instrument to further western security agendas – use of security criteria in determining country allocations



  • Spaces for development have changed greatly... And there are many reasons for this, not only securitisation

Factors influencing perceptions of development actors

Factors influencing perceptions of ‘development’ actors

  • Aid effectiveness and coherency – aligning with the development priorities of aid-recipient states

  • Multiplying number of actors who claim the ‘development’ mantle

    • New bilaterals, commercial/business, armed groups

  • The turn to conflict in development



  • Fundamentally, there is a need for approaches to work safely and effectively in unstable contexts. BUT:

  • Whose security?

  • Performance on the ground is what matters... Delivering clear economic and social benefits as well as rights to communities

  • Development intrinsically political and a matter of security

Horn of terror

Horn of terror

  • Background of terror attacks in east Africa

  • Perceived threat of terror groups in Somalia/Yemen

  • Three responses

    • Military strikes, renditions, training aid to regional militaries, security assistance to governments

    • Technical and legal assistance to strengthen counter-terrorism framework

    • Development-security initiatives

Combined joint task force horn of africa

Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa

  • Est 2002. US military base in Djibouti, between 1500-2000 US military personnel at any given time.

  • Civil affairs teams carry out hearts and minds work

  • Bradbury (2010)

    • Have not won hearts and minds

    • No discernible impact on regional security dynamics

    • Some communities feel less secure because of presence of CJTF civil affairs teams

    • Does not tackle underlying causes of human insecurity

Peace security and development programme

Peace, Security and Development Programme

  • Support to local civil society groups in Coast Province of Kenya conceived within larger framework of anti-terrorism and Danish national security interests

  • Began as an experimental initiative of the former Danish ambassador to Kenya. Since 2011 it has come under the fold of the DANIDA Governance Programme

Security and the reconfiguration of development in north east africa

“There are ingredients for radicalisation in Coast Province. So this programme is working in different areas where it can promote dialogue, help the citizens to come together and improve their welfare so that you reduce any one’s interest in activities that may foster or encourage them to go into radical activities. By radicalisation, I am choosing not to say ‘terrorism’. We have taught ourselves in PSD not to use this word, even though there is a relation.”

DANIDA Official, Nairobi, February 2011

Security and the reconfiguration of development in north east africa

  • Muslim Human Rights Institute

    • Bunge za Usalama gatherings on community policing, peace-building, advocacy around county government. Involve police, chiefs.

    • Neighbourhood watch groups

    • Human rights training for District Peace Committees

  • Likoni Development Programme

    • Nyumba Kumi (‘10 homes’) – neighbourhood committee structures for policing, rehabilitation of youth. Work within government policy. A member is also chair of the DPDC.

  • Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics

    • Cleric Peace Committees – work with DPDCs.

    • FCO supported micro-finance targeting Mulungunipa youth, who briefly took up arms against the state

Security and the reconfiguration of development in north east africa

  • “We want to find out whether anger starts at the family level, or at school. We are asking questions to schools about corporal punishment. We are asking hard questions about girls being abused at home. How is masculinity being viewed? ... A young man who already has seen that a teacher can terrorise, and a father can terrorise with his voice, then know that terror pays.”

  • “At first, the uneducated were recruited, kids up to Standard 8. Now they are recruiting even Form 4 students. Many are going to Al Shabaab” (CICC)

Security and the reconfiguration of development in north east africa

  • “The question of what to do for the unemployed youth always comes up in meetings (Bunges). But development is not our niche. We have to work with others” (Muhuri)

  • “Many who have left for Somalia do not keep in touch. The police haven’t stopped the recruitment. The young men are getting 80,000Ksh to leave for Somalia. Many of them are jobless” (Cleric, CIPK)

Security and the reconfiguration of development in north east africa

  • “The South Sudanese secession has encouraged supporters of the Mombasa Republican Council. Every day they gain more support. Every day more are arrested” (Muhuri)

  • “Coast Province is multi-ethnic and there are people who feel marginalised... There are many questions still unaddressed in the new constitution in terms of indigeneity” (CIPK)

Reflecting on success of psd

Reflecting on success* of PSD

  • Representativeness – project sought to build ties with pre-existing groups that already enjoyed some favour with communities

  • Notion of entrustment – donor was not over-zealous in agenda setting and monitoring

  • Linking livelihoods to problems of local governance and security

  • Connecting people together – having the right mix of people together at the table

Securitisation of development

Securitisation of development

  • Increased attention on the problems confronting marginalised populations and areas

  • Unmasked the political framing of development

  • Internal dynamics in Kenya seems to drive what development actors are thinking about, how they prioritise amongst different problems, and approaches to address these

    • Quickening transition, widening violence

    • Post-election violence in 2008; uncertainties around trajectories of decentralised governance system

  • Everyday security of the poor

Concluding thoughts

Concluding thoughts

  • Pursuit of the global security regime in north-east Africa through the deployment of combined development-security resources has not strengthened states in the region as a bulwark against extremism...insecurity is worsening

  • Tension between objective to strengthen states and perceptions that ruling regimes and militaries are themselves the cause of everyday insecurities

  • Limits of power, capacity and understanding

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