On September 18, 2013, the Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI), in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, organized an “Expert Roundtable on Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Libya”. The roundtable was part of a greater project entitled, “Transformation of Libyan Security Sector: Current State and Perspectives of Cooperation with the Czech Republic and NATO”. The event was held at Czernin Palace, the seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.
The conference was attended by a diverse array of experts ranging from foreign security sector reform advisors and members of the Czech security community, to members of the Libyan state security sector and Western diplomats. Foreign panelists included Mrs. Simonetta Silvestri, SSR Advisor to the EU Delegation to Libya; Mr. AbduRahman AlAgeli, Security Sector Coordinator at the Libyan Office of the Prime Minister; and Member and Rapporteur of Inter-ministerial Committee on Border Affairs; Mr. Noman Benotman, President of the Quilliam Foundation; Mr. Anas El Gomati, Director General and Research Director at Sadeq Institute; and Visiting Fellow at the Carnegie Middle East Center; and Mr. Peter Rundell, Deputy Head of Mission at EUBAM Libya.
Among the Czech speakers were Mr. Roman Gavlas, Chief of Operational Department at the Military Police, Czech Ministry of Defense (MoD); and Mr. Václav Novotný, Desk Officer for Strategic Planning at the Defense Policy and Strategy Division of the Czech MoD. The panels were chaired by Mr. Jiří Slavík, Head of Working Group at the Middle East and North Africa Department of the Czech MFA; Mr. Oldřich Vondruška, Desk Officer for International Relations at the Czech MoD; and Mrs. Simonetta Silvestri. Opening and closing remarks were provided by Mr. Jiří Ellinger, Director at Middle East and North Africa Department of the Czech MFA; and Mr. Petr Pelz, Executive Director of PSSI.
The conference was divided into three panels. In the first panel, speakers’ contributions focused on the general assessment of the current security situation in Libya, overall institutional structure of the Libyan national security system and current state of its security sector reform. In the second panel, concrete challenges and obstacles of the Libyan SSR were brought to attention, be it disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of former revolutionaries, control of borders or capabilities of the Libyan army. The last panel dealt with the perspectives of cooperation with the Czech Republic and NATO, when it comes to their prospective participation in the SSR in Libya. The discussion that followed mainly focused on the issues of the security forces’ training and Czech expertise in transformation of the security apparatus after the Velvet revolution and harmonization of the army’s standards with the Alliance.
As part of the project, PSSI published a background paper on the topic, which is available here.
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