Police Reform in Situations of Forced Displacement: Chad, Eastern Zaire, and Kosovo

William G. O’Neill
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In cases other than those of environmental disasters, some mix of persecution and fear of violence based on ethnicity, race, or religion, plus violations of human rights and repression based on political beliefs and opinions often characterizes forced displacement for both internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees. The actions and structures of the security sector—especially the police, military, paramilitary groups, intelligence, border patrols, and prison guards—often play a crucial role in this persecution and repression. This paper briefly examines three contexts where displacement has offered an opportunity for police reform, in Chad, Eastern Zaire, and Kosovo. Through these cases, it demonstrates several key components of justice-sensitive security sector reform (SSR), and explores how displacement complicates the quest for enduring, sustainable reform.