Somali and international efforts have shifted to planning for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to transition directly Somali security forces without an interim UN mission. The implementation of the Transition Plan will require new institutions, processes, and commitment to good governance, changing the Somali state and providing lessons for security sector reform. AMISOM’s eventual exit will influence how the AU and the UN mandate and authorize future missions.
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In an interview with the Africa Center, Simon Mulongo, deputy to the AU Commission in Mogadishu, says that AMISOM’s gains could never have been realized if it had continued to rely on the traditional peacekeeping template.
Responding to budgetary constraints, the European Union announced in January 2016 that it would decrease the amount of AMISOM contingent stipends from $1,028 per troop per month to $822 per month. The EU’s decision has motivated AMISOM leadership, along with EU and other partners, to develop a clearer strategy for AMISOM’s eventual withdrawal, including an increased focus on building the capacity of Somali security forces. The international community must find ways to avoid overburdening the EU, whose monthly support to AMISOM has increased from €5 million per month in 2010 to €25 million per month in 2017, so that donor fatigue does not contribute to mission failure.
Militias can present an attractive alternative to state forces but they carry many risks. Somalia, which hosts many militias, reveals why states and their international partners should resist the urge to create and rely on militias. Some such groups prey on local communities, at times perpetrating serious human rights abuses and enabling mafia-like economic practices. Violent extremist organizations exploit clan and community conflicts and economic grievances. Supporting local conflict resolution within and across communities can begin to alleviate these problems.
African elections in 2020 will be a test against efforts to erode presidential term limits and other democratic checks and balances, with direct consequences for stability on the continent.
Program materials for the Africa Center's 2018 Africa's Contemporary Security Challenges Workshop. Click here for syllabus, readings, presentation slides, and links to videos.
The Uganda Community Chapter of the Africa Center, established in 2004, and the Africa Center for Strategic Studies held a joint symposium in August 2017 on “Peace Support Operations in a Terrorist Environment: Lessons Learned.” Lieutenant General Ivan Koreta, former Deputy Chief of Defense of the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) and current Member of... Continue Reading
Somalia’s National Security Advisor Abdisaid Ali talks about political will, security reforms in Somalia’s Transition Plan, and the commitment to domestic and international coalition building to sustain the country’s progress.
Despite their shortcomings, African peace operations have saved lives, built security sector capacity, and helped mitigate conflict—reducing pressure on international actors to become directly involved.
The distinction between legitimate and illicit business in Africa is fluid due to the significant size of informal trade on the continent. At the same time, globalization has allowed organized criminal groups to link up with international networks, including violent extremists.
As ISIS’s influence and territorial control in the Arab world have waned, so too have its reputation and ideological appeal in Africa, writes the Africa Center’s Joseph Siegle.
Over the past two years, it has become increasingly clear that undermining the Arusha Accords, once hailed as Burundi’s best chance for peace, is a key objective of the Nkurunziza government.