Contribution of regional security missions to internal conflict management: the case of The African Union Mission in Somalia
Mohamed, Liban Yahya
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The protracted conflict in Somalia following the collapse of the Siad Barre regime led to the rise of several actors, all contesting for power and control over the federal republic of Somalia. Among these actors has been the Al Shabaab terror group that has caused pain and suffering within Somalia and in the neighboring countries of Kenya and Somalia. The group’s activities threatened regional security in the Horn of Africa leading to the establishment of the Africa Mission in Somalia to enforce peace. The aim of this research was to examine the contribution of AMISOM security forces in internal conflict management in Somalia. The study's specific objectives were to; identify the causes of internal conflicts, analyze AMISOM’s mandate in managing internal conflicts, determine the challenges AMISOM face in managing internal conflicts, and evaluate strategies adopted by AMISOM in managing internal conflicts in Somalia. Three theories were adopted in the research which were conflict transformation theory, liberal theory, and systems theory. In order to investigate the research questions, the study adopted descriptive survey design. The study's target population was 22970 AMISOM soldiers who included foreigners and Somalis, internally displaced people, religious leaders, clan members, international organizations, and business leaders. The study utilized stratified sampling technique to bring together people of the same category together. Purposive sampling was used to select individual respondents from clan elders and internally displaced persons who were interviewed. The study used an actual sample size of 377 respondents for data collection. This was determined using the Krejcie and Morgan 1970 formula. The key data collection tool was the questionnaire, whose validity and reliability were checked and calculated using a coefficient of such measures that was greater than 1.5. anything greater than this meant that the data collection instruments were accurate. Data was quantitatively evaluated using social science statistical kit (SPSS to generate descriptive and inferential statistics that were used for analysis and the findings presented using frequency tables and graphs, while the content of qualitative data was organized into themes for analysis and presented using narratives. The study found out that causes of internal conflict in Somalia both internal and external included lack of clear policies, uncoordinated government structures, interest from greedy individuals from inside and outside of Somalia government. The study also found out that AMISOM had played a big role in managing internal conflict in Somalia via training of Somalia soldiers, providing food aid to Somalia people. Among the challenges faced by the AMISOM team included resource constraints, lack of political goodwill from the Somalia leadership to end the conflict, weaknesses of African Union political leadership in terms of holding the Somalia leadership to account as well as the lack of an exit strategy by the AMISOM forces. The study recommends that the federal government of Somalia and its development partners should create an enabling environment in which the AMISOM soldiers can accomplish their mandate of stabilizing the country. This should be through the provision of the necessary financial and military resources and political support to defeat Al Shabaab. An exit strategy should also be developed so that there is no void created when the AMISOM forces exit that can cause the increasingly disjointed Al Shabaab group to recapture the liberated areas.
Africa Nazarene University