AMISOM: Charting a new course for African Union peace missions

Lasting peace in Somalia remains elusive. Since the collapse of the Siyad Barre government in 1991, Somalia has been the site of both failed interventions and policies of neglect. In 2007, the entry of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) promised a new opportunity to: 1) reduce the threats posed by al-Shabaab; and 2) create an enabling environment in which to consolidate state institutions and promote dialogue and reconciliation among the protagonists. However, the profound obstacles that have bogged down every previous mission remain – AMISOM operates in a fluid political landscape marked by the absence of stable political agreement amongst the main parties to the conflict. The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) is still new and fragile, and disputes within the Somali polity continue to vex state-building and stabilisation efforts. At the same time, terrorist and insurgent groups including (but not limited to) al-Shabaab have proved pernicious, resolute, and adaptable in their efforts to undermine any progress toward the FGS’s consolidation.

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Mandates or Blind Dates?

As of 2015, 43 peace operations had deployed to 15 different African countries. Africa’s increasing efforts to support its own peace operations have led to African peace and security organisations both leading on, and contributing the mainstay of personnel to, these missions. This paper examines a number of African peace operations and analyses the evolution of the mission mandates. A selection of four representative peace operations – Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Somalia, and Darfur – which differ in terms of timeframe, implementing authority, size and conflict dynamics are examined to assess patterns, trends and anomalies of mandates over the life cycle of their missions.Academic and policy-related literature places emphasis on the impact of UN Security Council geopolitics, roles and responsibilities supporting civilian protection, the AU’s financial, materiel and human resource deficiencies, and the role of peacebuilding. However, little has been written on the evolution of wider peace mission mandates as well as the role of African organisations in developing these mandates.

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Unconstitutional Changes in Government and Unconstitutional Practices In Africa

This paper analyzes the African Union (AU)’s normative framework on Unconstitutional Changes of Government (UCG), and is intended to serve three purposes: to trace the origins of the norm, identifying the major gaps; to review the AU’s implementation and enforcement of the norm; and to discuss potential means for reconciling the identified gaps between the norm and practice.

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