The African Union's peace mission initiative in Somalia: focus on the collaboration of the stakeholders
Daramola, Olufunmilayo Abimbola
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In 2007, the AU peace mission in Somalia was inaugurated after several years of non-deployment of any peace mission, serving as a neutral force to stabilise and improve the security situation in the country. African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) was mandated to provide support for Transitional Federal Institutions (TFis) in a bid to stabilise the country; provide an avenue for dialogue and reconciliation; facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance; and establish a functional government. As an AU-led peace mission with the approval of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in alignment with Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, the mission is entitled to receive assistance from the UN and other regional organisations such as the European Union (EU). However, AMISOM was incapacitated in the first three years of operation - despite the alignment in the UN Charter - due to the lack of adequate political, financial and logistical support. The terrorist groups took over the major territories in Somalia and piracy became the order of the day until the international community showed more commitment to the Somalia political process with the intention to avert the impact of the internationalisation of the crisis. Currently, Somalia political Road map is successfully implemented with the nomination of parliamentarians which was followed by the election of Somalia's President on 10 September 2012, with minimal security problems. In consideration of the time taken in establishing a functional democratic government in Somalia and the level of AMISOM's efficiency in Somalia, the proper evaluation of AMISOM's operation is incomplete without evaluating the trend and level of the stakeholders: IGAD, AU, EU, UN collaborations; that is, is it a collaborative or positional process? The roles and contributions of the stakeholders are examined to determine if the stakeholders' collaboration is based on a collaborative or positional process. In this study, the trend and extent of the stakeholders' contributions to AMISOM, and the subsequent impacts on AMISOM's operations in securing and stabilising Somalia for an environment conducive enough to establish a functional democratic government is examined .In examining the trends and extent of the stakeholders' contributions, the factors that determine the stakeholders' contributions are investigated and discussed. These factors influenced the level of the collaboration which makes the collaboration process either collaborative or positional. In the findings, it was discovered that the interests of each stakeholder, which were either political or economic, makes their contributions positional. However, the more positive their positional interest in Somalia's stability and AMISOM's operations becomes, the more their contributions increased and thus the collective collaboration process improved. Again, the challenges of the collaboration process were examined and discussed. Consequently, recommended solutions are proffered to avert a reoccurrence in subsequent AU peace mission initiatives. In conclusion, the stakeholders' collaboration process is a determinant factor that determines the level of efficiency of AMISOM's operation in Somalia. Therefore, this research study has made recommendations that will assist the AU and the UN policy makers to review the current policies in order to improve stakeholders' collaboration in the AU peace mission initiatives.