Securing Stability in Somalia: AMISOM's Evolving Role and Regional Implications
Dr Maman Sidikou, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia and Head, African Union Mission in Somalia
Chair: Dr Alex Vines OBE, Research Director, Area Studies and International Law; Head, Africa Programme, Chatham House
AMISOM has expanded significantly since it was first mandated in 2007. The mission now deploys over 22,000 troops and police, including more than 15,000 soldiers from neighbouring countries Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. AMISOM’s offensive against the Islamist militants, al-Shabaab, has succeeded in forcing the group out of many urban areas. In response, al-Shabaab’s insurgency has evolved, with increased targeted attacks in Mogadishu and other parts of the country, and a growing threat to Kenya and other parts of the region.
As Somalia approaches elections in 2016, stability provided by AMISOM should continue to enable the conditions for political progress, the establishment of federal administrations, and the development of Somalia’s National Armed Forces and security apparatus. However, it also raises the question of how long the Somali national and local administrations can remain structurally dependent on an external military force for survival.
Dr Maman Sidikou, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia and Head, AMISOM, will discuss the mission’s strategy and evolution beyond 2015, including the threat of insurgency to other countries in the region.