UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI
INSTITUTE OF DIPLOMACY AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
SECURING CIVILIANS THROUGH PEACE SUPPORT OPERATIONS IN AFRICA:
A CASE OF THE AMISOM.
VICTOR LIDAYWA LUGONZO
SUPERVISOR: PROF. MARIA NZOMO
A Research proposal submitted in partial fulfillment of Masters of Arts in international studies
AMIS: African Mission in Sudan
AMISOM: African Mission in Somalia
ASF: African Standby Force
AU: African Union
CPA: Comprehensive Peace Agreement
CONOP: Concept of Operation
DFS: Department of Field support
DPKO: Department of Peacekeeping Operations
DRC: Democratic Republic of Congo
ECOMOG: Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group
ECOWAS: Economic Community of West African States
FARDC: Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo
IASC: Inter Agency Standby Committee
ICRC: International Committee of the Red Cross
IHL: International Humanitarian Law
IHRL: International Human Rights Law
MARO: Mass Atrocities Response Operation
MINURCAT: United Nations Mission in Central Africa Republic and Chad
MUNUC: United Nations Organization Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo
NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NMOG: United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda
OAU: Organization of African Unit
OMIB: Observer Mission in Burundi
ONUCI: United Nations Operation in Cote d’voire
PoC: Protection of Civilians
PSOs: Peace Support Operations
SCR: Security Council Resolution
SPLM/A: Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army
UN: United Nations
UNAMSIL: United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone
UNHCR: United Nation High Commission for Refugees
UNMIL: United Mission in Liberia
UNPROFOR: United Nations Protection Force
USCR: United States Committee for Refugees
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE 1
INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY 1
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY 1
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM 7
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS 8
1.4 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES 8
1.5 LITERATURE REVIEW 8
1.5.1 The concept of civilian protection 9
1.5.2 Military methods on protection of civilians 12
1.5.3 African peace operations and the Protection of Civilians 16
1.5.4 AMISOM and the Protection of Civilians 20
1.5.5 Typical Researches on the Protection of Civilians 27
1.6 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY 28
1.6.1 Policy justification 28
1.6.2 Academic justification 28
1.7 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS 29
1.8 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 29
1.8.1 Liberal Theory 29
1.9 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 31
1.9.1 Research Design 31
1.9.2 Data Collection 31
1.9.3 Data Analysis 32
1.10 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY 32
1.10.1 Scope of the study 32
1.10.2 Limitations of the study 33
1.11 CHAPTER OUTLINE 33
1.11.1 Chapter one: Introduction and Background 33
1.11.2 Chapter Two: Roles of AMISOM in securing civilians in Somalia. 33
1.11.3 Chapter Three: Challenges of encountered in securing civilians by the AMISOM 33
1.11.4 Chapter Four: Strategies for countering the challenges in civilian protection 33
1.11.5 Chapter Five: Data presentation and analysis 33
1.11.6 Chapter Six: Conclusions and Recommendations 34
INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Maintenance of international peace and security has been the call of the international system long enough especially from the 20th century period. For instance, the formation of the League of
Nations during the World War I, the establishment of the treaty of Versailles in 1919, and the formation of the UN in 1945 after the end of the World War II. The UN, intergovernmental organization, charged with the maintenance of international peace and order through one of its organs- the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) . This is legally backed by article 1 of the UN charter, which states that the purpose of the UN is:
… to maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace.
As can be deduced from the UN Charter’s preamble, the UN was that organization that was going to save mankind from the negative impacts of war, as stated that: “we the peoples of the United Nations Determined…’ to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind…”. To that regard the UN got involved in several conflicts around the globe in those early stages of its formation, for example, the Soviet occupation of Iran(1946), issue of Palestine(1947-49) to date, Suez canal crisis(1956-57), and the Congo crisis(1960-64), among others. All along to date the UN has been on the forefront in intervention and leading peace support operations, PSOs, with both successes and failures.
According to the UN, peace support operations, refers to the UN’s and other international entities’ activities to maintain international peace and security throughout the world . NATO on the other hand defines peace support operations as operations that make use of diplomatic, civil and military means normally in pursuit of UN’s charter purposes and principles to restore or maintain peace (NATO, 2010) . Some of these activities or operations include conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping, peace building and/or humanitarian operations. The conduct of PSOs is not only to manifest the presence of security forces in the conflict situation but has a long-term political implication implicitly stated in the mandate.
The UN Charter spells out the regulations for the conduct of all UN peace operations authorized by the Security Council. With the direction of the Secretary Generally, the DPKO and DFS carryout the planning and management of the operations in the field. Thus, according to the charter, it is the responsibility of member states to ensure a peaceful world, “member states shall maintain international peace and security and for that purpose take effective and collective measures for prevention and removal of threats to peace, as well as for suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of peace”.
From the first article of the UN Charter, the UN’s main purpose is to “maintain international peace and security” thus highlighting the conduct of PSOs under chapter VI, VII and VIII – which are the vehicles that steers the UNSC towards maintenance of international peace and security . Since then the UN has conducted several missions around the world which have evolved over time from the traditional form of only availing troops to keep a peace to the most recent ones that are complex in nature. All these operations in one way or another have heard civilian causalities either by direct attack from the combatants or as collateral damage from the activities of the combatants. It is on this premise that UN started rethinking on how to undertake the protection of civilians (PoC) in their mandates.
Over the years civilians have suffered the greatest causalities in armed conflict. This has been manifested through deliberate killings, attack against civilian objects and installations such as schools and healthcare facilities, impeding provision of humanitarian assistance, sexual violence, forced disappearance, attack against journalists and human rights activists, and the failure to hold accountable those who perpetuate violations and to provide support, justice and redress to the victims. As witnessed in many instances most of the countries ravaged by conflict failed on their primary responsibility protect their own civilians in the wake of war due to inability or unwillingness to do so. This led to the UN to issue an official protection mandate in 1999 which authorized the UN Mission in Sierra Leone to offer protection to civilians under imminent threat of physical violence . On inception of this mandate, PoC, its early operationalization appeared to be an “impossible or non-implementable mandate” because of the lack of a clear, operationally focused and practical concept .
The DPKO and DFS later instituted the concept of PoC with guidelines on how the mandate would be carried out. The concept was referred to as “operational concept”, which presented a three-tier approach needed to address the PoC mandate in mission areas as follows:
Tier I- Protection through a political process.
Tier II- Providing protection from physical harm.
Tier III-Establishing a protective environment.
The first tier majorly involves protection through dialogue and engagement with activities such as dialogue with perpetrator or potential perpetrator, conflict resolution and mediation between parties to the conflict, persuading the government and other relevant actors to intervene to protect civilians, among others. Tier II involves protecting civilians from physical harm .some of the activities depicted under this tier include patrols, ensuring freedom of movement and route-security, evacuation of non-combatants, public order management, conflict mediation and support, monitoring (including of the human rights situation) and early warning measures, political engagements, among others . Finally, tier III ensures a protective environment is maintained that has been designed and resourced for medium-to- long term peace building objectives with activities such as support to the political process, promotion and protection of human rights, advocacy and access to humanitarian support, fighting impunity, promoting justice and establishment of the rule of law, among others .
Earlier on, the protection of civilians was not that explicit and this limited the security forces’ span of action. For example, the role of the United Nations Protection Force, UNPROFOR , in Croatia and Bosnia. The former Pock concept appeared to have had caveats through which the combatants exploited as conflicts became more and more intense in the 1990s.This threatened UN peace operations and humanitarian efforts on ground to an extend of compromising peace agreements and no parties available to consent to the deployment of UN forces. All these made UN missions untenable, as was seen with the likes of the Balkans, Rwanda, sierra Leone, and Somalia; in which the UN was heavily blamed for inadequately preparing peacekeepers to protect civilians from slaughter, including mass atrocities and genocide (Ariye, 2015).
After all these crises of intervention, the UNSC became more explicit with the concept of civilian protection. This is when it advocated for ‘stronger’ protection measures through affirmation of IHL and human rights law with strong emphasis on the physical protection of civilians in its mandates . Therefore the 1999 adoption of resolution 1270 on sierra Leone by the Security Council with a new formulation to ‘protect civilians’ was a direct signal to the UN peacekeeping operations in case of large-scale violence threating the civilian population ( Victoria Holt et al., 2009). The Rwandan genocide was not the way anyone was willing to walk .
Before the adoption of this resolution, 1270, the Council members were engrossed in a lot of discussion towards its adoption in relation to previous peace missions that so most atrocities meted against civilians, for instance the hostage-taking of both ECOMOG and UN forces in august 1999. Most of the council members called for a more robust mission that would ensure protection of civilians. The then Ambassador of the Netherlands described the situation in sierra Leon as ‘volatile’ and “that robust rules of engagement are indeed essential if UNAMSIL is to fulfill its mandate and protect itself and civilians under threat” . All in all, the council members emphasized and urged the council’s actions be projected on future peace operations in protecting civilians:
“We believe that the protection of civilians under Chapter VII is a pertinent development in the context of the mandate of a peacekeeping operation.
This draft resolution is significant in that it introduces a new, fundamental
Political, legal and moral dimension. This bears on the credibility of the
Security Council and shows that the Council has learned from its own experience and that it will not remain indifferent to indiscriminate attacks
Against the civilian population. At the same time, we are realistic. The
Objective to be fulfilled must be consonant with the means provided. For
That reason, we agree with the limits that operative paragraph 14 of the draft resolution sets on UNAMSIL’s actions. It establishes an objective limit, the competence the Council wishes to give UNAMSIL, a geographic limit – UNAMSIL’s area of deployment – and a functional limit – it does not overlap the specific security responsibilities entrusted to ECOMOG pursuant to the mandate adopted by ECOWAS on 25 August 1999. . . . UNAMSIL is the first in a series of large-scale peacekeeping operations that the Security Council will be creating in coming weeks. There is undoubtedly a need
For a launching of peacekeeping operations. At the same time, if they are
to fulfil their mandates properly, the United Nations must provide the necessary resources.”19 emphasis added
The above chronology of events and many others including the Brahimi Report have helped to bring out how the concept of the Protection of Civilians became entrenched in the UN’s peace support operations mandates.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Peace Support Operations have been authorized by the UNSC with the prime mandate of ensuring the security of the non-combatants in armed conflict. Since the end of the cold-war, the world has witnessed widespread intra-state conflict with a better percentage of them happening in Africa. This in turn has seen increased number of PSOs in different parts of the continent- the Horn of Africa, Central African Region, and parts of the West African Region. All these operations are geared towards securing the continent and its people. Despite the efforts, security on the continent and the lives of many civilians are not guaranteed in the ensuing armed conflict. It is in the light of this that it is prudent enough to inquire on some of the challenges encountered by the PSOs initiatives in securing Africa and its people.
1.3 Research Questions
i) What are the roles that the AMISOM operation is performing to secure civilians in Somalia?
ii) What challenges is the AMISOM operation experiencing in securing civilians?
i) What strategies is the AMISOM putting in place to overcome the challenges of securing civilians?
1.4 Research Objectives
The overall objective of the study is to find out the challenges of securing civilians in Africa through Peace Support Operations.
The specific objectives of the study is to:
ii) Determine the roles of the AMISOM operation in securing civilians in Somalia.
iii) Examine the challenges involved in securing civilians by the AMISOM.
iii) Find out the strategies employed by the AMISOM to overcome the challenges of securing civilians.
1.5 Literature Review
This section is going to analyze literature on the subject under study by relating the works of the various researchers, scholars and authors. The content in the section will be derived from books, journal articles and journal articles that have close resemblance to the topic and objectives of this study. Some of the major tenets in the review will include the concept of protection of civilians, atrocities civilians are being subjected to, security forces strategies with regard to civilian protection, among others. A close look at some of the theoretical frameworks adopted in the different studies will be analyzed in relation to the concept of protection of civilians, not forgetting some of the recommendations and conclusions arrived at that would help in establishing the gaps so as to enrich the study
1.5.1 The concept of civilian protection
The plight of civilians in peace support has been a global phenomenon that has involved the concern of international actors like the UN and other international organizations, without the exception of regional players. Most of the contemporary conflicts, with their nature of complexity, have put civilians in direct confrontation with the belligerent armed groups. Civilians in this context have become direct targets as opposed traditional norm of victims. The sum up of all these scenarios in the conflict areas has significantly led to a lot of research work by various international organizations, institutions, scholars and individual researchers under various dimensions of protection of civilians with a view to come up with workable strategies that will culminate in reducing or at best stop the plight of civilians in conflict areas.
Holt and Taylor (2009), in their study regarding the protection of civilians in the context of UN peacekeeping operations, examined some of the steps that have been undertaken to transform the Security Council mandate in protection of civilians into effective efforts on ground. That is, the elaboration of the mandates at the Security Council level before the planning and preparations for the missions.
The study goes further to show the importance of maintaining civilian security during and post-conflict environment as this bears directly towards the legitimacy and credibility of the UN’s peacekeeping mission (derived from the local population and external observers), the peace agreements to be implemented , and the UN system itself (Holt and Taylor, 2009). On the side of the institution, the study reiterates the strides made by the UNSC in supporting missions with a greater spotlight on the protection of civilians. This was witnessed through the series of statements and resolutions and the regular reports of the Secretary General on the protection of civilians in armed conflict .
Also the other major stride for the UN institution in the implementation of the protection of civilians was the substantial shift of its mode of operations from the traditional role of monitoring the implementation of peace agreements to the modern multidimensional ones. Under multidimensionality, a whole spectrum of peace building activities are involved, for instance, providing secure environments to monitor human rights; rebuilding the capacity of the state; among others. Equipped with such kinds of mandates it was easy to emphasize the physical protection of civilians as was with the first mission, UNAMSIL, which was explicitly mandated to “protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence”
According to Holt and Taylor (2009), one major flop that faced the UN peacekeeping and the protection of civilian mandate was the lack of complete link of the different ‘chain’ of events that supported the protection of civilians. That is, the planning, negotiating Security Council mandates, to the mandate implementation by the peacekeepers in the field. It is on this consideration that certain key aspects were identified and addressed, for instance, taking into account the threats to civilians when the when the Security council deliberates on a peacekeeping mandates; adoption of a clear understanding of the SC’s intention regarding ‘protection of civilians’ mandate to avoid ambiguity; the SC having clear policy guidelines towards PoC and the need to adequately plan and prepare for the mission.
Stuart Gordon (2013), looks at the PoC as a recurring feature in the humanitarian realm unlike in the military doctrines. He highlights some of the propellers that have pushed the military in accommodating the concept. For instance, the changing nature, location and scope of conflict; scale and complexity of protection challenges as was observed in the Balkans, Rwanda, Darfur, and Libya. All these clearly indicate that the complex and dynamic nature of the threats the civilian face cannot be handled by a single actor without significant support from other players (O’Callaghan and Pantuliano, 2007).
Gordon (2012), ‘protection’ emanates from IHL’s protection of civilians following the consequences of war. Therefore, the angle of approach of ‘protection’ leans on the roles of humanitarian organizations including: ICRC, IHRL, UNHCR, among others. For, Stuart, implementation of ‘protection’ has been directed by the mandates and operation approaches these organizations mostly manifested as “legally created, diplomatic and persuasive engagement with national states and non-state actors” (O’Callaghan and Pantuliano, 2007). This, according to the ICRC and UN’s inter agency standing committee ( IASC), uphold that “the concept of protection encompasses all activities aimed at obtaining full respect for the rights of the individual in accordance with the letter and spirit of the relevant bodies of law( that is, IHRL, and the Refugee Law)” (ICRC, 1993:3).
Having taken a humanitarian approach with regard to ‘protection’, it is now authoritative to trace its origin (Stuart, 2013). The rampant conflict that had engulfed most part of Africa in the 1990s after the cold war resulted too many atrocities against civilians caught in the midst of armed conflict. This brought a lot of concern to the humanitarian community and ‘prompted humanitarian actors to think more deeply about the extent of their responsibility to provide more than relief’ (O’Callaghan and Pantuliano, 2007).
The ever increasing roles of these humanitarian actors coupled with the complexity of the ‘protection’ phenomenon in conflict has prompted the adoption of protection policies that will form part of the operational programming. These protection policies have ardently been pursued by both state and non-state actors with regard to their operationalization and also ‘drawing on links with other political and military actors in their efforts to increase civilian safety’ (O’Callaghan and Pantuliano, 2007).
1.5.2 Military methods on protection of civilians
Military forces have within themselves endowed with a variety of ways towards protection of civilians at different levels- strategic, operational and tactical levels (Williams 2010). The application of these methods are dependent on the situation on ground. The strategic level will apply the following approaches mainly in a scenario involving control of mass killings: Deterrence, compellence, defense and offence .
Deterrence majorly involves manipulating an opponent’s behavior through use of threats, that is, establishing redlines and the risks of crossing them. More simply put as “Do not do X, or I will do Y”. When it comes to civilian protection, the armed groups will be cajoled to have a clear mind before attempting to commit atrocities. The success of this strategy is only achievable when both parties, deterrer and the target, perceive what constitutes appropriate behavior of the situation at hand .
At times it is essential to see how the target would respond or behave when subjected to certain stimuli. This is where compellence come into play with some specified guidelines . This strategy has been regarded as a complimentary to deterrence because of the figurative form it takes: “if you do not do X, I will do Y”. Basically, the two strategies involve conditional use of threats in a way that will completely avoid or apply limited use of military force. The success of both approaches is tied on how the target will respond to the demands being induced to do inform of threats.
The other two approaches, defensive and offensive, are purely military-dependent and come into play when the target has completely failed to comply in accordance to the threats presented. In the protection of civilians, defensive approach mainly focusses on saving the victims while offensive approach is geared at defeating the perpetrators (Williams, 2010). One perfect instance where offensive strategy has been in use is by the MONUC troops in 2005. This was a cordon-and-search operation that resulted to a forcible disarmament of about 15000 combatants in the Kivus . However, the defensive approach has been the mostly used of either of the approaches by the peacekeepers because of the perceived advantages to troops in the defensive position. One such instance was with the MONUC force in the DRC in 2006. This happened when MONUC troops successively fend off Nkunda’s forces (National Congress for the Defense of the People Forces) that were fiercely advancing towards the UN safe area after beating the DRC Armed Forces (FARDC)
In a nutshell, both strategies- defense and offense, are too risky, dangerous, and, that require exceptional military leadership in order to succeed (William, 2010). If resources are not sufficient the defense can easily be overunned and therefore attempts to defend against perpetrators will definitely fail. More worse is a situation of abandoning either of the approaches while under progress especially due to cost implications as this will provide an avenue for the perpetrators to succeed. Table 1.5.2 shows some of the strategies for military protection.
Table 1.5.2a Strategies for Military Protection
(Source: Adapted from Genocide Prevention Task Force, preventing Genocide: A blueprint for U.S policy Makers- Washington, D.C:U.S. institute of peace, 2008)
The operational level approaches to civilian protection can be attributed to the MARO Project . According to the MARO handbook, each of the approaches adopted when it comes to civilian protection has both pros and cons. All these are dependable upon: the number, type, and location of the intervening troops deployed; the number, type and location of the victims and perpetrators; and the level of political commitment on the part of interveners and perpetrators (William, 2010). Some of these operational level approaches include: creating of safe areas to secure internally displaced persons and vulnerable populations; containment- striking perpetrators or isolating them with blockades and no-fly zones; saturation which is achieved by establishing control and providing security over a large region with dispersed units on the ground; separation, which involves establishing buffer zones between victims and perpetrators; and defeating perpetrators by attacking its leadership and forces so as to eliminate their capacity to commit mass atrocities, among other approaches .
At tactical level, many of the militaries have the capabilities to undertake protection operations especially after having practiced them in most of the peacekeeping operations. Most of these tasks are left to the discretion of tactical level commander on ground in terms of how to carry out the tasks and in what priority (Williams, 2010). In essence, all the peacekeepers are to be aware of these tasks as individuals and as a collective team. Table 1.1.3c summarizes some of the military tactical level tasks relevant to the protection of civilians.
Table 1.5.2b Military tactical level tasks for Protection of civilians
(Source: Adapted from Genocide Prevention Task Force, preventing Genocide: A blueprint for U.S policy makers-Washington, D.C:U.S. institute of peace, 2008).
1.5.3 African peace operations and the Protection of Civilians
Having looked at the UN system it will be plausible to shade more light and see how the concept of ‘Protection of Civilians’ fits in the African context. Peace operations in Africa go back to a period preceding the end of the cold war majorly under the UN. After the end of the cold war, the dynamics of conflict in Africa took a huge detour from the conventional interstate to more unconventional ones, intrastate. Levels of armed conflict all over the world had substantially reduced by the end of the war. But this was not the case with Africa! The first decade of the post-cold war era witnessed deadly conflicts on the African continent, for instance, the infamous “blood diamonds” witnessed in several African countries, such as Angola, Liberia, sierra Leone, and Democratic Republic of Congo (Orugun, 2004), and the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.
During this period, conflicts were too diverse involving both state and non-state actors. Some of the notorious interstate players included Eritrea-Ethiopia conflict and Ethiopia-Somalia conflict, all of which relating on boundary issues (Young, 1991). Other conflicts were more of intra-state involving different armed groups within a state fighting over resources, agitating for change in government, rebel groups, and separatists groups, among others. These intra-state conflicts easily spread to neighboring states because of the porous borders between states as evidenced in the Sahel, the Sahara and Libya, and the Somalia and northern Kenya .
It is on the backdrop of the rampant violent conflicts in Africa with little attention from the west and international community that sparked up the idea of africanization of African security after the formation of African Union (AU) in 2001. Thus, conflicts in the continent could be adequately be addressed so as to avoid the suspense from the UN and the international community to prevail when urgent help is needed. African had not taken the response from the UN and the international community lightly during and in the aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide. This was evident from OAU’s report in the year 2000 in its own investigation regarding the Rwandan crisis whose findings apportioned blame on the political will of western states’ failure to react to the crisis as noted in the final report:
Who was responsible: The Carlsson inquiry mostly focusses and puts the
Greater responsibility on the UN Secretariat, especially the Secretary General
And the Department of Peacekeeping Operations under Kofi Annan … others
disagree profoundly and consider it scapegoating to blame the United Nations civil service. Interestingly enough, this group actually includes General Dallaire. In his view, the real culprit is not even the Security Council, but certain members of that council. The people who are guilty are fundamentally the world powers, he told the panel. ‘For their self-interest, they had decided at the outset of the mission that Rwanda was unimportant’
All these mistrusts and suspicions towards the UN, Africa under the banner of the AU, established an African standby Force (ASF), a force that would enable it to respond to crisis situations swiftly without political and institutional bottlenecks of the UN. Shortly before the formation of the AU, Africa had first got involved in its own conflict to protect civilians when the ECOWAS sent a monitoring group, ECOMOG, to Liberia and Sierra Leone in 1997. This was a positive gesture which catalyzed the OAU to send small monitoring groups to Rwanda and Burundi, that is, OAU Neutral Monitoring Group to Rwanda (NMOG) and the OAU Military Observer Mission to Burundi (OMIB).
The coming into being of the AU brought with it the protection of civilian deeply enshrined within the constitutive act. In its Article 4(h), the AU has allowed forcible intervention in one of its member states in ‘grave circumstances’, namely war crimes, genocides and crimes against humanity. Adoption of Article 4(h) meant that Africa had relegated the old fashioned UN doctrine of being preceded by a peace to keep to that of establishing peace before keeping it. This clearly illustrated that sovereignty was not to be an excuse leading to atrocities against one’s population, as put forward by then the AU’s commissioner for peace and security (Said Djinnit) that: ” Africa cannot…..watch the tragedies developing in the continent and say it is the UN’s responsibility or somebody else’s responsibility. We have moved from the concept of non-interference to non-indifference. We cannot, as Africans, remain indifferent to the tragedy of our people” (IRIN NEWS, 2004). These constitutional strides the AU had made were to enable the continent at managing armed conflicts, stop the rampant human rights abuses and other atrocities.
It should be recalled that by the time the AU came into being, most of the conflicts ravaging the continent were majorly intra-state type. For example Burundi (2003-2004), Sudan (2004-2007), the Comoros (2006.2007, and 2008), and Somalia (2007-present). The intervention by the union in these conflicts was tricky considering the new concept that had been adopted, that of non-indifference. This concept obviously conflicted with the African Union’s position on the constitutional norms of ‘non-interference’ and that fact was not going to change. Up to date, Article 4(h) is yet to be invoked by the AU’s peace and Security Council or the AU Assembly despite the glaring incidences of violations of human rights and atrocities being committed against civilians in most corners of the continent. For instance, the south Sudan civil war and the 2015 Burundian crisis. Nevertheless, the AU managed to sanction missions in Burundi and Sudan having been given node through consent.
Other African-led peace operations with formal civilian protection mandates were the ECOWAS mission to cote d’lvoire (ECOMICI) 2003-2005, and the African Mission in Sudan (AMIS) 2003-2007 (UN, 2003). These and other missions by the AU have had several challenges on the part of the peacekeepers in implementing the mandate of civilian protection. For instance, inadequate preparation on the side of the peacekeepers for the protection tasks which include better political support and a clear concept for protection (Holt and Burkman, 2006). According to the AU (2006), a lot of questions were raised with regard as to whom should shoulder the burden PoC mandate with to and from game of regional or global level institutions! Sadly, the AU appears to be lacking autonomous with regard to the conduct of peace support operations. This is because only few countries have contributed the bulk of the resources towards AU’s operations. An example is the 2006 AU budget that was only paid by five countries: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, and South Africa (William, 2009). Likewise on the side of troop contribution, troops to most of the AU peace operations are from a small number of African states. For instance, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, and South Africa, were the main troop contributors for the AU’s operation in Sudan (2004-2007) (Williams, 2009). Therefore it becomes difficult for the AU to have full control of the peace operations and alter the desired direction.
1.5.4 AMISOM and the Protection of Civilians
Before delving much into AMISOM mission in Somalia, it would imperative to have a glimpse of how the conflict has evolved in this state of Somalia. Somalia as a country gained independence way back in 1960 from Britain and Italy. Throughout the 1960s proved to be prosperous and democratic country in which elections were free and fair and the succession of power smooth . The 1970s and 1980s saw Somalia warped under military dictatorships, civil wars, and total chaos , the period which ushered in the evolutions of the peculiar Somali conflicts-from civil wars, state collapse, clan factionalism, warlordism of the 1990s, to the present globalized ideological conflict in the first decade of the new millennium (Mark Bradbury and Sally Healy, 2010). This eventually led to the scatter of the Somali people refugee camps and neighboring countries.
During the reign of General Siad Barre, is when things went to the dogs though after a promising start. It was this time that the parliament was dissolved, constitution suspended, political parties banned, politicians arrested and the curbing of press freedom, all happened under his reign . This is as said by one of the former Somali Government minister, Jamal Mohamed Ghalib, that “from then, there was a downward trend. In everything. A disintegration. And every time things were going down, the military regime was becoming more brutal, and more dictatorial”. However, for different observers, the collapse of the Somali state is attributable to both internal and external factors. Some of the external influences included the European colonialism that divided the Somali people into five states namely: French Somaliland (Djibouti), British Somaliland, Italian Somaliland, Ethiopia (Ogaden) and the Kenyan Northern Frontier District . Other notable external factors were the impact of the cold-war, and the cumulative effect of the wars with neighbouring countries especially the 1977-78 Ogaden war with Ethiopia.
Some of the internal factors that propelled Somali state to an axis of conflict and the eventual collapse of the state included: contradictions between centralized state authorities; factions within the kinship system; and the Somali pastoral culture where power was diffused .More incursions continued to happen over the years including the 1977 Ogaden crisis between Ethiopia and Somalia, rebellions against Barre’s rule, among others. This continued to an extend where the former allies to Siad Barre turned to foes. For instance, the northern region proclaimed its independence . This was then followed by a series of civil wars with myriads of competing factions which called for frequent intervention by the foreign powers and neighbouring countries.
Figure 1.1.4 map of Somalia with the different region
(Source: Google maps.com)
In 2006, the Islamic Court Union (ISU) split into several factions, with Al Shabaab as one of them. The al shabaab organized itself into a radical group that has now the control of most of the south of Somalia to date. Bouts of Civil wars have ravaged the country’s infrastructure and economy, with many Somalis left as economic migrants or fleeing as refugees. According to the US Committee for Refugees(USCR), about 375,000 refugees and asylum seekers lived in about two-dozen countries at the of the year 2000: some 160,000 in Kenya, 120000 in Ethiopia, some 55,000 in Yemen, 20 000 in Djibouti, 4000 in Egypt, 3000 in Tanzania, and approximately 10000 asylum seekers in various European countries.
It is the incursion of Al shabaab in Somalia that got the attention of the international community to have a consideration for Somalia. Thus, on 19th June 2007, the AU’s peace and Security Council with the authority of the UNSC established AMISOM . The UNSC authorization of the mission with resolution 1744 came on the full realization of the impact of the Somali conflict in the region and to the international community at large. This was to be a peace enforcement mission with a mandate to ‘take all necessary measures as appropriate to carry out its objective’ . This mandate was heavily backed by several players including regional countries that were always in fear of the spillover effects of the insecurity in Somalia.
AMISOM troops were mainly contributed by the regional countries to form the various contingents of the mission. With regard to their deployment, AMISOM, adopted a country-based sectorization of the troop deployment. This meant that every country contingent was responsible for a specific geographical area in Somalia . Off course as was expected challenges would result out of all this. For instance, failure to comply with the decisions of AMISOM’s central command to effectively implement CONOP- concept of operation; lack of streamlined communication and coordination among troop contributing countries especially when conducting military operations; and lack of centralized command and control. This arrangement is as opposed to the UN mission system in which a sector comprises of several troop contributing counties under a central command structure (Yohannes, D. ea. al., 2017).
According to the Human Rights Watch (2009), the civilians in Somalia have faced several atrocities since the AMISOM operation began in Somalia in the face of the al-shabaab, the TFG forces and the AMISOM troops. A good example is the capital Mogadishu which holds the government personnel and infrastructure and protected by the AU forces. The opposition factions led by al shabaab have been making indiscriminate mortar strikes against government forces and installations and at times AMISOM troops defensive positions. In retaliation, the government forces and the AMISOM troops do the same in the hope of targeting the opposition forces. Unfortunately, it is the civilians who bare the loss, because the oppositions only use their residence and at times some civilian persons as human shields temporarily and disappear. These now become the target points for the government forces and the AMISOM troops to launch their mortar strikes! Accordingly, then, hang on the wrong side of the law for continued indiscriminate attacks.
In the al-shabaab-controlled area of the south, many atrocities against the civilians have also been observed and reported by the Human Rights Watch. For instance cases of people being subjected to targeted killings, assaults, repressive reforms of social control especially against women, brutal punishments, have been reported all the name of interpreting the sharia law. Some atrocities committed against the civilians by the al shabaab have been reported by the international media showing al shabaab suicide attacks, public hearings, stoning of women accused of adultery, and amputation of convicted thieves. The application of sharia law on punishments has been regarded as too summarily, arbitrary and cruel, even for minor offenders. All these has created an intense environment of fear which makes it difficult for the populace to speak out against these abuses of power. Human Rights Watch once noted an El Wak resident say, “We just stay quiet, if they tell us to follow a certain path, and we follow it”.
Ironically, according to the Human Rights Watch (2009), the many areas al-shabaab has ruled there has been relative peace and order which contrasts with the chaos in Mogadishu with all the government machinery! According to the residents, the presence of al shabaab brought an end to menace of extortion, robbery and murder from bandits and freelance militias, though the security provided for a heavy cost- women. All these atrocities have happened in the eyes of the international community which it heavily condemned, question remaining how best to detour such inhuman actions.
In the meantime, the Protection of Civilian strategy and the rules of engagement developed to guard the same have not been explicit to the AMISOM peacekeepers on protecting civilians (Harley Heningson, 2018). As can be clearly seen in the case of Mogadishu, priority was placed on the protection of government institutions and personnel, which apparently can be related to the mandate of the AMISOM to Somalia: re-establishing and training capable inclusive Somali armed forces; protection of institutions, infrastructure, and personnel of the newly formed government .Therefore it is not unusual to relate the mandate of the AMISOM and the protection of civilians.
On the sidelines, the AMISOM received set of rules of engagement that would allow for the use of force in certain situations, including ‘afford protection to civilians under imminent threat of physical violence’ (Harley Heningson, 2018). This therefore implies that commanders and troops on ground would initiate ways and make decisions on how to protect civilians.
1.5.5 Typical Researches on the Protection of Civilians
Emma Kenny (2017) in her study on Protection of Civilians: Challenges of UNMISS . Security Council resolution 1996 established the mission in the newly formed republic as the situation at hand then still posed a threat to international peace and security in the region. In this study realism was used to highlight a contestation with regard to the humanitarian intervention actions, that is, how the concept of R2P was not to be applied to domestic jurisdictions (Gareis, 2012). This resulted in a delicate balance between intervention and non-intervention, all in the name of sovereignty- which was a core basis for UN activities in member-state countries. Thus realism viewed intervention from a pessimistic perspective to which the real intention of intervening states was not in black and white as states would be persuing other goals despite championing for the protection of civilians. Some of the findings in this research that posed challenges to the UNMISS included access restrictions that were imposed by the government and geography on the mission hence the execution of the PoC mandate was greatly hampered with as the civilians in dire need of help could not be reached. The indeterminate nature of the cessation of hostilities which forced the mission to reactive mode as opposed to being proactive, not forgetting capacity and resource constraints for the mission to adequately carry out its PoC mandate.
In another study by the IPSTC (Occasional paper series 4, 2013) on the challenges of AMISOM in achieving its mandate in Somalia adopted liberal theory in advancing its objectives. According to this theory, the best strategy to ensure security and build desirable peace is to ensure support to the advancement of democracy . Therefore peace operations aim at building stable peace by enabling the creation of democratic societies as with the case of establishing democratic rule in the Somali republic with the inception of the FGS .
From the description of the above literature, most studies with regard to peace operations have generated policies with a pragmatic focus, that is, those aimed at practical operational issues. There is a shortfall in understanding of the peace missions in relation to the international system.
1.6 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
1.6.1 Policy justification
Although many studies in relation to peace missions have generated policies for practical operations issues like the conduct of specific peace operations, much of it has not worked well with the subsequent peace operations. It will be of interest to have a policy relating peace operations and international politics or the international system.
1.6.2 Academic justification
Apart from policies and recommendation generated for practical operational issues, the findings and recommendations of the study will help in broadening already existing knowledge on peace operations in relation to a theory in international relations, liberalism, in addition to analyzing and explaining complex phenomena like circumstances in which peace missions are more or less likely to succeed (Roland Paris, 2000)
1.7 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
HI1-The AMISOM operation in Somalia is making efforts to secure civilians.
H12-The AMISOM operation is facing challenges while undertaking the mandate of protection of civilians
H13-The AMISOM operation has strategies in place to counter the challenges involved in the Protection of Civilians.
1.8 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
1.8.1 Liberal Theory
This study will employ the tenets of the ‘liberal’ to explain the plight of civilians in an armed conflict environment and also the challenges imposed on PSOs in securing Africa and its people. This theory was put forward by Immanuel Kant in 1795 in his essay “Perpetual Peace: A philosophical sketch”, when he noted conditions necessary for ending wars and creating everlasting peace. The development of liberal school of thought within international relations was guided by principles of rejecting power politics as the only outcome in international relations; international co-operation to reduce conflicts among states; emphasis on international institutions, for example, the UN as a forum to resolve international disputes; and spread of democracy as a precursor to limiting interstate wars. Generally, liberalism is all about protection of human rights.
According to classical liberals, human beings possess “fundamental natural rights to liberty consisting in the right to do whatever they think fit to preserve themselves, provided they do not violate the equal liberty of others unless their preservation is threatened . On co-operation, states can co-operate for mutual gains although with an acknowledgement that each state seeks its own selfish gain . Therefore as states come together to participate in a PSO, ultimately the goal will be security but it will be difficult to decipher each of the state’s motivation in regard to taking part in that particular peace operation. However, the huge support of states towards activities of international organizations such as the UN is an example enough of interstate co-operation. For instance, the AMISOM operation in Somalia has brought many African countries together wither other international organizations with the sole goal of promoting security in the Horn of Africa.
From the angle of liberal internationalists, intervention of liberal states in other sovereign states is key in pursuing liberal objectives either militarily or through humanitarian aid . Michael Walzer puts it that this military intervention is only justified as a last resort and as a means to protect civilians from human rights violations such as genocide and crimes against humanity. The AMISOM operation on the greater part is a military intervention because of the incursions the civilians faced in the hands of the insurgents. The multidimensional nature of the AMISOM operation in Somalia has portrayed with it key tenets of liberalism for instance, collective security, democratic peace and promotion of democracy that is well evident with the TFG, integration and interdependence, rule of law and human rights, pluralism of actors with regard to the many states involved and international organizations, among others. In a nutshell, liberal theory in this study will be used to relate the protection of civilians and liberalism ideals and how the conduct of the AMISOM operation in relation to liberalism will help achieve its mandate.
1.9 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
1.9.1 Research Design
Research design refers to the overall strategy used to integrate the different components of the study in a coherent and logical way so that the research problem is properly addressed (De Vaus, 2006) . This includes collection, measurement and analysis of data. Also research design can be considered too as an arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure (Clare Celtis et al., 1977).
This study will adopt the mixed-method approach research design, that is, both use of the qualitative and quantitative techniques to collect data. Under qualitative technique, data to be obtained will mainly involve ideas, opinions and general perception of the respondents about the problem of study. Miles and Hubberman (1994) term this method as one used to obtain data not ordinarily expressed in numerical terms. Kasomo (2006) states quantitative technique as the best method for a large body of data or that requiring statistical analysis in order to produce results that can be generalized to the target population.
1.9.2 Data Collection
The study will involve both primary and secondary sources of gathering information. Primary data will be collected through administered questionnaires and interviews of selected respondents. Secondary data will be obtained through analysis of information from official documents of the UN and AU; and also from published information in academic journal articles, publications and relevant books.
The ideal method of selecting respondents in this study will be snowballing as most of the operational matters concerning the military and deployment of its personnel is mostly secrete. This will be essential in keeping their identity secret and the confidentiality of the information to be given.
1.9.3 Data Analysis
The qualitative data will be analyzed using content analysis. In this method, a systematic description of the form or content of the written or spoken material will be done. On the quantitative data, suitable statistical methods will be applied for instance, use of graphs and pie charts.
1.10 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
1.10.1 Scope of the study
This study will focus on the challenges encountered by the AMISOM operation in securing civilians in Somalia. It will be a mixed-approach that will collect data from filled-in questionnaires and interviews for primary sources of data while for secondary sources of data, desktop approach will be used.
This study will focus on the past and current AMISOM operations in Somalia, relevant UN agencies involved in the AMISOM operation, humanitarian organizations and other international organizations operating in Somalia.
1.10.2 Limitations of the study
The study findings may not be a generalization of all the aspects of protection of civilians in the region, Africa and over the world in general because of varied political, ideological and economic endowment. However the study will mainly target the horn of Africa because of a peculiar trend of kind of conflicts and an almost homogeneous cultural background in this region.
1.11 CHAPTER OUTLINE
The study will comprise of the following six chapters as outlined below:
1.11.1 Chapter one: Introduction and Background
This chapter introduces the topic of study by highlighting basic information and also a preview of related studies to help bring the research problem into focus.
1.11.2 Chapter Two: Roles of AMISOM in securing civilians in Somalia.
The chapter will delve deeper into the operations of AMISOM bringing out the specific roles with regard to protection of civilians.
1.11.3 Chapter Three: Challenges of encountered in securing civilians by the AMISOM
This chapter will present the challenges experienced by the AMISOM operation in securing civilians.
1.11.4 Chapter Four: Strategies for countering the challenges in civilian protection
Having identified the challenges, the chapter will look at some of the strategies being put in place by the AMISOM to overcome the challenges with regard to protection of civilians.
1.11.5 Chapter Five: Data presentation and analysis
The chapter will present the various ways through which data about the study will be gathered and techniques of analyzing such data to help in answering the research questions.
1.11.6 Chapter Six: Conclusions and Recommendations
The chapter will present conclusions based on the findings of the study and thereafter make recommendations for both policy and academic application.
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