The effectiveness of peace keeping operations (PKOS) in Africa: the case of the African union mission in Somalia, 2007 - 2012
African states have suffered numerous conflicts that have pitted tribes against tribes or clans against one another or between religious factions. For a long time the rest of the world left the combatants and the collateral victims to their own devices on the basis that states were sovereign entities that should not be interfered with rather they should be left to solve their issues. However in the 1960 the world changed its attitude and through the UN it focussed on intra-state conflicts. In Africa came the only United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC) in 1960 - 1964.The Civil War in Rwanda and the breakup of Yugoslavia were occasions of widespread atrocities and ethnic violence. These saw the sending of eight UN peacekeeping missions to the former Yugoslavia, UNPROFOR, UNCRO, UNPREDEP, UNMIBH, UNTAES, UNMOP, UNPSG, and UNMIK and two to Rwanda, UNAMIR and UNOMUR. Despite the cessation of international, Cold-War inspired aid, civil wars continued in many regions and the UN attempted to bring peace. Several conflicts were the cause of multiple peace-keeping missions. The collapse of Somalia into the Somali Civil War in 1991 saw UNOSOM I, UNITAF, and UNOSOM II fail to bring peace and stability, though they did mitigate the effects of the famine. The community of nations rethought its approach to peacekeeping operations and decided to develop a more "homegrown" vehicle for peacekeeping but within a UN framework. In January 2007, this idea was implemented through the African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur, Sudan. The same year saw the birth of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). This study examines the efficacy of peacekeeping operations with special focus on AMISOM which as a home grown approach to conflicts in Africa is led and controlled by the African Union with troop contributions from Africa. AMISOM receives support from the UN and the UN Security Council. Therefore in addition to executing the regional agendas of the African states, AMISOM must also contend with international agendas. The interplay of the forces at play is bound to have an outcome on the effectiveness of peace keeping in Africa. This study will examine and document any impact posed by the interplay of these agendas on the effectiveness of peacekeeping in Africa by African missions. The study is guided by three objectives: to examine the purpose and effectiveness of peace keeping operations in Africa; to establish the effectiveness of AMISOM in Somalia; to document the challenges of peacekeeping operations in Africa. One of the questions the study seeks to answer is, are regional organizations effective in peacekeeping? The research design that was used in this research project was a combination of purposive sampling, snowball sampling and quota sampling of practicing diplomats and scholars in the area of the PKOs. There is insufficient literature on the effectiveness of such PKOs in the African context. This is especially in relation to the multi-dimensional model of peacekeeping that is currently being used in Africa. By plugging this information gap, this study will benefit academics, policy makers and scholars of the subject under discussion.