n Journal of Somali Studies : Research on Somalia and the Greater Horn of African Countries - Keeping the Peace in Somalia: Are “African Solutions to African Problems” Enough?

Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2056-5674
  • E-ISSN: 2056-5682



After suffering significant casualties in peacekeeping operations in Africa, several powerful countries, including the U.S. and some of its western allies, exhibited reluctance to deploy their troops in Africa in significant numbers or for long periods of time. Since then many western powerful states exhibited fatigue and reduced their involvement in peace initiatives on the continent where Somalia is could be taken as one of those best cases. “Africa fatigue” by the powerful Western countries motivated and necessitated for the emergence of the “African solution to African problems” maxim. It is in this context that the AU authorized a range of peace operations, among them, AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), to respond to the complex conflicts that have engulfed the continent. The objective of this study is to explore whether the approach of “African solutions to African problems” is enough to address the severe humanitarian situation of Somalia or not. The study looks at the case of Somalia for two reasons. First, Somalia has faced a prolonged civil war fuelled by intense internal conflict and exacerbated by external influences. Secondly, the AU has been playing a leading role in the resolutions of the conflicts using a multidimensional approach that involved diplomatic, mediatory and military mechanisms over a longer period of time. More importantly, the case of Somalia is chosen mainly because the case is among the glaring example of AU‟s comprehensive peace operation. Other African countries such as Burundi, Comoro Islands, Mali, Central African Republic and the like have also hosted peace support operations however; these missions were conducted for short period. Hence, examining the AU‟s relatively short-term responses presents challenges as these short-term missions may not test the capacity of African Union compared to the long-term peace operations (Somalia).

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