Impact of AMISOM's (The African Union Mission In Somalia) Intervention in Somalia

Diploma Thesis, 2013

24 Pages


Table of Contents

1. Introduction
1.1. Introducing the Issue
1.2. Background information
1.3. Thesis Statement
1.4. Purpose
1.5. Limitation
1.6. Research Question

2. Methodology
2.1. Research Design/Strategy
2.1.1. Data collection technique.
2.1.2. Types of data
2.1.3. Qualitative Methods
2.1.4. Case Study

3. Theoretical Considerations
3.1. Historical context and definitions of Intervention
3.2. Motives behind Intervention
3.3. Social, Economic and Political Impacts of Foreign Military Intervention

4. Empirical Studies
4.1. AMISOM’s Intervention In Somalia
4.1.1. Social Impacts of the Intervention
4.1.2. Economic Impacts of the Intervention
4.1.3. Political Impacts of the Intervention

5. Analysis and Reflections

6. Conclusion


1. Introduction

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The introduction part contains a brief discussion including the back ground information of the research topic, thesis statement, purpose of the study, limitation of the study and research questions.

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1.1. Introducing the Issue

Civil war is one of the manmade disasters that causes the death and loss of many lives. After the end of the cold war it is observed that major wars became less while regional and domestic conflicts between nations still exist and leads to the pressure of outside states and external institutions to intervene (Nye, 2007)

In today’s world many countries are going through civil war with different intentions including different political views and religious beliefs. In some parts of the world these civil wars are expanding and initiating the network of terrorism. As a result terrorism and national security became two of the main issues being prioritized by most of the nation states across the globe.

To stop these civil wars and prevent the growing rate of terrorism, the international community is using different methods including intervention as a means of solution.

For the past two decades many countries including; Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia are among the countries that have experienced intervention by external states. The intervention has influenced the citizens of these countries in different ways.

This research is focused on the impact of the intervention made by the AMISOM in Somalia. The following key points are the reasons behind the study of this research:

- Due to the fact that Somalia’s instability is influencing other neighboring states providing a chance to interfere its internal affairs, the security situation in Somalia has become an international Issue and has got more attention by the international community.
- AMISOM’s Intervention is different from other interventions made in Somalia in a way that it is believed that it helped the government of Somalia to regain major strategic regions previously controlled by the extremist group, Al-Shabaab.
- Apart from the success made in the security of the country, people die on a daily bases because of the bombing made by the extremist group, Al-Shabaab and the respond made by the AMISOM troops. The rebels resist the intervention in a violent way. Therefore, it is very important to highlight and give a general picture about the overall impact of the intervention to the readers. In other words the importance of this study is that it explores how the Somali people have been positively or negatively affected socially, politically and economically, as there are no enough researches made on this issue.

1.2. Background information

Somalia is located in the horn of Africa, lies along the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. It shares borders with Ethiopia in west, Djibouti in North West and Kenya south west. Starting from January 1991 after the fall of the dictatorship regime led by President Mohammed Ziyad Bare, Somalia has been experiencing a civil war based on ethnic groups. During these years the country had no functioning or central government (, 2014).

The country’s civil war had gone through different stages and different phases from clan based conflict to religious based violation led by one of the world’s well known terrorist groups called Al-Shabaab who has a direct link with Al-Qaeda (, 2014).

The lack of central government in Somalia caused a security threat that could destabilize the national security of the neighboring countries and the rest of the world. The international community responded and expressed its concern about stopping the civil war in Somalia. In 2004 a new transitional parliament was established and a new president was elected. In august 2012 the transitional federal government got international recognition and became the federal government of Somalia (Eriksson, 2013).

Due to the fact that Somalia had been a failed state for a longer period of time, for the past two decades the country had gone through different interventions at different times by different states or intergovernmental organizations(, 2014) .

According to the Wisdom fund (2001), the country had experienced different interventions led by different states with different intentions and interests. In Dec 1992 the U.S sent 28,000 soldiers with intention of helping Somali people who were starving. The mission was carried out under the name of the United Nations and was called United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The Somali community including men, women and even children leaving in Mogadishu responded and resisted the existence of foreign troops in Somalia in an aggressively manner. The mission was going on for ten months and resulted the death of many people (The wisdom fund, 2001).

As mentioned by Civins (2010), in the years 2006, Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), getting a political support from the U.S. entered Somalia. The objective of the mission was to give a support to the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) against the increasingly powerful Islamic Courts Union (ICU).The intervention ended in 2009 with no success but left bad consequences.

One of the other interventions occurred in is the intervention that started 2007 and still going on, which is the focus of this paper. This intervention is being carried out by the African Union named by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).AMISOM is the third mission to be established by the AU. AMISOM is a peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union that has got approval from the United Nations. The mission was established on 19th January 2007 and was deployed 21 February 2007 by the African Union’s peacekeeping council with the initial starting point of six months (, 2014).

1.3. Thesis Statement

There is a significantly growing conflict in Somalia that have attracted the attention of the international community where different external states and institutions are participating in terms of humanitarian or military intervention as a means of stabilizing the country.

Currently the country is going through intervention by the AMISOM. The study argues that this particular intervention had a huge impact on the daily life of the Somali nations.

1.4. Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine how the AMISOM intervention in Somalia affected the citizens of Somalia in Social, Political and Economic respect.

1.5. Limitation

In this research the study is going to give the focus on Somalia and the particular intervention it has gone through by the AMISOM troops starting from 2007 until now. The study is going to cover some of the military interventions carried out in Somalia after the fall of Somalia’s Central government in 1991 but the scope and the frame of the study will be specifically limited to the intervention made by the AMISOM.

1.6. Research Question

The following questions are addressed by the thesis:

1. How did the Military intervention made by AMISOM influence the Citizens of Somalia in terms of social, political and economic wise?

2. Methodology

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This part presents the methodology implemented in carrying out the study. The section starts by giving short description about the research design followed by the data collection techniques, types of data, research strategies, qualitative method used and the case study.

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2.1. Research Design/Strategy

According to Ragin, and Amoroso, (2010, p. 28) “A research design is a plan for collecting and analyzing evidence that will make it possible for the investigator to answer whatever questions he or she has posed”. The key aspects that are carried out in the research design include: Data collection technique, sampling, sample selection bias data collection design. Saunders, Lewis and Thomhill, (2009, p. 600) defined research strategy as “the general plan of how the researcher will go about answering the research questions”. Ragin, and Amoroso, (2010) stated that there are three types of research methods that can be used in the study of social research and these are: Qualitative methods, Comparative and quantitative methods.

2.1.1. Data collection technique.

Social researchers use a variety of different techniques: observation, interviewing, participating in activities, use of telephone and other types of surveys, collection of official statistics or historical archives, use of census materials and other evidence collected by governments, records of historical events, and so on. For this research due to the fact that it is impossible to collect data through primary bases including observations, interviewing and participating in activities etc, the only applicable data collection technique is through reviewing recorded or written documents about the subject. The particular documents used for gathering the findingsinclude,

2.1.2. Types of data

Stevensens, Wrenn, Sherwoodand Ruddick (2006) highlighted that there are two types of data that can be used to make a research and these are: (I) Primary data-Data that is gathered by a researcher for the first time for a particular ongoing research project (II) Secondary data-Data that has been formerly gathered by other researchers for other reasons. For this research primary data is impossible to reach and unthinkable. The only way data is collected is by using secondary data such as books and articles and other supporting documents. The particular documents used for gathering the findings include, reports written by the AMISOM home page, (civilians in armed conflict series, 2011), and Eriksson (2013).Further more different books and articles are used in developing the theoretical framework of the research.

2.1.3. Qualitative Methods

“Qualitative research is the collection, analysis and interpretation of data that cannot be meaningfully quantified, that is, summarized in the form of number” (Diggines & Wiid, 2009, p.85). Ragin, and Amoroso, (2010) reflected that the advantage of qualitative method is that it is suitable for studies that need in depth examination of cases because they support the identification of the key features. The authors argue that most qualitative methods enhance data. Due to the fact that part of the study required deeper investigation from different aspects with different features a qualitative method is applicable to carry out the study.

2.1.4. Case Study

'The case study method is a very popular form of qualitative analysis and involves a careful and complete observation of a social unit, be that unit a person, a family, an institution, a cultural group or even the entire community' (Kothari, 2004, p.113).

According to Stake (1995) a case study deals with the particular and a complex single case coming to know its activities within significant situations. Kothari (2004) highlighted that one of the advantages of using case studies is that it can provide very detailed information about a particular subject that would not be possible to acquire through another type of experimentation Due to the nature and complexity of this study that needs analyzing of the subject matter from different views case study would be the suitable method for this research. Therefore the study will be carried out based on a case study and the analysis attempts to address the positive or the negative effects of the Military intervention made by the AMISOM troops in Somalia.

3. Theoretical Considerations

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This chapter contains the related theoretical concepts and research including articles books and data gained from other sources that explains and describes intervention from different perspectives.

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3.1. Historical context and definitions of Intervention

Historically speaking humanitarian intervention was not a legitimate practice because states give more priority and value on the sovereignty and order than on the enforcement of human rights (Baylis, Smith & Owens, 2011). In other words the importance of sovereignty was high and was protected. The three authors further mentioned that immediately after the holocaust where millions of Jews were murdered by German nazi regime, the international community established laws prohibiting genocide, forbidding the mistreatment of the civilians and recognizing basic human rights. In relation to this Pickering and Kisangani (2006) and Baylis, Smith and Owens (2011) agree that, foreign military intervention has become one of the most commonly implemented types of interstate military forces in recent decades.

“In 2005, the United Nations High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Changes endorsed the "norm that there is a collective international responsibility to protect ... civilians from the effects of war and human rights abuses” (Nye, 2007, p.161). In this panel the UN supported and approved that protecting civilians from war and human right abuses is the responsibility of the international community.

Different authors have made different studies with different contexts and perspectives about the meaning of intervention, challenges and consequences after intervention. Some of these authors have clearly defined the meaning of interventions as follows:

According to Nye (2007, p.162) “In its broadest definition, intervention refers to external actions that influence the domestic affairs of another sovereign state”. As can be analyzed from the definition it is an action taken by external states or intergovernmental institutions with an intention of interfering others’ political or internal affairs. He also argues that the intervention could be carried out due to the existence of different issues like civil war. Other authors like Grimstad (2001) defined the term humanitarian intervention as the interference of one’s internal affairs using armed forces, without the prior consent of that state or without getting any approval from the United Nations Security Council with the intention to prevent the violation of basic human rights. The two main components of the definitions are first, the sovereignty of the state intervened upon is being violated and second, the use of armed force when intervening is important. The definitions above share in common in the fact that all see intervention as an interference of the internal affairs of other state. The definition by (Grimstad, 2001) is applied as the core of this research as its components reflect some of the key issues in the case study examined in the research.

3.2. Motives behind Intervention

In recent years, it is observed that external intervention is becoming one of the tools being used by some of the powerful states for the war against terror (Baylis, etal, 2011). Some researches underline the importance of military intervention and times it is implemented. For example, Nye (2007, p.161) mentions that “Where failed states exist or genocide is threatened, some analysts believe outsiders should ignore sovereignty”. This means intervention is inevitable in cases where there is genocide within states under conflict. This shows that the sovereignty of these states has to be put aside in order to stop the genocide and save the lives of civilians.

According to Baylis, etal, (2011), there is a critics that says that powerful states intervene because of their national interest not in favor of the victims in whose name the intervention is being carried out.

“States almost always have mixed motives for intervening and are rarely prepared to sacrifice their own soldiers overseas unless they have self- interested reasons for doing so (Baylis, etal, 2011, p.514)”. This shows the fact that every intervention has its own motive or self-interest which needs a sacrifice and preparation for the consequences.

As stated by Pickering and Kisangani (2006) foreign military intervention includes the dispatch of national armed forces into another sovereign state with the intention to influence the social, political and economic issues of the targeted state. This description indicates that foreign military intervention influences the major basic components of a country. The following section explains some of the key impacts of intervention.

3.3. Social, Economic and Political Impacts of Foreign Military Intervention

From social point of view Fielding and Shortland (2010), elaborated that some of the negative impacts of international intervention could be the death of civilians. They argue that a military intervention causes the killing, abuse and the loss of innocent people. Moreover they believe that it might cause the displacement of population from their homes. In connection to this Kuperman (2008) mentioned that military intervention that is intended to protect civilians unintentionally fosters rebellion by lowering its expected cost and increasing its likelihood of success. All these arguments reflect the fact that there is a negative impact about intervention.

Baylis, etal (2011) discussed in their book that due to the use of military force or foreign intervention; there is a possibility of losing soldiers. In addition to this they reflect that political leaders do not have the moral rights to shed the blood of their own citizens on behalf of suffering foreigners.

According to De Waal (2007) the use or raising of the external military intervention for the protection of human being changes and distorts the political process and can make a resolution more difficult.

Other researches such as Regan (2002), argue the probability of ending civil war is higher in interventions that support the targeted country than interventions that oppose the target government. Regan (2002) adds that interventions opposing and challenging the incumbent government causes a bloodier civil war and demands the use of higher levels of force than those supporting it.

Pickering and Kisangani (2006, p.365) illustrated that “If an outside actor uses military force against sitting government in that government’s sovereign territory, it’s by definition a provocation and may be a severe threat”. In relation to this, the authors came into the agreement that hostile military interventions leads to prolonged, bloody conflict and don’t mostly create stable domestic political environment that fosters democratization, economic growth and rising quality of life.

Pickering and Kisangani (2006), deeply studied the consequences of military intervention. They investigated the impacts of hostile and supportive military intervention and developed the following hypotheses:

H 1 : Hostile interventions are more likely to autocratize democratic target governments than supportive interventions.
H 2 : Supportive interventions are more likely to autocratize non democratic target governments than hostile interventions.
H 3 : Hostile interventions are more likely to reduce economic growth in target states than supportive intervention.
H 4: Hostile interventions are more likely to reduce quality of life in target states than supportive interventions.
H 5 : rival interventions will have little or no impact on target state regime type, but will reduce economic growth and quality of life in target states.

From these arguments it is clear that hostile interventions are more likely to have a negative impact on the social, political and economic part of the target country. This is because of the fact that it is not an intervention supported by the target government.

In addition to the above mentioned five hypotheses, Pickering and Kisangani (2006) argue that even though there is loss of life and displacement of civilians in supportive intervention, it is supported by the target government. They believe that this intervention is most likely to have a positive contribution to the economic growth, social life and the political stability of the country targeted.

From economical point of view Pickering and Kisangani (2006, p.) highlighted that “Supportive interventions may not be sufficient scale to rebuild economic infrastructure but they could improve investor confidence”. This shows that no matter how low the scale is, there is a positive contribution on the economic recovery in supportive interventions. Foreign investors could be attracted by the stabilized target country after the intervention. This leads to a minimized employment rate and increased growth of national economy.

Peksen,(2012).Illustrated that military intervention contributes to the increase of state domination by enhancing the state’s coercive power and encouraging more repressive behavior, especially when it is supportive or neutral towards to the target government. In relation to this the author argues that supportive and neutral interventions increase the likelihood of extrajudicial killing, disappearance, political imprisonment, and torture. Moreover, the author argues that interventions carried out by intergovernmental organizations, is unlikely to make a major difference in the negative impacts that are believed to occur in any interventions.

From political aspect Peksen, (2012), mentions that supportive interventions are likely to boost and strengthen the political and military capacity of the regime targeted. Furthermore the author adds that the external intervention is positively perceived by the regime’s constituency and the average citizens of the targeted country as a strong indication of support by the international community for the government. This creates the broadening of political legitimacy and credibility of the ruling elites which leads to the enhancement of the ties between the regime and its supporters.


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Impact of AMISOM's (The African Union Mission In Somalia) Intervention in Somalia
University of Dalarna
Paper for University Diploma in Political Science
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impact, african, union, mission, somalia, amisom, intervention
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Masters Degree Kedir Ahmed (Author), 2013, Impact of AMISOM's (The African Union Mission In Somalia) Intervention in Somalia, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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