Book Review: Fighting for Peace in Somalia: A History and Analysis of the African Union Mission (AMISOM), 2007-2017 by Paul D. Williams

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Book Review: Fighting for Peace in Somalia: A History and Analysis of the African Union Mission (AMISOM), 2007-2017 by Paul D. Williams

October 16, 2018| Arlaadi Online

In Fighting for Peace in Somalia: A History and Analysis of the African Union Mission (AMISOM), 2007-2017, Paul D. Williams offers an account of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the African Union’s largest, most ambitious, complex and dangerous peace support operation. Alex de Waal welcomes this thorough, balanced and thoughtful study which will be indispensable to any policymaker or scholar of Somalia.

This review was originally published on the LSE Conflict Research Programme blog. 

Fighting for Peace in Somalia: A History and Analysis of the African Union Mission (AMISOM), 2007-2017. Paul D. Williams. Oxford University Press. 2018.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is the African Union’s (AU) largest, most ambitious, most complex and most dangerous peace support operation. It has rivalled and often surpassed United Nations peace missions in size and challenges. With Fighting for Peace in Somalia, Paul D. Williams has written a thorough, extremely detailed, comprehensive, balanced and thoughtful account of the mission. It is indispensable for any policymaker or scholar of Somalia, and a model for how academic analyses of peace operations should be written.

First and most importantly, Williams has documented AMISOM. He places all of the information about AMISOM in a single volume, organised in a straightforward and lucid manner. It’s a needed task.

The first part is a history: seven chapters that cover all the phases of the mission from its genesis in 2004 to the debates about its drawdown and exit in 2017. Originally envisioned as a regional operation by the InterGovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to support the nascent Transitional Federal Government (TFG), AMISOM truly came into being in the wake of the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia in 2006 to defeat and remove the Union of Islamic Courts and its military wing, known as Al-Shabaab. Ethiopia and its de facto client, the TFG, needed an exit strategy, and Uganda was ready to provide one, in the form of the backbone of troops for AMISOM. Burundi followed. Williams explores the motivations for each country to send its troops—a mixture of seeking international approbation, developing military capacity and standing and getting funded.

Read more Fighting for Peace in Somalia: A History and Analysis of the African Union Mission (AMISOM), 2007-2017 by Paul D. Williams

I’ve just finished this book, the only comprehensive work on AMISOM operations in Somalia. Fantastically written, rich with info – a must read for those interested in the complete history of the Mission and fighting insurgency groups like Al-Shabaab. Congrats to !

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