The African Union Mission in Somalia and Civilian Protection Challenges


Deployed to Mogadishu in March 2007, it was not until late May 2013 that the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) adopted a mission-wide protection-of-civilians (PoC) strategy. This article helps explain this long delay by highlighting the multiple PoC challenges faced by the mission. First, it shows how AMISOM’s relevant documents contained a variety of mixed messages on PoC issues. Second, it illustrates some of the ways in which the African Union was hardly an ideal actor to implement a civilian protection agenda because of its limited previous experience with these issues. Third, it analyzes the ways in which AMISOM was itself sometimes a source of civilian harm in Mogadishu. The fourth section examines the remedial policies AMISOM adopted to try and alleviate this problem. The conclusion reflects on the current PoC challenges facing AMISOM and suggests that to be successful the new mission-wide strategy must overcome these material, legal, moral, and doctrinal challenges

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oaioai:doaj.org/article:54e361943a7e4095a79cf147c0ff4081Last time updated on 12/18/2014

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