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  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Militant Islamist groups in Africa set a record pace of activity in 2019, reflecting a doubling of militant Islamist activity from 2013. Expanded activity in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin underscores diversification of threat from Somalia.
  • Topic: United Nations, Violent Extremism, ISIS, Militant Islam
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Mozambique, Somalia, Sahel, Lake Chad Basin
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: With Africa's population expected to double by 2050, the rapid increase in the number of forcibly displaced Africans of the past decade will continue to expand unless key drivers are reversed.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Diaspora, Displacement
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Central African Republic
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S. has learned many lessons in its wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria—most of them the hard way. It has had to adapt the strategies, tactics, and force structures designed to fight regular wars to conflicts dominated by non-state actors. It has had to deal with threats shaped by ideological extremism far more radical than the communist movements it struggled against in countries like Vietnam. It has found that the kind of “Revolution in Military Affairs,” or RMA, that helped the U.S. deter and encourage the collapses of the former Soviet Union does not win such conflicts against non-state actors, and that it faces a different mix of threats in each such war—such as in cases like Libya, Yemen, Somalia and a number of states in West Africa. The U.S. does have other strategic priorities: competition with China and Russia, and direct military threats from states like Iran and North Korea. At the same time, the U.S. is still seeking to find some form of stable civil solution to the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria—as well as the conflicts Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and West Africa. Reporting by the UN, IMF, and World Bank also shows that the mix of demographic, political governance, and economic forces that created the extremist threats the U.S. and its strategic partners are now fighting have increased in much of the entire developing world since the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001, and the political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011. The Burke Chair at CSIS has prepared a working paper that suggests the U.S. needs to build on the military lessons it has learned from its "long wars" in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries in order to carry out a new and different kind of “Revolution in Civil-Military Affairs,” or RCMA. This revolution involves very different kinds of warfighting and military efforts from the RMA. The U.S. must take full advantage of what it is learning about the need for different kinds of train and assist missions, the use of airpower, strategic communications, and ideological warfare. At the same time, the U.S. must integrate these military efforts with new civilian efforts that address the rise of extremist ideologies and internal civil conflicts. It must accept the reality that it is fighting "failed state" wars, where population pressures and unemployment, ethnic and sectarian differences, critical problems in politics and governance, and failures to meet basic economic needs are a key element of the conflict. In these elements of conflict, progress must be made in wartime to achieve any kind of victory, and that progress must continue if any stable form of resolution is to be successful.
  • Topic: Civil Society, United Nations, Military Strategy, Governance, Military Affairs, Developing World
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Iraq, Middle East, West Africa, Somalia, Sundan
  • Author: Thijs Van Laer
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Peace Operations Review
  • Abstract: “Their priority is not the people of Somalia,” a Somali woman who had recently fled to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya said about peacekeepers in her home country. “It is the government and themselves.” Unfortunately, this view is not unique. Civilians in countries with peace operations often experience a wide gap between them and those missions. Yet, at a time when peacekeeping is at a crossroads—again—and under increasing financial pressure, it is more important than ever to solicit and acknowledge the views of the citizens who are affected by peace operations. Their suggestions on how to bolster results should be taken into account in the ongoing debates about successes, failures, and costs of peace operations. However, despite an acceptance in the ever-quoted HIPPO report that “engaging with host countries and local communities must increasingly be regarded as core to mission success” and despite the acceptance of protection of civilians as a core norm for UN peacekeeping, realities on the ground demonstrate that too little has been done to access or include these voices. Between October 2015 and April 2017, International Refugees Rights Initiative (IRRI) conducted close to 200 interviews with civilians in South Sudan, Sudan (Darfur) and Somalia about how they perceive the peace operations in their countries. The three missions in those countries, all of which are mandated by the UN Security Council, embody the range of different options available to implement the strategic partnership between the African Union and the UN, from a fully-fledged UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), to a joint AU-UN mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and an AU-operated mission in Somalia (AMISOM). While all three operate in significantly different contexts, they all have “little peace to keep” and have been often criticized for their limitations in implementing their mandate, especially when it comes to the protection of civilians. All three missions have also been reviewed this year. UNAMID has been restructured and its troop numbers have been seriously reduced; the UN and AU have just concluded a joint review of AMISOM and strengthened the focus in its mandate on withdrawal and handover to Somali security forces. UNMISS faces some minor budget cuts and a review, even as reinforcement by a Regional Protection Force is slowly being implemented. While much of what was talked about by the Somalis, South Sudanese, and Darfuris interviewed during the course of the research was specific to their context, a number of similarities and trends emerge from their responses, despite the strategic, operational, and contextual differences between the three missions. These trends are important, not only for any new rounds of high-level policy debates, but also for addressing the strategic challenges for protection of civilians and the rock-bottom popularity of peacekeepers among the civilians they are supposed to protect.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations, Refugees, Peace, Civilians
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Sudan, Darfur, Somalia, South Sudan
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: While much attention has focused on refugee migration into Europe, two-thirds of Africa’s dislocated population are internally displaced.
  • Topic: Migration, Regional Cooperation, United Nations, Diaspora
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Author: Andrew Walker
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Boko Haram is an Islamic sect that believes politics in northern Nigeria has been seized by a group of corrupt, false Muslims. It wants to wage a war against them, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria generally, to create a “pure” Islamic state ruled by sharia law. Since August 2011 Boko Haram has planted bombs almost weekly in public or in churches in Nigeria's northeast. The group has also broadened its targets to include setting fire to schools. In March 2012, some twelve public schools in Maiduguri were burned down during the night, and as many as 10,000 pupils were forced out of education. Boko Haram is not in the same global jihadist bracket as Algeria's al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or Somalia's al Shabab. Despite its successful attack on the UN compound in Abuja in August 2011, Boko Haram is not bent on attacking Western interests. There have been no further attacks on international interests since that time. Following the failed rescue of hostages Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara in north¬eastern Nigeria in March 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan played up the connections between the group and international terrorism. However, links between Boko Haram and the kidnappers are questionable. It is difficult to see how there can be meaningful dialogue between the government and the group. The group's cell-like structure is open for factions and splits, and there would be no guarantee that someone speaking for the group is speaking for all of the members. Tactics employed by government security agencies against Boko Haram have been consis-tently brutal and counterproductive. Their reliance on extrajudicial execution as a tactic in “dealing” with any problem in Nigeria not only created Boko Haram as it is known today, but also sustains it and gives it fuel to expand. The group will continue to attack softer targets in the northeast rather than international targets inside or outside Nigeria. It is also likely to become increasingly involved in the Jos crisis, where it will attack Christian indigenes of the north and try to push them out. Such a move would further threaten to destabilize the country's stability and unity.Now that the group has expanded beyond a small number of mosques, radical reforms in policing strategy are necessary if there is to be any progress in countering the group. Wide¬spread radical reform of the police is also long overdue throughout Nigeria. As a first step, jailing a number of police officers responsible for ordering human rights abuses might go some way to removing a key objection of the group.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Islam, Religion, United Nations, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Africa, Algeria, Nigeria, Somalia
  • Author: Alejandro Bendaña
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: Rule of law (RoL) programming is caught in the middle of the peacebuilding/tatebuilding discussion. Twenty-first century post-conflict RoL programming seems to have become more statist in character and highly focused on the criminal justice chain. A key question, however, is how external RoL/statebuilding assistance can address the gap between society and the central state so as to in effect give the RoL a greater peacebuilding function. Southern Somalia provides an example of failed RoL/statebuilding, but in Somaliland the existence of an inclusive political settlement has allowed United Nations RoL assistance to contribute not only to core state capacities, but also to engagement with civil society and arriving at innovative programming modalities, which in practice signifies an expanded interpretation of the concept of the RoL and thus of its social impact. Examples are given of engagement with “informal” customary systems and other sectors so as to contribute to the construction of more socially embedded police and justice practices capable of providing greater legitimacy to the state.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Peace Studies, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Somalia
  • Author: Alan Doss
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The proliferation of intra-state conflicts in the post-Cold War era has led to a substantial increase in the number of United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations, resulting in the creation of forty-eight peacekeeping missions since 1990. The unprecedented challenges faced in the 1990's – and in particular, the failures in Rwanda, Srebrenica, and Somalia – obliged the UN to revisit and rethink its peacekeeping strategies.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Cold War, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Rwanda, Somalia
  • Author: Bjørn Møller
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Somalia has been without a functioning state ever since 1991, when the former dictator, Siyad Barre, was overthrown. None of the competing factions were strong enough to take his place as ruler of the country, producing first chaos, but gradually a form of stateless order. The international interventions have ever since the failed, and counter-productive intervention by the United Nations and the United States in the early 1990 exacerbated rather than mitigated the problems, let alone solved them. This was especially the case for the Ethiopian invasion (December 2006-January 2009), which produced utter chaos and a severe humanitarian crisis. Since the withdrawal of the Ethiopian forces, Islamist extremist militias have been establishing control of Somalia, and they may or may not be able to maintain this control. If they pursue their radical programme of Islamisation, their reign is likely to be short, but if they moderate themselves they may retain control.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Somalia
  • Author: Nils Goede
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: The report analyses the decision-making processes in the security council of the United Nations, which led to the adoption of the Somalia-Resolution 794 on 3 December 1992. For the analysis of the decision-making process the Multiple-Streams approach is employed. This concept regards decision opportunities as ambiguous stimuli concerning information, goals and measuring criteria. Hence, decisions are frequently neither rationally justified, nor are they connected with a certain problem in a linear manner. The organisation is constantly confronted with a high number of problems and policy options. Under time pressure the organisation has to decide which problems and which policy options are going to be placed on the agenda and with regard to which issues a decision is needed. During decision-making processes options and problems are often reconciled into an only artificial accord. The analysis leads to the conclusion that the adoption of resolution 794 came about due to the dynamics of the US presidential election and the constant commitment of UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali rather than due to the situation in Somalia.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Nils Goede
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: Der Report analysiert die Entscheidungsprozesse des Sicherheitsrats der Vereinten Nationen, die am 3. Dezember 1992 zu der Verabschiedung der Somalia‐Resolution 794 geführt haben. Fürdie Analyse wird der Multiple‐Streams‐Ansatz verwendet. Im Rahmen des Ansatzes warden Entscheidungssituationen als mehrdeutige Stimuli in Bezug auf Informationen, Ziele und Messkriterien betrachtet. Entscheidungen sind vor einem solchen Hintergrund oft weder rational begründbar, noch sind sie gezwungenermaßen linear‐kausal mit einem bestimmten Problem verbunden. Die Organisation ist stets mit einer hohen Anzahl von simultan auftretenden Problemen und Optionen konfrontiert und muss unter Zeitdruck bestimmen, welche Probleme und Handlungsoptionen auf die Agenda gesetzt werden und in welchen Themenbereichen eine Entscheidung ansteht. Lösungen werden hierbei zu einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt (künstlich) in Übereinstimmung mit Problemen und Akteuren gebracht und in eine Entscheidung transferiert. Die Untersuchung führt zu dem Ergebnis, dass die Verabschiedung der Resolution 794 weniger auf die tatsächliche Problemlage in Somalia zurückzuführen war als auf Dynamiken des amerikanischen Wahlkampfs und den stetigen Einsatz des VNGeneralsekretärs Boutros Boutros‐Ghali.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, United Nations, War, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Somalia
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Major reassessments of UN peacekeeping have tended to follow in the wake of large-scale failures of peacekeeping operations. Continued violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the inability to mount a UN operation in Somalia, and the lack of progress in Darfur may or may not count as major failures. However, it is clear that some kind of reassessment is required.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Somalia
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since 1991 Somalia has been the archetypal failed state. Several attempts to create a transitional set-up have failed, and the current one is on the brink of collapse, overtaken yet again by an Islamist insurgency, despite the support of an Ethiopian military intervention since December 2006. Over the last two years the situation has deteriorated into one of the world's worst humanitarian and security crises. The international community is preoccupied with a symptom - the piracy phenomenon - instead of concentrating on the core of the crisis, the need for a political settlement. The announced Ethiopian withdrawal, if it occurs, will open up a new period of uncertainty and risk. It could also provide a window of opportunity to relaunch a credible political process, however, if additional parties can be persuaded to join the Djibouti reconciliation talks, and local and international actors - including the U.S. and Ethiopia - accept that room must be found for much of the Islamist insurgency in that process and ultimately in a new government dispensation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Susan Waltz
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: From Somalia and Afghanistan to Bosnia, Haiti, Colombia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Congo, small arms and light weapons were a common feature of the human rights calamities of the 1990's. More than a hundred low-intensity conflicts flared across the globe in that final decade of the bloodiest century, and virtually all of them were fought with small arms and light weaponry. Hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenades and bazookas, mortars, machine guns, and shoulder-fired missiles were the common weapons of warfare, along with the ubiquitous AK- 47--as readily slung over the shoulder of a 14 year old boy as a 40 year old man. Human rights and humanitarian organizations pondered the evidence: there was an inescapable linkage between the abuses they sought to curb, and the prevalence of these easy to handle, durable, and imminently portable weapons. In many instances the weapons were used as direct instruments of repression and devastation. In others, armed groups and government-sponsored militia used them to facilitate assaults with cruder weapons, spread fear, and create insecurity that effectively deprived people of their livelihood. Ironically, none of the countries in turmoil produced their own small arms. Behind the plethora of weapons lurked shadowy arms dealers looking for a profit, indifferent to the public's moral outrage and UN-imposed arms embargoes.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Human Rights, Human Welfare, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Bosnia, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Somalia
  • Author: Christopher D. O'Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: The conclusion of the Cold War between 1989-1991 opened new horizons for the United Nations and created expectations that the UN would emerge from the margins of world events to the focus of world politics. But many events since then -- in Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Iraq -- have undermined confidence in international institutions. A history of the UN's activities since the end of the East-West conflict conjures up names of recent infamy, such as Sarajevo, Mogadishu, Kigali, and Srebrenica, and revisits images of failure and impotence in the face of violence. These crises undermined much of the optimism that greeted the end of the Cold War at the United Nations. The founding dream in 1945 of a community of nations defending human rights and promoting collective security still seems as far from being realized as it did during the height of the Cold War.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Cold War, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia