AMISOM: A Decade into the Fight Against Al Shabaab

Ruins in Mogadishu after a truck bombing.

The multinational peacekeeping force known as AMISOM has been losing the momentum in its battle against al Shabaab in Somalia, as evidenced by the massive Oct. 14th truck bomb that killed more than 350 people in the capital Mogadishu. While AMISOM – the African Union Mission in Somalia – was initially successful in rooting out the group from southern Somalia, it can’t address the root cause that has given al Shabaab purchase on the population: a weak Somali central government that is still unable to provide services or security to its people.

  • Somalia’s struggle with Islamist insurgencies dates back to the early 1990s when the country broke out into civil war.
  • Al Shabaab, meaning “the youth,” was formed in 2006, was designated by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in March 2008, and officially pledged allegiance to al Qaeda in 2012.

AMISOM has been spearheading the campaign against al Shabaab since its establishment in January 2007. A regional peacekeeping mission comprised of forces from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, AMISOM was initially granted a six-month mandate by the UN and the African Union’s Peace and Security Council to provide stability in Somalia and support the country’s national reconciliation government.

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