Seeking Peace in Somalia A Review of the Impact of AMISOM Police

"The challenge of making and keeping peace in Somalia, Dr Kisiangani observed, is also about how to strike the right balance between the need for achieving peace in the country and addressing external concerns, including those of Ethiopia (i.e. its fear of the establishment of an unfriendly government in Somalia), and also the power struggle between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The other external dimension that needs to be factored in is the question of the ‘war against terror’. He argued that the nature of the conflict in Somalia is such that peace processes that involve political settlements among factional leaders are highly inadequate. He said there is need for transformative approaches that include institutional building, control of the movement of arms, grass root reconciliation, and the deconstruction of divisive clan relations and discourses, as well as a reconfiguration of the war economy. In his concluding remarks, Dr Kisiangani referred to the general perception and concern among some observers that Al Shabaab would introduce a Taliban-style government based on an archaic interpretation of the Qur’an. He argued that a major irony is that international efforts to prevent Al Shabaab from taking power have been used by the group to discredit the TFG and promote themselves as freedom fighters, thus making the TFG and AMISOM seem like foreign impositions."