Mar 4, 2019

The Gains Made by Amisom and the AU in Somalia

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Somalia’s political system fell into anarchy in 1990 after a civil war ravaged the country. For much of the subsequent history, the country has been characterized by fleeing refugees, a state of disrepair and terror groups. Al Shabaab specifically, gained so much control over the years that it even started spreading its tentacles to the neighbouring Eastern Africa region. However, following a series of attacks in the area the African Union saw fit to intervene in the situation. It has been over a decade since the first Amisom, AU backed forces, arrived in the troubled country.

There have been significant gains made by the security forces in the country. The most apparent is the dramatic reduction in terrorist incidents since 2008. Statistics indicate that Al Shabaab has lost its influence in the region considerably. This occurrence can be linked to another campaign involving the liberation of towns by various foreign security forces. As of 2018, peacekeeping troops had pushed Al Shabaab out of over 80% of Somali territory.  The result has been the cessation of illegal taxation that the terror groups had been using to fund their activities. They have now been cornered in a small town in the southern region of the country hence the reduction in their activities in the territory. However, this achievement came at a price. When the militant group saw that they were losing their grip, they changed their tactics relying mainly on asymmetric and under handed tactics aimed at innocent civilians for media attention.

The rebuilding campaign evidences the progress made so far in the country. Statistics indicate that Mogadishu is growing at the rate of 6.9 % annually meaning that people are flocking in to settle and start businesses in Somalia’s capital. Consequently, the economy is recuperating at a reassuring rate with booming real estate and service industries. The relevant infrastructure has also been reinstated. For instance, the revenue collection agency is in operation, and the country’s central bank is already formulating the appropriate policies to govern the young economy. The international community acknowledges the relative stability of the country as well. The World Bank, for example, has appointed a representative in Somalia while the IMF thoroughly reviewed the economy for the first time in over two decades. Furthermore, the government of Somalia has managed to recruit and train a 5000-member police force ensuring that they can protect their residents. Lastly, the immigration department has been active with current reports indicating significant progress.

Indeed, the country has experienced a visible and quantifiable evolution in the last 11 years of Amisom intervention. It has gone from a state of anarchy to a functioning government with a steadily growing economy.

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