Key Challenges Facing AMISOM in Military Diplomacy in the Horn of Africa

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Musoma Albert Lusiola

Keywords

Key Challenges Facing AMISOM, Military Diplomacy, Horn of Africa, Peace and Security

Abstract

The world over, military diplomacy has not been always successful. This stems out of the fact that it could be faced by a plethora of challenges. This paper sets out to explore the key challenges facing AMISOM in military diplomacy in the Horn of Africa.  The study adopted an exploratory and mixed methods research design. Data was obtained from a sample of 100 persons sampled from a population of 22,315 AMISOM Staff and Civilian contingent. The study employed a breadth of both primary and secondary sources for data collection. Primary data was being collected from study respondents by means of a research questionnaire and an interview schedule. The data analysis process involved both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Content analysis was mainly used to analyze the qualitative data and which would be reported normatively. Quantitative research findings were analyzed and reported using descriptive statistics, tables, graphs, charts and inferential statistics in Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS v23). Moreover, the data analysis was structured objectively to address each of the study research questions.  The findings show that while competing interests may have clouded the scene at regional level, partly alluded to lack of a common approach to deal with the Somalia issue among the various countries, military diplomatic engagements by AMISOM are the most agreeable way to address regional peace and security. The study highlights the greater need for revised strategies in military diplomacy efforts and novel approaches to address competing interests among troop contributing countries that comprise AMISOM. Based on the study findings, the following recommendations were made. Arguably, the most important dimension of its success is hinged on the strategic unity and partnership of the different troops. At present however, the inconsistency in unity and strategic alliance among these countries continue to challenge the seamless command and probably influence the implementation of different military diplomacy strategies based on competing interests. Further, while assets remain a critical component of military diplomacy, the success of such multidimensional peace operations is equally anchored on a civilian component and the need for civilian capabilities. The realization of effective peacemaking and peacekeeping calls for efficient management structures at the field and in Addis for strategic and support of mission teams. AMISOM currently experiences an insufficient institutional capacity and human resources required to effectively handle complex peace operations and peacemaking initiatives. Recent assessment reveals the institution bureaucratic processes are still weak.

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