Fighting for Peace in Somalia provides the first comprehensive analysis of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), an operation deployed in 2007 to stabilize the country and defend its fledgling government from one of the world's deadliest militant organizations, Harakat al-Shabaab.

The book's two parts provide a history of the mission from its genesis in an earlier, failed regional initiative in 2005 up to mid-2017, as well as an analysis of the mission's six most important challenges, namely, logistics, security sector reform, civilian protection, strategic communications, stabilization, and developing a successful exit strategy. These issues are all central to the broader debates about how to design effective peace operations in Africa and beyond.

AMISOM was remarkable in several respects: it would become the African Union's (AU) largest peace operation by a considerable margin deploying over 22,000 soldiers; it became the longest running mission under AU command and control, outlasting the nearest contender by over seven years; it also became the AU's most expensive operation, at its peak costing approximately US$1 billion per year; and, sadly, AMISOM became the AU's deadliest mission. Although often referred to as a peacekeeping
operation, AMISOM's troops were given a range of daunting tasks that went well beyond the realm of peacekeeping, including VIP protection, war-fighting, counterinsurgency, stabilization, and state-building as well as supporting electoral processes and facilitating humanitarian assistance.


Chapter One: Genesis: October 2004 to March 2007

Chapter Two: Entry: March 2007 to January 2009

Chapter Three: Stalemate: January 2009 to August 2010

Chapter Four: Offensive: September 2010 to October 2011

Chapter Five: Expansion: October 2011 to September 2012

Chapter Six: Consolidation: September 2012 to December 2013

Chapter Seven: Surge: January 2014 to May 2017

Chapter Eight: Logistics

Chapter Nine: Security Sector Reform

Chapter Ten: Protecting Civilians

Chapter Eleven: Strategic Communications

Chapter Twelve: Stabilization

Chapter Thirteen: Exit


"The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is the AU's largest, most ambitious, most complex and most dangerous peace support operation. It has rivaled and often surpassed United Nations peace missions in size and challenges. Paul Williams has written a thorough, extremely detailed, comprehensive, balanced and thoughtful account of the mission. It is indispensible for any policymaker or scholar of Somalia, and a model for how academic analyses of peace operations should be written." - Alex de Waal The World Peace Foundation 

About the Author
Image of Paul D. Williams
Paul D. Williams

Paul D. Williams is Associate Professor in the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University. Dr. Williams is also a Non-Resident Senior Adviser at the International Peace Institute in New York where he manages the Providing for Peacekeeping Project. Between 2014-15, Dr. Williams served as a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center while working on this book. Read More