Burundi Field Research Plan

Understanding Local Dynamics of Peacekeeping Operations and Humanitarian Aid in Somalia – Interviews with Burundi Peacekeeping Forces


AMISOM deploys female peacekeepers in Somalia

AMISOM deploys female peacekeepers from Burundi in Somalia. Photo Credit: Somalia Online|Deeq Awil

My research examines the combined effects of third-party peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, and development interventions on resiliency of different actors in civil conflict, using Somalia as a case study.  Understanding the effects of these interventions requires knowledge of what is happening on the ground at the local level and how the local level dynamics impact the broader conflict. These interviews will provide unique insights on those local dynamics from the perspective of the peacekeeping troops from Burundi in their support role to AMISOM.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is mandated to conduct Peace Support Operations in Somalia to stabilize the situation in the country to create conditions for the conduct of Humanitarian activities and an immediate take over by the United Nations (UN).[1]   Tasks are to:

  1. Support dialogue & reconciliation in Somalia, working with all stakeholders.
  2. Provide protection to Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) & key infrastructure to enable them carry out their functions.
  3. Assist in the implementation of the National Security Stabilization Program (NSSP).
  4. Provide technical assistance & other support to the disarmament and stabilization efforts.
  5. Monitor the security situation in areas of operation.
  6. Facilitate humanitarian operations including repatriation of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
  7. Protect AMISOM personnel, installations and equipment, including self-defense

Since 2007, Burundi has provided the second largest contingent of AMISOM troops, having sent six battle groups, provided three Deputy Force Commanders, and maintaining 5432 at the end of 2013.   Burundi troops have been based in Baidoa where they were responsible for Sector 3 covering Bay and Bakook regions, but have also maintained troops in Sector 1 (Mogadishu) where they work closely with the Ugandan troops.   Since the introduction of troops from Ethiopia and Sierra Leone, Burundi troops have taken charge of Sector 5, which covers the Middle Shabelle region.   Troops typically stay for 12-month rotations.

 Profile of interview subjects:

  • Senior officers and soldiers at battalion and command unit levels engaged in stabilization and protection missions
  • Officer(s) from Senior Leadership team providing training, mentoring and advisory support to Somalia Police Force and Somalia National Army
  • Soldiers on the ground in Somalia involved in securing humanitarian corridors, logistics, and/or escorting convoys for the delivery of aid
  • Civil-military affairs officers or soldiers assigned to interface with civilians and/or the AMISOM civilian components in Somalia for non-security assistance
  • Instructors who train Burundi troops to deploy for AMISOM missions.

 Interview Questions

The questions are for interviewing peacekeepers from Burundi who have been deployed to the AMISOM mission in Somalia.   The questions fall into three broad categories:  understanding the perception of the local conflict drivers from the perspective of the peacekeeping troops, understanding the intended outcomes of the peace operations and the local dynamics that impact the success of achieving those outcomes, and the relationship on the ground between peace operations and humanitarian aid interventions.

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