AMISOM Photo / Tobin Jones

Issue No: 3/2021

COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor – 24 February 2021

During the COVID-19 crisis ACCORD's analysis will be focused on the impact of the pandemic on conflict and resilience in Africa.

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ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
References: AfricaCDC, ACLED and African Arguments

In this week’s Monitor we feature Ambassador Said Djinnit, Senior Political Advisor at ACCORD, who assesses the significance of the 34th AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government, that took place in Addis Ababa, and remotely, earlier in February.

This week we also focus on the renewal of the mandate of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) which is being discussed in the UN Security Council this week. Professor Thomas Mandrup reflects on the progress achieved by AMISOM to date, as well as the choices facing the Security Council. Yusuf Mussa sketches the background leading up to the current political crisis in Somalia, and Anab Ovidie Grand and Kheira Tarif unpacks the climate-related security risks facing Somalia.

Special Guest Editor
Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Chief Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor​
Photo: GCIS
Photo: GCIS

The 34th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly of Heads of State and Government was held virtually due to COVID-19 pandemic from the 6th-7th February 2021. The Summit focussed on Africa’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic; progress in the AU institutional reform and the election of a new Bureau for the AU Commission.

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The African Union (AU) mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has been deployed in Somalia since 2007 and has significantly improved the security situation in Somalia. The main insurgency group, Al-Shabaab, is still present in most areas of Somalia. The postponed elections have created increased political tension and confrontations between the security forces and opposition supporters. The deterioration in the political situation constitutes a direct threat to the gains made since 2007. This takes place against the backdrop of COVID-19, which in recent weeks, has caused a rise in positive cases thereby exacerbating an increasingly difficult humanitarian crisis.

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Photo by: AFP via Getty Images
Photo by: AFP via Getty Images
Yusuf Mussa
Political Unrest or Violence

The State of Somalia: Electoral Impasse and Growing Insecurity

  • Yusuf Mussa

At the time of writing, the term of Somalia’s bicameral parliament and the presidency have both expired. Between July and September 2020, four conferences were held and attended by leaders of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the Federal Member States (FMS). Led by Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi ‘Farmaajo’, three out of the four conferences ended without an agreement that had the full consensus of all parties. Since the establishment of a Federal Somalia in 2004, there has been a contentious relationship between the centre (FGS) and periphery (FMS), stemming from the lack of consensus on the nature and the scope of Somalia’s federation. This tense relationship has contributed to a fragmented political environment that has hindered a common agenda on national priorities. With no meaningful amelioration during President Farmaajo’s four-year term, this state of affairs has negatively impacted Somalia as it enters national elections in February 2021.

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ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Source: Climate, Peace & Security Fact Sheet: Somalia, February 2021 copyright NUPI and SIPRI
Livelihood Insecurity & Economic Impact

The Impact of Climate Change on Peace and Security in Somalia: Implications for AMISOM

  • Kheira Tarif
  • Anab Ovidie Grand

The February 2021 mandate renewal for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is an opportunity to review what we know about climate change and security in Somalia, and to consider what governments and multilateral organisations can do to improve the way they manage climate related security risks. Research finds no direct causal relationship between climate and conflict but has identified multiple pathways through which climate-related change interacts with political, social, and environmental stresses to compound existing vulnerabilities and tensions. These factors combined can undermine development gains, impact the dynamics of ongoing violence and disrupt fragile peace processes. Additional pressures, such as COVID-19, compound the risk and makes a country like Somalia even more vulnerable to shocks and setbacks, as the recent political crisis shows. 

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ACCORD recognizes its longstanding partnerships with the European Union, and the Governments of Canada, Finland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, UK, and USA.

ACCORD recognizes its longstanding partnerships with the European Union, and the Governments of Canada, Finland, Ireland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, UK, and USA.