Paul D. Williams

Policy and Research Papers

The Battle at El Adde: The Kenya Defence Forces, al-Shabaab, and Unanswered Questions


In January 2016, Kenya suffered its largest ever military defeat at the battle of El Adde in the Gedo region of Somalia. Yet many of the questions surrounding this attack remain unanswered. On the six-month anniversary of the battle at El Adde, this report provides a preliminary analysis of the battle and some of the wider issues with respect to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

This issue brief from the International Peace Institute (IPI) lays out a number of lessons the attack on El Adde can offer to the Kenya Defence Forces, AMISOM, and all peace operations engaged in various forms of stabilization and counterinsurgency.

To access the Battle at El Adde: The Kenya Defence Forces, al-Shabaab, and Unanswered Questions issue brief, kindly follow the link.


UN Support to Regional Peace Operations: Lessons from UNSOA

This report analyzes five sets of challenges that UNSOA faced from 2009 through to 2015. These challenges revolved around the expanding scope of UNSOA’s tasks, the clash between the UN and the AU’s organizational cultures, the highly insecure operating environment, the size of the theater of operations, and some of AMISOM’s idiosyncrasies. On the basis of these challenges, the report offers several lessons for future UN support for regional peace operations.

To access the full paper UN Support to Regional Peace Operations: Lessons from UNSOA, kindly click on the link.


Logistics Partnerships in Peace Operations

Logistics support is both critical to the safety and health of peacekeepers and vital to success at every stage of a peace operation—especially in the high-threat environments where both UN and regional peace operations are increasingly deployed. Contemporary peace operations are based on logistics partnerships, with support provided by a range of actors including states, international organizations, and commercial contractors.

This report focuses on logistics partnerships that support UN operations and regional peace operations in Africa. Drawing on two UN missions and fifteen regional operations in Africa, it describes, compares, and traces the evolution of these two kinds of logistics partnerships and provides recommendations for improving them. 

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Exit Strategy Challenges for the AU Mission in Somalia

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) alone cannot defeat al-Shabaab. This can only happen if AMISOM can partner with a capable, legitimate and inclusive set of Somali security forces. Unfortunately, over the last decade, Somalia’s political leaders have failed to forge a political settlement that charts an agreed pathway towards creating an effective set of professional national security forces.

For full access to Exit Strategy Challenges for the AU Mission in Somalia, kindly follow the link.



The Oxford Handbook of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations

The Oxford Handbook of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations provides an innovative, authoritative, and accessible examination and critique of all 67 United Nations peacekeeping operations launched between 1948 and 2013.

Since the late 1940s, but particularly since the end of the cold war, peacekeeping has been the most visible and one of the most important activities of the United Nations and a significant part of global security governance and conflict management. The volume offers a chapter-by-chapter chronological analysis, designed to provide a comprehensive overview that highlights the evolution, changing nature and overall impact of UN peacekeeping. It also includes a collection of thematic chapters that examine key issues such as major trends of peace operations, the link between peacekeeping, humanitarian interventions and the responsibility to protect, peacekeeping and international law, the UN's inter-organizational partnerships and how to evaluate success or failure. l This handbook brings together leading scholars and senior practitioners in order to provide a comprehensive assessment of the successes, failures and lessons learned of UN peacekeeping since 1948. This is a unique reference book for scholars and practitioners working in the field of international relations, international security, peacekeeping and global governance.