"Black Hawks Rising" tells the story of the formation and deployment of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) in March 2007. Initially confined to peacekeeping within the Mogadishu enclave, it transformed into a peace-making mission. Many - including the author, who predicted the mission was DOA (Dead on Arrival) - gave the mission little chance of success. As a fighting force, however, AMISOM took on the Somali insurgents in 2010; expelled them from Central Mogadishu on Saturday, 6 August 2011; and expanded control of territory under the Somali Government in the succeeding years to most of Somalia. The opening chapters of the book take the reader behind the scenes to highlight the inconsistent - and sometimes disastrous - US policy in the Horn of Africa generally, and in Somalia (specifically dating back to the Kennedy administration in the early 1960s). Under President George Bush, the US strongly and vigorously opposed deployment of regional African troops in Somalia - instead sponsoring Somali factions to fight against each other and, when that flopped, egged on Ethiopia to invade Somalia in December 2006, which caused the rise of violent insurgency that spilled across borders. Young jihadists streamed from the heart of USA to fight the invaders. To clean up the mess, the Bush administration finally supported the deployment of regional troops. Black Hawks Rising captures intimately the stories of the men and women who made up AMISOM: their triumphs, setbacks and victories. The spotlight focuses on the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF), whose Herculean efforts supported by Burundi National Defence Forces (BNDF) - and later the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), Forces Armes Djiboutiennes (FAD), Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) and Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) - were pivotal to the success of the mission. Their dedication, professionalism, ideological commitment, hard work and humanity turned Somalia from a wasted nation to one with hope for peace, stability and a better future for the Somali people. Like Heru - the Hawk-God of Ancient Egypt - AMISOM's new breed of African peace-warriors have demonstrated the capacity to work across borders regionally, continent-wide and globally to help resolve conflicts whenever and wherever they arise - protecting lives and property, and preventing genocides before they happen.
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