The Horn of Africa: Intra-State and Inter-State Conflicts and Security

Eritrea, Ethiopia
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The legitimacy of its claim to self-determination was based on its past as a colony. In the aftermath of World War II and of the defeat of the Italian forces in the region, Eritrea was under a transitory British Military Administration up to the controversial international decision to grant Eritrea autonomy within a federation with Ethiopia The federation was abrogated in and Eritrea was incorporated as the 14th Province of the Ethiopian Empire.

This decision resulted in a three-decade war for independence in Eritrea and it was only reversed in in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Derg by the combined EPLF and the TPLF forces. Eritrea finally became independent on 24 May , after a referendum. This aspect acquires particular significance in mitigating and eliminating potential tensions arising out of border disputes.

As the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea confirmed, once established, borders can only be changed at great cost and this border remains a barrier between peoples Dias, ; Clapham, Contiguous neighbouring countries and length of shared boundaries between dyads. Source: Anderson ,,,,,, First, politics and conflict in the Horn of Africa need to be understood simultaneously in the domestic, regional and global political arenas.

Third, the existing literature on weak and failed states overlooks how these states undergo processes of reconfiguration Doornbos, and how regional actors mobilize local and global agendas in order to pursue their own aims in the domestic and regional arenas. Fourth, the study of local actors highlights their agency as they compete with other actors for control of critical local resources.

Fifth the recurrence of conflict in the domestic and regional political arenas hampers accommodation of different groups' demands and perpetuates the reproduction of the practice of resorting to armed force to negotiate political space and obtain control of the state Kaiser and Okumu, However, external involvement has not reduced the agency of the states in the region.

Inter-State Conflicts in the Horn of Africa

The events have overridden planning and have shaped policy approaches towards the region rather than the other way round. If this holds true for most of African countries, in the Horn it becomes more salient when bearing in mind key events that have had as their outcome the reinforcement of a shifting pattern of alliances. During the Cold War, the first one was the war between Ethiopia and Somalia.

At this critical juncture the US fell short of losing an anchor state in the region. When Mengistu failed to obtain military support from Washington, following the logic of superpower rivalry, Ethiopia turned its back on the US and successfully sought an alternative external patron in Moscow. During this period the US sustained its involvement through support for the Khartoum, Nairobi and Mogadishu axis and for non-state actors that shared the common aim of overthrowing the Derg regime in Ethiopia.

The aim was to contain the expansion of communism in the region. As a result, relations between the US and Sudan deteriorated, culminating in the placement of Sudan in the US list of states harbouring terrorists in and the shutdown of the US embassy in Khartoum in Iyob and Keller, First the unexpected escalation of a border incident into a full-scale war between Ethiopia and Eritrea in May made the post-Cold War Addis-Asmara-Kampala axis falter.

The perpetrators of the attack were said to be part of Al Qaeda's Eastern Africa cell and Somalia was used as a transit point. At the time, the US Administration even considered approving military action in Somalia Menkhaus, In particular, interplays between domestic politics and external relations, intra-regional affairs and the impact of international events on the region are their key focus.

The aim of the book is therefore to enhance knowledge on the Horn of Africa from a regional perspective, grounded on secondary and primary empirical evidence. Which are the historical, economic, political, territorial and environmental factors that have led to the recurrence of conflict in the Horn of Africa? What role have international interventions played in the dynamics of conflict in the Horn of Africa? However, the authors converge in bringing to our attention key changes on the domestic front and in relations between state and society within Ethiopia that place it in an uncertain predicament.

In chapter 1 Ramos reflects on the domestic and regional cleavage between Muslims and Christians. She argues that this intervention was the product of a securitisation move with domestic, regional and broader international aims. With regard to the connection between Ethiopia and US policies in Somalia, the author draws our attention to the need to introduce an element of caution in our analysis.

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She argues that the link was not clear and was indeed avoided. Chapter 2's key contribution is to offer an analysis on Ethiopian intervention in Somalia in relation to its own socio-political domestic context. Sousa centre their analysis of the region in light of the potential and limitations of the new African Peace and Security Architecture.

Pedro Barge Cunha focuses on the role of non-state actors in the region and more specifically on the role of private military and security companies in Somalia. Alexandra M. She challenges our conventional understanding of the central role of oil as a cause of conflict. She puts forward the argument that both land and water have been overlooked in conflict analysis in the two case studies, highlighting that these factors should stand as additional natural resources to be considered in a complex puzzle of conflicts.

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In fact, the case studies show that in contrast to the European experience the outcome of war should be analysed on a case-by-case basis. The focus on the trajectories of the state and the relationship between state and society on a case-by-case basis offers a unique vantage point in understanding the international implications of each country's domestic trajectories in the state formation process.

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However the most fascinating and challenging dynamics are still taking place in the domestic and regional fields. Abbink, J. Anderson, E. Call, C.

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Catley, A. Clapham, C. Nuguent and A. Asiwaju eds.

References:

Hassner and Roland Marchal eds. Boas and Kevin C. Dunn eds. Cliffe, L. Compagnon, D. Clapham ed. Dias, A. Doornbos, M. Iyob, R. Bekoe ed. Jacquin-Berdal, D. Kaiser, P. And W. Okumu eds. Keller, E. Lake and Patrick M. Morgan eds. Kiflemariam Gebrewold, A.

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Kornprobst, M. However, even though local conflict dynamics and structural violence are strongly correlated with conflicts at the national and regional levels, these realities are often sidelined in regional and global decision-making circles.

The Horn of Africa: Intra-State and Inter-State Conflicts and Security

See our updated Privacy Policy to find out more about cookies and how we use your data. Lisboa: Centro de Estudos Internacionais. Use of this Web site signifies your agreement to the terms and conditions. The contributors show how regional and international interventions have compounded pre-existing tensions and have been driven by competing national interests linked to Western intervention and acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia. Read the book's Introduction here kB downloads. Ingiriis, M.

Indeed regional and continental peace and security has been a prominent theme on the agenda of the African Union AU and bodies such as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development IGAD - the primary sub-regional body tasked with ensuring peace and security in the Horn of Africa Region. National, regional and continental leaders have shown a growing commitment to address the peace and security, as well as development challenges of the continent. For example, the African Union AU has devised the African Peace and Security Architecture through which it coordinates its continental conflict prevention, resolution and post-conflict resolution efforts.

IGAD on its part plans to expand the mandates of the conflict early warning response mechanism CEWARN that was successful in preventing and managing cross-border pastoralist conflicts. Despite these laudable efforts, many observers and analysts agree that regional peacebuilding responses have been scant and uncoordinated in the Horn of Africa.

Further, most of these regional responses at the IGAD and AU level have taken a more state-centric and militaristic approach that is often limited to conflict management.