This week on The Horn, Alan is joined by think tank director Dr. Hassan Khannenje to discuss Africa’s largely ambivalent response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as the continent carefully balances multiple strategic interests.
Side deals between President Salva Kiir and renegade opposition leaders jeopardise the 2018 agreement that ended the worst fighting of South Sudan’s civil war. East African mediators should press the principal combatants – Kiir and Riek Machar – to restart talks on the issues that divide them.
The African Union Mission in Somalia’s UN mandate is nearing its end. Despite the mission’s mixed record, its withdrawal could allow Islamist Al-Shabaab insurgents to take over the country. A mandate extension would allow Somalia, donors and partners to agree on a reconfiguration and funding.
The combatants in northern Ethiopia are digging in for a long fight, despite high fatalities and famine conditions for civilians. The war looks set to worsen. Outside powers should back the African Union’s new envoy in urging the parties to move instead toward a ceasefire.
Upon South Sudan’s independence in 2011, many hoped the country’s oil wealth would help build the state and lift citizens out of poverty. Instead, politicians have shunted these revenues toward patronage and personal enrichment, feeding internal conflict. Transparency and accountability are badly needed.
Somaliland took an important step toward stable democracy with parliamentary and local council polls on 31 May. To keep moving in this direction, authorities and the opposition should build consensus on how to run future voting and how to make the government more inclusive.
In mid-December, Sudanese troops moved into al-Fashaga, an agricultural area on the frontier with Ethiopia, expelling Ethiopian farmers and building fortifications. Fighting threatens to escalate. With assistance from outside mediators, the two countries should convene talks about restoring the shared land-use agreement that prevailed beforehand.
The swearing-in of MPs [in Somalia] is certainly a major step whose significance goes beyond symbolism.
The fact that the Tigrayans [in Ethiopia] are making suggestions for a negotiated settlement involving forceful international action is ... positive, but these are ultimately unrealistic proposals.
As long as the election cycle and current tensions [in Somalia] drag on, the attention of the political elite will be more inwardly focused, while other priorities lag behind.
When the political elite [in Somalia] are focused on each other, attention turns away from the battle against al-Shabab.
If [Ethiopian President] Abiy survives the conflict in power, he will likely be thankful to Beijing and Moscow for protecting him at the UN during the war.
If [Kenyan President] Kenyatta can achieve a ceasefire that potentially stops a catastrophic confrontation among warring actors in Ethiopia, that would give him quite an extraordinary win.
The CrisisWatch Digest Somalia offers a monthly one-page snapshot of conflict-related country trends in a clear, accessible format, using a map of the region to pinpoint developments.
The CrisisWatch Digest Ethiopia offers a monthly one-page snapshot of conflict-related country trends in a clear, accessible format, using a map of the region to pinpoint developments.
This week on The Horn, guest host Nicolas Delaunay is joined by Nazanine Moshiri, Crisis Group’s climate & security expert, to discuss the complex, often dangerous relationship between climate stresses and conflict in the Horn and on the continent more broadly.
Originally published in WPR