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Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
Nairobi

Crisis Group Role

Alan is the director of the Horn of Africa Project at Crisis Group and, since 2019, hosts Crisis Group's fortnightly The Horn podcast. He joined Crisis Group in 2018 as the senior analyst for South Sudan. 

Professional Background

Alan has worked for over a decade in East Africa. He started his career as a Nairobi-based journalist in 2009, then covered Sudan's divorce into two countries as a Juba-based journalist in 2010-2011 before returning to Nairobi as an Africa correspondent, reporting from Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Central African Republic, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. Alan has written for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Time magazine, The Atlantic, and a variety of U.S. newspapers.

Following the outbreak of civil war in South Sudan, Alan served as a formal adviser and researcher for a number of organisations, including the United Nations, USAID, U.S. Institute of Peace, European Institute of Peace, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Folke Bernadotte Academy, Friedrich Egbert Stiftung and World Peace Foundation. Prior to joining Crisis Group, Alan regularly published conflict research through the Small Arms Survey and was an associate of the Conflict Research Programme at the London School of Economics.

Select Publications

In The News

9 Aug 2021
There is still no sign of a broader reset in South Sudanese politics [...] instead, the divisions just keep mounting. New York Times

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
9 Jul 2021
[South Sudan] is just, unfortunately, in a much worse spot than it was 10 years ago. Whenever I talk with various diplomats from different countries [...] they all fear cutting humanitarian aid to South Sudan would just cause more misery. Both the South Sudanese and the outside world feel a bit stuck at the moment. Al Jazeera

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
13 Aug 2020
Disarmament in South Sudan resembles an abusive counterinsurgency operation, not an orderly collection of arms, which the local militias often resist giving up. The New York Times

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
8 May 2020
The disagreement between Kiir and Machar has endangered the gains made toward a lasting peace. Reuters

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
20 Feb 2020
"[South Sudan president Kiir and former rebel leader Machar] still have much to work through, but Machar was unlikely to extract more significant concessions before forming the government. Reuters

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa
16 Feb 2020
[In South Sudan] the dispute over the configuration of states became a major impasse blocking the peace process from moving towards a unity government. Al Jazeera

Alan Boswell

Project Director, Horn of Africa

Latest Updates

Podcast / Africa

A Strategy for Exploring Talks with Al-Shabaab in Somalia

This week on The Horn, Alan is joined by Crisis Group expert Omar Mahmood to discuss avenues for achieving peace in Somalia, amid the growing consensus that Al-Shabaab will not be beaten by military means alone.

Podcast / Africa

How Somalia’s Election Reshapes the Region

This week on The Horn, Alan is joined by former Somali minister Abdi Aynte – who served under newly elected president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s previous administration – to discuss what to expect from Somalia’s new government, at home and abroad.

Podcast / Africa

What Africa Really Thinks about the War in Ukraine

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.

Podcast / Africa

What Now for Russia in Africa?

This week on The Horn, Alan is joined by researcher Samuel Ramani to discuss Russia’s influence in Africa and how the geopolitical spillover from the Ukraine war might play out on the continent.