Political transitions in the Horn of Africa, notably Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia, had offered hope for more democratic, civilian-led governance and enhanced regional stability. However, since 2018 they have been disrupted by a series of crises and shifting regional dynamics shaped by long-standing and new political forces. The outbreak of war in Sudan in April 2023 and the ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia – whose epicentre shifted to the Amhara region in August 2023 – have brought to the fore the entanglement of regional interests with domestic security and political developments. Massive displacement, humanitarian emergencies in borderland areas and the involvement of neighbouring states in ongoing crises have impacted national security calculations in the region. There are evolving transnational security issues in Somalia, with Al Shabaab occupying borderland spaces, coupled with neighbouring ‘frontline’ states’ involvement in the military operations to defeat it, further entangling national interests with wider conflict dynamics in the region.
At this event, panellists will discuss the increasing regionalization of conflict in the Horn of Africa, and how it has become entangled with national interests. They will also discuss the key areas where regional, continental, and international actors can better coordinate responses to address the conflict, defuse cross-border tensions, and promote consolidated stability in the region.
Speakers include the following:
Samira Gaid, Regional Security Analyst
Nada Wanni, Independent Researcher, Consultant & Development Practitioner
Dr Abel Abate Demissie, Associate Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House
Chair: Ahmed Soliman, Senior Research Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House
This Chatham House event is part of the Cross-Border Conflict Evidence, Policy and Trends (XCEPT) research programme, funded by UK International Development.