The Horn of Africa Studies Program
This program focuses on monitoring and analyzing latest developments occurring in the Horn of Africa and their political, economic, security and military repercussions. Also, it tries to explore potential avenues for developing Yemen's relationships with the other countries of the region.
The Rise and Fall of Mogadishuĺs Islamic CourtsAuther: || Date:
During 2006 a variety of Islamist organizations, centered on a long-standing network of local Islamic or sharia courts in Mogadishu, had come together under an umbrella organization, popularly known in the Western media as the Islamic Courts Union. As the movement coalesced and seized control of Mogadishu, the Islamic Courts Union became an alternative to the internationally recognized, but internally disputed, Transitional Federal Government, then restricted to Baidoa. To the outside world, where the shift in the politics of Somalia had gone largely unnoticed, the Courts’ sudden ascendance looked like a carefully planned Islamic revolution. The reality was far more complex.
SOMALIA:Line in the Sand-Indentification of Mym vulnerabilitiesAuther: || Date:
The disintegrating state of Somalia is located at the strategic crossroads of Africa and the Middle East, with one foot mired in clan warfare and intra-Horn of Afri¬ca’s politics, and another stretching across the Red Sea into an increasingly globalized salafi-jihadi and mari-time struggle. The region is important to the United States for reasons of naval security and commerce, but also for the protection of troops stationed in Djibouti and continuing counterterror (CT) efforts in the Horn and Yemen. The U.S. Government, the Department of Defense (DoD), and the international community are devoting increasing resources to fighting extremism in the region, hoping to subdue a devastating trend of chaos caused by Islamic radicals. As our focus on the al-Qa’ida (AQ) affiliated al-Shabaab group continues, so must our focus on developing an increasingly wise toolbox with which to defeat its cause. Thus, policy¬makers must seriously assess al-Shabaab’s strengths and weaknesses to allow CT efforts in the region the upper hand in fighting an international terrorist ideol¬ogy.
Eritreaĺs economic survivalAuther: || Date:
The conference focused on the political economy of Eritrea in the ‘no war – no peace’ stalemate that has prevailed since the 1998–2000 conflict with Ethiopia.The war and its aftermath have deprived Eritrea of its key economic role as the external trading outlet for the Ethiopian hinterland. In addition, a very large section of the productive population remains tied up in compulsory military service or national development programs. This has affected food production, exacerbating shortages at the same time as major international food security programs have closed down.But Eritrea’s economy has not collapsed. In increasing isolation, it continues a policy of economic autarky. Defying the logic of the so-called Washington Consensus, it restricts free enterprise and has tightened state control of all aspects of the economy. Most of the international donors have left, exasperated by Eritrea’s difficult policy environment.Official Eritrean explanations for the country’s endurance centre on the courage and strength of its people. The conference sought to get behind this rhetoric to understand the mechanics of population control, including control of the diaspora, and the remittance economy, as well as refugee flight, as part of the survival strategy of the Eritrean state.
Sudan where is the comprehensive peace agreement heading?Auther: || Date:
On 23 November 2007 the Horn of Africa Group1 held a seminar at Chatham House on Sudan and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). At a time when the CPA implementation was clearly faltering, the seminar brought together a mix of officials and opinion leaders from Sudan, together with academic specialists and foreign policy-makers. The aims of the seminar were threefold: to assess the obstacles to implementation and what should be done to overcome them; to anticipate risks of a return to conflict and any mitigating steps that could be taken to avoid them; and to identify areas of CPA implementation where energy and attention need to be focused, whether by the local actors or by international supporters of the process.
Southern Sudan at the crossroadsAuther: || Date:
An historic event for Sudan, indeed for all of Africa, is due to take place on January 9, 2011. On this day, Southern Sudanese citizens will be taking part in a referendum to decide whether or not to secede from the rest of Sudan or remain united with the 15 Northern States. Based on 63 focus groups conducted from February 5–March 16, 2010 with 779 participants in Southern Sudan, this report seeks to understand the mindset of participants living in Southern Sudan as they head into this momentous vote.