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Geopolitical Dynamics in the Horn of Africa and Mechanisms for Collaboration between NATO and IGAD Countries

Introduction

This paper details the main findings of a study conducted during a two-week Joint Production Workshop between IPSS and the HUB carried out for the first week in NSD-S Hub facilities in Naples and for the second week in Addis Ababa.
The Horn of Africa is generally said to comprise the states of Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea. However, South Sudan and the Sudan are also directly affected by the Horn’s politico-economic factors. The security situation in this sub-region is highly complex due to several socio-economic, political and geo-political factors which range from extreme poverty to maritime insecurity. The sub-region is also rich in natural resources including potash and diamonds, and a significant portion of the world’s crude oil passes through the Aden-Suez canal route, making the Horn of Africa one of the world’s most critical regions in terms of security. International relationships between the countries in the Horn of Africa have been significantly influenced by the international and regional power relationships over the last two decades. At the end of the 20th century the newly established State of Eritrea and Ethiopia, whose government was led by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), attempted to create stability in the region. However, the war that broke out between these two countries (1998-2008) and the expansion of terrorist groups and piracy in the region brought about new security threats which made the sub-region volatile and susceptible to the influence of international and regional powers.

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