Saudi Seeks to Replace UAE and Qatar

June 14, 2021

Saudi Arabia has stepped up efforts to outflank the United Arab Emirates and Qatar as the commercial, cultural and/or geostrategic hub in the Gulf. The Saudis recently expanded their challenge to the smaller Gulf states by seeking to position Saudi Arabia as the region’s foremost sports...

Why Is Somalia’s Political Crisis So Difficult to Solve?

May 24, 2021

There seems to be no end in sight for the political crisis in Somalia. On February 8, the mandate of President Muhammad Abdullahi Muhammad, commonly known as Farmajo, expired without a date set for either parliamentary or presidential elections. The protests called by the opposition Council of the...

Russia Joins the Red Sea Scramble

February 09, 2021

Russia has come back to the crowded Red Sea. On November 11, 2020, the Russian government announced its agreement with Sudan to establish a naval base at the city of Port Sudan. While the Russian navy already enjoys access rights to the port, the concession with Khartoum envisages the creation of...

Ethiopia’s Heavy Hand in Tigray Sends a Message

January 05, 2021

The crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region has come to an end — at least on the surface. In November 2020, the Ethiopian National Defense Force quickly recaptured all urban areas in Tigray with the support of the Amhara Fano militia and the Eritrean military. Although the parties avoided major...

Israel’s Comeback in the Horn of Africa

November 17, 2020

In 2016, Benjamin Netanyahu was the first Israeli prime minister to visit Africa in 30 years. The visit was consistent with his announced intent to rebuild Israel's ties with the continent, especially East Africa, where his tour took him through Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Narrowing down...

Why the UAE Wants Somalia in the Yemen Conflict

August 17, 2020

In late June, the United Arab Emirates asked Somalia to enter the conflict in Yemen in return for financial incentives and the reopening of a medical facility. Somalia’s instant rejection partially resulted from the strained Mogadishu-Abu Dhabi relationship. Why did the UAE initially make the...

How Abu Dhabi Is Playing Saudi Arabia

September 17, 2018

For now, Mohammed bin Zayed is happy to play the director allowing his young star the limelight. On June 6 in Jeddah, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and his Abu Dhabi counterpart, Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ), convened the first meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council. Abu...

Cautious Optimism for Peace in the Horn of Africa

August 06, 2018

With Ethiopia and Eritrea pushing for peace, will Djibouti declare diplomatic war? These are heady times in the Horn of Africa. A monumental rapprochement orchestrated over the past month by Ethiopia’s new, reformist prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has effectively ended the decades-long cold war...

The Qatar Crisis Is Like a Game of Chess

January 10, 2018

The Qatar crisis, even without Turkey joining the fray, was putting fragile peace arrangements in the Horn of Africa at risk. The Qatar crisis has expanded to the Horn Africa, potentially fueling simmering regional conflicts. Renewed fears of heightened tension in the Horn — a region...

Horn of Africa Feels Geopolitical Impact of Qatar Crisis

November 07, 2017

Extensive web of alignments and divisions across the Horn of Africa puts pressure on countries to declare solidarity with either side of the Qatar crisis. The oil-rich Arabian Peninsula states have long represented a beacon of stability in the tumultuous Middle East. Yet the five-month-old Qatar...

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