The Greater Horn of Africa, the hottest conflict zone in the world, is a legitimate concern of U.S. officials. But their overwhelming focus on stemming terrorism there is overshadowing U.S. initiatives to resolve conflicts and promote good governance -- with disastrous implications for regional stability and U.S. counterterrorism objectives themselves.
This module features teaching notes by George Mason University professor Terrence Lyons, author of Avoiding Conflict in the Horn of Africa, along with other resources to supplement the text. In the report, Lyons presents a full picture of what is going on in the Horn of Africa and suggests what the United States needs to do to address the multiple challenges to stability.
Ethiopian troops appear to have won a military victory over Somalia's Islamic Courts militias, who fled Mogadishu Thursday. Their exit leaves a power vacuum in Somalia, and the United States’ focus on counterterrorism in the Horn of Africa may hinder its ability to defuse the crisis.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, proposes sending a high-level team of Americans to the Ethiopia/Eritrea border to help settle the simmering border conflict there. Eritrea objects to the mission, questioning its legality and saying it would only accept rulings that forced Ethiopia to accept a border agreed to in peace talks after the last war.
Asked by Charlotte Stafford, from Columbia University
The United States restored official relations with Somalia in January 2013 after years of civil unrest there, reflecting an increasingly stable Somali political environment. Better relations with Somalia, however, have little to do with the decrease in piracy, and the drop in offshore piracy cannot be attributed to Somali government efforts.
Listen to Bronwyn E. Bruton, international affairs fellow in residence at CFR, discuss her recent Foreign Affairs article, "In the Quicksands of Somalia," with students as part of CFR's Academic Conference Call series.
Famine in the Horn of Africa underscores the problems of an international foreign aid community struggling to keep up with its commitments at a time of a falling dollar and rising food prices, says CFR's Laurie Garrett.
The West may no longer be the main target for terrorist organizations; turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa has given rise to an increased number of more locally-focused attacks in the last year.
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