V-6. Foreign Competition in the Horn of Africa

Conveners: Abdeta Diribsa Beyene (Centre for Dialogue, Research and Cooperation, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia); e-mail: beyeneabdeta@gmail.com, Belete Belachew Yihun (Centre for Dialogue, Research and Cooperation, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia); e-mail: beletebelachewm@gmail.com

True to long-existing traditions, the region along the shores of the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and the eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea continues to witness alignments between and among powers-to-be in the region and beyond. Shifting alliances, often assuming new dimension and complexity inform developments, which at times are difficult to comprehend. The Horn of Africa sub-region, constituting Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia (and for the sake of this panel including South Sudan), strategically situated along the shores of the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea and straddling a vital land mass connecting the Middle East and Africa particularly draws the attention of world powers. In a bid to control the strategic trade routes feeding into the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, major powers from the region and beyond are flocking en masse to the sub- region. Gulf States (particularly Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran and Turkey), China, Japan, the United States of America, EU member states and even Egypt are competing to assert their presence in the region. This panel would comprehensively assess the overall implications of these developments on peace and security of the respective states and people of the sub-region.