THE HORN OF AFRICA’S UNWAVERING HAPPENINGS, TRENDS AND OUTCOME



The Horn of Africa, which is the easternmost peninsula of the African continent, lies along the southern boundary of the Red Sea and extends hundreds of kilometers into the Gulf of Aden, Somali Sea and Guardafui Channel. Comprised primarily of nations like Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan and South Sudan, the region has a population of over 200million people. It will be right to say one cannot overlook the profound historical and geopolitical importance of the region. For the past six decades, the region has witnessed its own fair share of problems ranging from intra-state and inter-state conflicts, instability, insecurity as well as famine.


The people of Ethiopia have suffered from an ill-considered and poorly founded rule of two self-proclaimed revolutionary regimes, the Eritrean people for their part endured 30 years of warfare while the Somali people have been afflicted by misrule and a state dominated by violence and an unending islamist insurgency. Ethiopia and Somalia have been to war twice in 1963 and 1978. Ethiopia equally went to war twice with Eritrea in 1961 until 1991 and the border war that erupted between the two countries from 1998 until 2000. Somalia has been engulfed in endless internal conflicts for the last 30 years. Across the Horn of Africa, warfare has been accompanied by famine and pestilence, and its people have been caught in conflict between their traditions and values and the practices of their political elites.


These happenings do not however define the Horn of Africa as a region that is unstable and susceptible to recurrent conflict and chaos. Today, several states in the region have evolved and made great strides as concerns governance, which could lead one to conclude that the last sixty years were possibly unusual stages where the phase of State formation was critical indeed.


Things started to change for the better in the Horn of Africa in 2018, which saw Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia ascend to the position of Prime Minister. Abiy Ahmed came to power in Ethiopia in a culmination of popular opposition to the TPLF’s policy of institutionalized ethnicity, monopoly of power by a minority regime in the economic, security and defense sectors, and, heavy-handed repression with repetitive atrocities bordering on ethnic cleansing in various parts of the country. Abiy’s reformist government was faced with a swing of contentious political issues and the daunting task of reversing the legacy of ethnic polarization and set the country on the right footing. Shortly after becoming Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed’s government signed a Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship with Eritrea that brought an end to two decades of conflict. Not long after, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia signed similar agreements of cooperation aimed at cultivating and consolidating lasting ties between them for comprehensive economic cooperation. Later on Abiy Ahmed’s g