Introduction to the Horn of Africa
Since the end of the colonial period, the Horn of Africa (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan) has been affected by a large number of inter-state and civil wars.
In contrast with West and Southern Africa, the ill-defined nature of the borders in the Horn of Africa has led to two high-intensity inter-state wars, namely the Protected content between Somalia and Ethiopia and the Protected content between Eritrea and Ethiopia, and inter-state disputes between Djibouti and Eritrea, Eritrea and Yemen and more recently between Sudan and South Sudan.
Wars and famines have triggered major displacement within countries and across borders, making the Horn one of the main regions generating refugees and internally displaced persons.
Environmental factors have affected groups in different areas and countries, leading to food crises associated with recurrent droughts, floods and crop pests but also with the politicization of these crises and the related relief, and with conflicts and displacement.
Furthermore, the movements of pastoral groups within and across borders in their search for water and grazing land are paramount to understanding the regional political arena. The Horn of Africa states rank among the the top 10 worldwide in terms of size of pastoral population. Sudan comes first, Somalia third, Ethiopia fifth and Kenya sixth.
Speaker: Mohammed Hassan (Ethiopia)
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