NELSON INSTITUTE DIRECTOR’S COLUMN ANALYZES RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE HORN OF AFRICA

June 19, 2008

HARRISONBURG—In his weekly “Strategic Interests” column for the World Defense Review, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, analyzes recent troubling developments in the Horn of Africa.

Examining the political and security implications of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region (and the failure to effectively stand up the hybrid African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force), the recent conflict between the Khartoum regime and South Sudan over the oil-rich Abyei district, the “peace accord” signed last week between factions within the “Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia” and that failed state’s self-declared “Transitional Federal Government,” and the incursions into Djiboutian territory by Eritrea, Dr. Pham writes:

For the moment, despite the recent developments, the overall situation in the Horn of Africa remains stable, even if it is not exactly trending positive. If the United States and other international actors are serious about seeking not only a temporary cessation in conflict, but also a sustainable strategic balance in this important subregion, policymakers and analysts would do well to make use of the time given them by the current lull in open hostilities to start worrying less about diplomatic convention and, rather, dealing more with geopolitical reality.

To read the full text of the article, “Around the Troubled Horn,” click here.