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Pax Africana or Middle East Security Alliance in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea?

De Waal, Alex (2019) Pax Africana or Middle East Security Alliance in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea? Occasional Paper (17). World Peace Foundation, Somerville, Massachusetts.

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The Horn of Africa is located on a fault-line between two distinctly different strategies and philosophies for peace and security: the multilateral norms, principles and institutions that have been developed in Africa over the last 25 years, and the transactional politics of money and force of the Gulf monarchies. Today, the African peace and security architecture is jeopardized by the encroachment of the political marketplace of the Arabian Peninsular. Middle Eastern powers including Turkey, Egypt, Oman and Saudi Arabia have long been engaged in the politics and security of the Red Sea and the Horn. However, the twenty years after 1990 marked an anomalous diminution of Arab engagement in the region, a period that coincided with unprecedented African activism on peace and security. In the last five years, old and new Middle Eastern actors have engaged with north-east Africa in full force. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are using African troops and African bases in their military operations in Yemen. The UAE has used its financial muscle to promote political alignments including the Eritrea-Ethiopia peace agreement. The Saudi-UAE coalition and the Turkey-Qatar alliance are rivals in bidding for the allegiances of political authorities in Somalia. This paper examines current practices of Middle Eastern engagement in the Horn of Africa in historical context. It looks at the enduring paradox whereby the global powers of the day have ensured safety for shipping in the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden alongside tolerating recurrent turmoil in the littoral countries. The paper examines how the regional peace and security architecture and power balances have changed since the 1980s, with the emergence of the norms, principles and institutions of a ‘Pax Africana’ and the entrenchment of security-coalition politics in the Arabian Peninsular, turning to the question of how the encounter between these two regions, with their widely differing capacities and approaches, is playing out

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
D History General and Old World > DT Africa
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2019 12:06
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:15

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