The Horn of Africa Regional Security Complex Part II

In PublicationsJuly 8, 202215 Minutes

The Horn of Africa Regional Security Complex

Part II

European Union Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM Somalia)

TheEuropean Union Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM Somalia) was launched on 7 April 2010. It initially conducted training in Uganda; then, the headquarters was relocated to Mogadishu on 16 March 2015. Besides the training, EUTM has an advisory role in building the Somali Ministry of Defense (MoD) capacity and Somali National Army (SNA) General Staff focusing on three essential pillars, training, mentoring, and advising.15

European Union Naval Force Somalia (Operation Atalanta) (EU NAVFOR Somalia)

The European Union Naval Force Somalia (Operation Atalanta) (EU NAVFOR Somalia) was started in December 2008 with the mandate of protecting vessels of the World Food Programme (WFP), African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and other vulnerable shipping, preventing piracy and armed robbery at sea, monitors fishing activities off the coast of Somalia and supports other EU missions and international organizations working to strengthen maritime security and capacity in the region.16 EU NAVFOR also established the Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSCHOA), which provides 24-hour manned
monitoring of vessels transiting through the Gulf of Aden.17

Regional Maritime Capacity Building for the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean (EUCAP Somalia)

The EU Regional Maritime Capacity Building for the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean (EUCAP Somalia) was launched in July 2012. EUCAP is a civilian mission based in Mogadishu, aiming to support regional maritime capacity- building and enhance maritime security across the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean (WIO). As of the end of 2015, it solely focused on Somalia also including Somaliland.18

Ethiopia contributes a total of 984 personnel, 943 contingent troops, seven staff officers, five experts on mission, and 29 individual police;

African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNMID):

After civil war broke out between the Government of Sudan and militias and other armed rebels in Darfur in 2003, AU PSC authorized the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) deployment of an AU-mandated mission to monitor the Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement in 2004. Later, AMIS was merged with the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) in December 2007 to become the joint AU–UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).19 UNAMID’s mandate is to protect civilians, monitor, verify the implementation of agreements, assist the political process, and monitor and report on the situation along the borders with Chad and the Central African Republic. 14% out of the total personnel in the mission contributed from the states of the Horn of Africa. Djibouti contributes 137 formed police unit; Ethiopia contributes a total of 984 personnel, 943 contingent troops, seven staff officers, five experts on mission, and 29 individual police; Kenya contribute a total of 87 personnel, 11 staff officers, one expert on a mission, and 75 contingent troops.20 UNAMID ended its activities on 31 December 2020.

United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA):

A few weeks before South Sudan declared its independence on 9 July 2011, clashes between Sudan Armed Forces and Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM) over disputed, oil-rich border region Abyei drove more than 100,000 people from their homes. On 27 June 2011, the Security Council authorized the deployment of a peacekeeping force to the Abyei Area, which both sides claimed. UNISFA’s establishment came after both reached an agreement in Addis Ababa to demilitarize Abyei and let Ethiopian troops monitor the area.21 UNISFA has the principalmandate is monitoring the demilitarization of any forces other than UNISFA and the Abyei Police Service.

Also, de-mining assistance and technical advice, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid, strengthen the Abyei Police Service’s capacity by providing support, and provide security for oil infrastructure in the Abyei Area.22

UNISFA is a unique type of peacekeeping operation since the beginning of UN peacekeeping in 1948 because 100% of the contingent troops are from Ethiopia.

UNISFA is a unique type of peacekeeping operation since the beginning of UN peacekeeping in 1948 because 100% of the contingent troops are from Ethiopia. Holger Osterrieder et al. describe the deployment as follows:

The deployment of troops for UNISFA took place ‘significantly more quickly than is usually the case [with UN peacekeeping operations].’ Only one month after its authorization, almost 500 troops had been deployed to the Abyei region.
Operations started on 8 August 2011, while patrols began at the end of August 2011. The fact that UNISFA troops were drawn from one country, Ethiopia, helps to explain this prompt deployment. Indeed, the Ethiopian troops were ready to be deployed even before the UN Security Council authorized the mission.
The land route from Ethiopia to Abyei was used to transfer troops within a week… The Ethiopian troops did not require the living standards normally necessary for UN missions. Temporary housing in tents was an efficient way to ensure the timely deployment of troops.Only a few months after its authorization, the UN Secretary-General declared that the mission was ‘in a position to secure the Abyei area’ and thus able to fulfill its mandate.23


Ethiopia is the only Horn of Africa state which contributes to this mission. It contributes a total of 4,453, 4,287 contingent troops, 78 experts on mission78 staff officers, and ten police personnel, which is 97% of the total personnel and 24% of the police personnel.24

However, according to Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Maryam El Sadig El Mahdi, because of Ethiopia’s unacceptable decision to fill the Renaissance Dam and ‘intrusion’ of the eastern borders in El Fashaga in El Gedaref, Sudan claim “it is not reasonable to have Ethiopian forces in the strategic depth of Sudan”. Thus, the United Nations has agreed to a request from Khartoum to withdraw the Ethiopian contingent of a peacekeeping force, even though Ethiopia resisted stating that UNISFA was established following the joint agreement of Sudan and South Sudan, and its drawdown should be agreed upon by both parties because South Sudan was comfortable with the presence of Ethiopian troops in UNISFA.

On the same date, South Sudan becomes the newest county in the world, and the UNMIS operation was ended;

United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):

On the same date, South Sudan becomes the newest county in the world, and the UNMIS
operation was ended; the Security Council established UNMISS on 9 July 2011 with the mandate ‘to help establish the conditions for development in the Republic of South Sudan, intending to strengthen the capacity of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to govern effectively, democratically and establish good relations with its neighbors.’358 However, with the rise of the recent political and security crisis in December 2013, which resulted in an enormous humanitarian crisis, on 27 May 2014, the Security Council reprioritized the mandate to the protection of civilians, monitoring human rights, assisting the delivery of humanitarian and supporting the implementation of the cessation of Hostilities.25 As of November 2018, Ethiopia has 2,106 military and 26 police personnel, and Kenya contributes 23 police personnel, which is 14% of the total UN military personnel in UNMISS.26

Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism in South Sudan (CTSAMM):

The IGAD established the CTSAMM following the signing of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) in August 2015 by warring parties in South Sudan. It is responsible for monitoring and verifying the implementation of Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements (PCTSA) and the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities (ACoH), which is signed in December 2017. CTSAMVM led by Maj. Gen. Desta Abiche Ageno of Ethiopia and there are over 200 personnel from 17 different countries, the majority of whom are former military officers. It is headquartered in Juba with 16 Monitoring and Verification Teams (MVTs) in the most conflict-affected areas of South Sudan.361 CTSAMM reports to the IGAD Council of Ministers and to the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), which includes the warring parties that signed the agreement, South Sudanese civil societies, members of IGAD, and international partners.27

Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army (RCI-LRA):

The African Union PSC designated the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) as a terrorist group and established Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the LRA (RCI-LRA) in November 2011. It has three organs, the Joint Coordination Mechanism (JCM), in Addis Ababa, chaired by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, and comprises Ministers of Defense of the affected countries (Uganda, South Sudan, DRC, and CAR), the Regional Task Force (RTF), headquartered in Uganda, is the military component with a maximum of 5,000 troops to be contributed by the affected countries.363 As of July 2017, there was 1031 uniformed personnel from DR Congo, South Sudan, and the Central Africa Republic. 28

Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa:

The UN has Political Missions and Good Offices Engagements, which are led by the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs. Currently, the UN has 25 Political Missions and Good Offices Engagements; 12 in Africa, 2 in the Americas, 3 in Asia, 2 in Europe, and 6 in the Middle East. In the past, it completed 29 political missions in the world, one of which was in Somalia,the United Nations Political Office for Somalia
(UNPOS), which was completed in 2013.29

Concluding discussion

Today the Horn region consists of two of the nine newest states in the world, Eritrea and South Sudan. Furthermore, Somaliland is striving to be one since 1991 by establishing the most stable state and conducting a peaceful government transition in the region by challenging the image of war and disaster that has been associated with the region.

In Michael Sheehan’s words, the security complex in the Horn of Africa is held together not by the positive influences of shared interest but by shared rivalries. The dynamics of security within these levels operate across a broad spectrum of military, political, economic, societal, and environmental sectors.

The Horn of Africa region is known for the high presence of UN and AU military support operations. There is currently a presence of peace support missions in Darfur, Sudan; Abyei Sudan– South Sudan border where 100% of the contingent troops are from Ethiopia; Somalia; and South Sudan. In the past, there were missions in Somalia, in the Ethiopia-Eritrea border, on the Uganda- Rwanda border, and in Sudan. From the first UN mission in the region in 1992 until 2019, there were 19 multinational peace support operations by AU, EU, IGAD, and UN.

The most common trends of conflict in the region are intrastate/ethnic conflicts, resulting from the existence of more than three hundred seventy linguistic groups or can be ethnic groups in the region. Interstate conflicts resulted from the missdrown borders, which cut through ethnic, cultural, historical, and religious groups that sway states of the region to claim neighboring state territories. Religious fundamentalism and violence, resulting from the existence of failed states and their proximity to the Middle Eastern states. Conflicts caused by a change in living space resulted from the environmental degradation and climate change that cause scarcity of pastoral lands and water, especially among pastoralist communities, and supporting neighboring state rebels, also has been a tradition of the regimes of the region.


Ethiopia’s Exposure to the Existing International Terrorism Law

In PublicationsJuly 8, 202215 Minutes

Ethiopia’s Exposure to the Existing International Terrorism Law

Shimels Sisay Belete (Ph.D.)

Linkedin  : Shimels Sisay

Dr. Shimels is a human rights lawyer by profession with a hybrid experience working both in the academia as lecturer and researcher, and through his practical engagement in the field of human rights advocacy. He holds a Doctoral Degree (Dr.
iur.) in International Human Rights Law, Terrorism and Counterterrorism from the European University of Viadrina, in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. He received his masters degree on human rights law from Addis Ababa University and LLB Degree in law from Haramaya University.

Currently, Dr. Shimels serves as the Ethiopia Country Director for the International human rights NGO called Freedom House. He is also working for European Center for Electoral Support (ECES) as Electoral Trainings Coordinator and the Legal Expert on Civic and Voter Education and Inclusion. He also holds a visiting professorship position and teaches the African Human Rights Regional System at the Faculty of Law, European University of Viadrina, Germany.

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopian Constitution unequivocally underpins under Art. 9 (4) that ‘[a]ll international agreements ratified by Ethiopia are an integral part of the law of the land. This constitutional hospitability of international instruments into the domestic legal realm is an instant assenter of any methodological approach that aims to assess the validity of the State’s legislative
and institutional setups, which are proclaimed
in view of implementing its international
obligations emanating from these instruments.
Furthermore, as clearly stipulated under Arts 26, 27, and 47 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, these domestic laws are required to be framed in good faith complementing the State’s international binding obligations as no State can invoke its domestic law as an excuse for its non-compliance.

It seems in view of this propensity that both of the current national terrorism-related legislation the Ethiopian Anti-Terrorism Proclamation3 and the Proclamation on the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism – reaffirmed in their respective preambles, of Ethiopia’s duty of effectively complementing its international obligations in the prevention and combating of terrorism as one of the reasons necessitating the enactment of these laws. The preamble of the Anti-Terroris Proclamation, while specifically rebranding terrorism as a serious threat to the world peace and security,4 reverberated,

[WHEREAS], in order to adequately fight terrorism, it is necessary to cooperate with governments and peoples of our region, continent and other parts of the world that have anti-terrorism objectives and particularly, to enforce agreements that have been entered into under the United Nations and the African Union

In a similar vein, the Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Proclamation echoed the alike mission stating that this law is necessary given the fact that ‘the effort to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism is being undertaken internationally and Ethiopia is part thereof’.5 What ought to be at stake behind the enactment of these legislation is, therefore, titivating the domestic legal and institutional framework and enhancing the State’s capacity of effectively enforcing those international obligations in a manner compatible with the scope, intent, purposes, and the objectives derived therefrom.

Accordingly, it becomes apparent to question whether the aforementioned domestic laws serve the goals they are meant for. For this quarry to have a meaningful insight, it appears natural to recapture the main international terrorism-related legal backups to which Ethiopia has ratified and agreed to comply with.

Accordingly, it becomes apparent to question whether the aforementioned domestic laws serve the goals they are meant for. For this quarry to have a meaningful insight, it appears natural to recapture the main international terrorism-related legal backups to which Ethiopia has ratified and agreed to comply with. This is mainly because the core definitional legal standard is inherently construed from the relevant extant international conventions – the application of which is destined only to States

Party to the instruments – and the binding Security Council Resolutions, and most notably, Resolution No. 1566.6 As the Council’s binding Resolutions have universal application for all Member States to the UN, Ethiopia would not be an exception to this rule and its international obligations arising from these resolutions have to be properly implemented within its domestic jurisdiction.7

On the other hand, the same cannot be said when it comes to treaties relating to terrorism unless they are ratified by the State in concern, as no treaty creates either obligations or rights without a State consent unless and otherwise, it contains a customary norm of international law recognized as such.8 At least at their current status, none of the conventions relating to terrorism are yet to reach that level. Hence, it becomes a must to identify the number of relevant terrorism-related international instruments to which Ethiopia is a party either through accession or ratification if their status as integral parts of the law of the land is supposed to have a constitutional recognition. Thus, so far Ethiopia has acceded to or ratified nine of the most influential international conventions on terrorismAccordingly, Conventions relating to the safety of the aviation and maritime industry namely, the 1963 Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed On Board Aircraft,9 the 1970 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft,10 the 1971 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation,11 the 1988 Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation,12and the 1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation13are all ratified by Ethiopia. Likewise, the State has also ratified or acceded to the conventions aimed at offering special protections to particular groups, that is, the 1973 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents,14 the 1979 International Convention against the Taking of Hostages,15 as well as, the 1997 International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings.16 On the other hand, the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, which is basically devoted to minimizing the means and capacities of terrorist perpetrators is also engrained as an integral part of the law of the land through ratification.17 From the African regional context, Ethiopia has also ratified the OAU Convention on the Prevention and Combating of terrorism,18 and Protocol to the Convention.19

1566(2004): a resolution that served as a backbone in the formulation of the definitional guide, which also included the international conventions as part of its definitional elements of the crime of terrorism. Third, on the other hand, Ethiopia is a party to the key conventions, from which the proposed definition is highly substantiated and informed from – principally, the Convention on the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism and the Hostage Takings Convention.

Accordingly, it can be asserted that Ethiopia’s obligation in the prevention and combating of terrorism is stemmed both from the conventions and the relevant Security Council resolutions, which imposed not only the obligation of preventing and combating of terrorism but also the mechanisms and standards on how to implement them. From these perspectives, there should not be a doubt that invoking the proposed definition as an international legal standard in ascertaining the legal elements of the crime of terrorism as treated in the national legislation is an irreplaceable approach if one has to critically examine the actual tenets of the Ethiopian Anti- Terrorism laws.

The Pre-2009 National Legislative Frameworks Addressing Terrorism

Before the issuance of the two substantial antiterrorism proclamations in the year 2009, there was no specific proscribing an act of terrorism as a separate and discrete criminal conduct – despite the Nation’s acquaintance with the term, amidst the late-1970s deadly scenes of state-sponsored terror and counter violence masterminded in every corner of the nation.20 This doesn’t entail, however, that the issue had been totally overlooked. At least, some particular provisions of the general criminal codes and pertinent proclamations had been in place circumscribing the act within the ambit of associated criminal conducts explicitly proscribed by these laws. In its earlier reports to the United Nations Security Council Counter- Terrorism Committee (CTC or 1373/2001 Committee), Ethiopia had been submitting that terrorism is addressed in the national penal codes by way of criminalizing acts committed to serving terrorist objectives.21

Of significant importance in this regard are the 1957 Penal Code, the 1981 Revised Special Penal Code, the 2004 Revised Criminal Code, and
other financial administration and possession of weaponry regulatory proclamations of the State.

It has to be noted from the outset that in neither of these statutes was the term ‘terrorism’ or ‘terrorist act’ defined. Nor did the laws spotlight the core elements of the crime. The relevance of these norms goes, therefore, only to the extent of preventing or prosecuting some conducts the perpetration of which might have some terrorist element – either as a means or as a method – and one could notice such a link only by analogy through implied assessment of the potential value of the provisions lensing from the context of the prevention and punishment of terrorist crimes. Having this gap in mind, the specific provisions of the laws just enumerated are tinted as follows, only to the extent of the value they have had as normative frameworks in regulating the issue at hand during the pre- 2009 periods.

The 1957 Penal Code of Ethiopia

Since its inception in 1957 and up until its formal repeal in 2004,22 the Penal Code of the Empire of Ethiopia had been the longest-serving domestic in the administration of the criminal justice system of the nation, amid minor amendments to some of its sections.23 Generally, the relevant provisions contained in the Code to the topic at hand can be categorized into three themes.

Some of the provisions are very general in application – dictating the principles on criminal liability and legality, jurisdiction and issues of extradition, degrees and forms of participation in crimes, and the extent and type of criminal liabilities – in all criminal litigations, and hence to any alleged crime of terrorism as well.

The second pertinent categories of the provisions are those stipulated in the special part of the Code dealing with particular offences that could either roughly be perceived as manifestations to have some shared characters with the crime of terrorism – mostly when it is used as a method in pursuing the goals of the stated crimes, or crimes within which an act of terrorism could be regarded as a subunit, or they proscribe conducts that are ejected as offences under the apposite international law, which Ethiopia is obliged to implement in its jurisdiction. Such category of offences include, inter alia, outrages against the constitution and constitutional authorities, armed rising and civil war, attacks on the political and territorial integrity of the state, the violation of the political or territorial sovereignty of the state, hostile acts and outrages against a foreign state and foreign heads of state, and violation of a foreign sovereignty. Although none of these offences would qualify as terrorist acts per se, their value in tracing and countering the ramifications of terrorist acts committed as a method in the course of achieving the goals of these proscribed conducts cannot be completely overlooked.


The Horn of Africa Regional Security Complex

In PublicationsJuly 8, 202218 Minutes

The Horn of Africa Regional Security Complex

Dr. Kaleab Tadesse Sigatu

Twitter : @Kaleabsigatu

Kaleab holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations and an M.A. in International Relations, both from Addis Ababa University. He got his Ph.D. in Military Science from the University of Public Service, Doctoral School of Military Sciences, in Budapest, Hungary. His research interests are peace support operations, foreign policy, military doctrine, defense policies, and peace and security issues in the Horn of Africa. Currently, he is a researcher at the Research Department of International and Regional Security, Ethiopian Defence War College. Before his role at the War College, he was a lecturer at the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Ambo University. Kaleab also published a book on the Constitutional History of Ethiopia.

States of the Horn of Africa:an overview

The ideas of regional security and security complexes are essential as every state can put its security in relation to at least one complex. Ethiopia’s security is tied up with its regional complex of the Horn of Africa and vice versa, and how it undoubtedly takes this into consideration when considering its national security. The Horn of Africa is located in the Northeastern part of the continent consisting of eight countries: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda. The nine states are also members of the regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which make the member states to be considered the regional complex that reflects an interlinked regional security complex.1 Except for Uganda, Ethiopia shares a border with all the member states.

The Horn of Africa region is the origin of
humanity. Fossil remains of Chororapithecus
Abyssinicus, which lived 12 to 7 million years ago,
were found in the Afar Depression of Ethiopia,
and the most famous of the discovery in the same
area is Lucy ‘Dinkenesh’, the complete skeleton
of an early hominid yet found and dating back
some 3.2 million years. The Aksumite Empire,

in present-day Ethiopia and Eritrea, was a well- known empire in pre-colonial Africa. In the Middle Ages, the Ifat Sultanate of present day Djibouti, Adal Sultanate of present-day Somalia, the Zagwe dynasty of Ethiopia, the Mahdist in Sudan, the Buganda Kingdom in Uganda, and other sultanates and kingdoms existed in the region.

European powers became more interested in the region to occupy after the Suez Canal opened in 1869. The French colonized a small portion of the land at the Red Sea coast, which they named French Somaliland which later becomeDjibouti in 1894. The British took over northern
Somalia, which they named British Somaliland
in 1887, the present-day autonomous region
of Somaliland. Furthermore, in the south, the
Imperial British East Africa Company in 1888,
which later become Kenya, and in 1894 Uganda became a British protectorate, and the Anglo- Egyptian colony of Sudan was established in 1899. Italy took possession of Eritrea in 1890 as well as southern Somalia, Italian Somaliland, in 1889. However, Ethiopia did not fall under the colonial yoke because they could defeat the Italian Empire in 1896 except for Ethiopia’s brief occupation (1936 – 1941).

Today the region consists of two of the nine newest states globally, Eritrea and South Sudan.

During the Cold War, both the USSR and the United States were involved in the region because of its strategic location. For example, in the Ogaden war between Ethiopia and Somalia in 1977 – 78, USSR supported the Ethiopians and the United States aided Somalia. Most recently, the region has become one of the focuses of the global war on terror. Today the region consists of two of the nine newest states globally, Eritrea and South Sudan. Moreover, Somaliland is striving to be one since 1991 by establishing the most stable state and conducting a peaceful government transition in the region by challenging the image of war and disaster that has been associated with the region.

In Michael Sheehan’s words, the Horn of Africa’s security complex Africa is ‘held together not by the positive influences of shared interest, but by shared rivalries. The dynamics of security contained within these levels operate across a broad spectrum of sectors – military, political, economic, societal and environmental.3 Andras Hetteyey and Viktor Marsai said the following about Ethiopia and the Horn of African security complex:

Ethiopia is the region’s leading political and military power; Ethiopia is involved in all three conflicts (Sudan and South Sudan, Somalia civil war, and Ethiopia – Eritrea). Addis Ababa commands enormous respect not only in Eastern Africa but on the entire continent. Except for Liberia – whose status remains unclear – Ethiopia, with its several thousand- year-old statehoods, was the only state on the entire continent that was able to withstand both Western and Eastern colonization attempts (save for a brief Italian occupation during World War II). What is more, the country’s prestige extends beyond Africa: Ethiopia is the main ally of the United States in the region. Despite its economic difficulties and extremely low living standards, the country’s leadership is able to maintain the strongest and most capable armies not only in the region but on the whole continent. Its armed force has extensive experience in both traditional and asymmetric warfare. Ethiopia uses its political and military power to contribute to the stability Eastern African proto-complex while it also serves as an insulator between the various regional conflicts – the two Sudan and Somalia.

However, regarding ‘the question of whether the Horn of Africa forms, in Buzan’s terminology, ‘a security complex’, based on the security dynamics in the region, and using Berouk Mesfin’s terminology, ‘the answer is a definite yes.’ The Horn of Africa displays many of the features of a Regional Security Complex.

The Horn of Africa Regional Security Complex

In the words of Christopher Clapham, ‘It will
already be abundantly clear that the states of the Horn are deeply affected by their relationships with one another.5 According to Barry Buzan and Ole Waever the interstate security dynamics in Africa are often simply spillovers of domestic dynamics, mainly refugee flows, expulsions of foreigners, and civil wars and intervention by neighbors in domestic turbulence.6 In the Horn of Africa proto-regional security complex (proto- RSC), the usual interaction is cross-border interventions in which the government in each state supports insurgencies in the other: Somalia and Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda, Sudan and Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia.7 On the other hand, Robert Kłosowicz considered the IGAD the regional bloc as the regional complex that reflects an interlinked regional security complex.8 In the Horn of Africa, there are few incidents of states going to a conventional war with each other. However, it is more at the sub-state level and more about spillovers from domestic instabilities, which is typical almost for all states in the region. Particularly during the Somalian and the South Sudanese civil wars, the spillover effects, became excruciating for the whole states in the region.

South Sudan and Somalia ranked first and second, respectively, as the most fragile states globally, and Djibouti has a relatively better- performing state in the region. Regarding UNDP Human Development Index, all Horn of Africa states perform under the last 30 states out of 188 Countries, Sudan and Uganda performing relatively better than other states and Eritrea becoming the last. On the Ibrahim Governance Index in Africa, Kenya and Uganda perform better than the rest, and Somalia ranked 54 out of the 54 African states.

Similarly, on Transparency International’s Corruption index, Ethiopia performs relatively better than the others though all are under 100 out of 180 states, Somalia and South Sudan ranked 180th and 179th, respectively. Based on World Bank – Worldwide Governance Indicators first on Voice & Accountability, which is perceptions of the extent to which a country’s citizens can select their government and freedom of expression, freedom of association, and free media. However, all Horn of Africa states are below 50% relatively Kenya is better, and Eritrea is the worst. Second, on Political Stability & Absence of Violence/Terrorism, Djibouti and Uganda are around 20%, and the rest is less than 10%.


As of 2021, there are more than dozen peace support missions in the region

Third, on Government Effectiveness, Somalia and South Sudan are both below 1%, and Kenya is relatively better though all the states are performing below 50%. Forth, Regulatory Quality is the perception of the government’s ability to formulate and implement sound policies and regulations that permit and promote private sector development. However, all Horn of Africa states are below 50%, relatively Uganda and Kenya are better than the rest. Fifth, the Rule of Law in all Horn of Africa states is below 50%, and Uganda, Ethiopia, and Kenya ranked from first to third. Sixth, Control over Corruption; similarly, all Horn of Africa states are below 50%, but Ethiopia and Djibouti are better performing than the rest.

On the issues of peace and security, according to the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, since 1990, the Horn of African region has suffered from 32 state-based armed conflicts where a government is one of the belligerent parties. Moreover, 179 non-state armed conflicts were fought between non-governmental groups; and 22 campaigns of one-sided violence where civilians are massacred.9

Trends of Peace Support Operations and Political Missions in the Horn of Africa

There is also a high presence of multinational military operations in the region. As of 2021, there are more than dozen peace support missions in the region, namely in Sudan; the Abyei Sudan–South Sudan border; Somalia; and South Sudan. In the past, there were missions in Somalia, in the Ethiopia- Eritrea border, in the Uganda-Rwanda border, and Sudan. Also, there are thousands of foreign troops in Djibouti, which indicates the gravity of security challenges in the region. From the first UN mission in the region in 1992 until 2019, there were 19 multinational peace support operations by AU, EU, IGAD, and UN.

Peace Support Operations in the Horn

As of September 2019, the UN has 14 peacekeeping operations across the world. Seven missions are in Africa, and out of it, three of them are in the Horn of Africa, in Darfur (hybrid with AU), in Abyei in South Sudan. AU has six operations, out of which, three are in the Horn of Africa, in Somalia, in Darfur (hybrid with UN), and in countries affected by LRA, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and Uganda. The regional organization Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has one ceasefire monitoring operation in South Sudan. In addition to these, the EU, the UN Department of Political Affairs, and the UN Department of Field Support also have peace support operations in Somalia.

Unlike traditional UN peacekeeping, most Troop Contributing Countries (TCC) in both UN and AU peace support operations in the Horn of Africa are from immediate neighboring states.

Unlike traditional UN peacekeeping, most Troop Contributing Countries (TCC) in both UN and AU peace support operations in the Horn of Africa are from immediate neighboring states. Moreover, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda are among the top ten most significant contributors of uniformed personnel for multilateral peace support operations globally, Ethiopia being first, Uganda fifth, and Kenya tenth.

Some scholars argue that the UN ‘breaks with a long-standing principle of not allowing a country to engage in a peace support operation in a neighboring country.10 The reason being most next-door neighboring countries are already involved in the conflict, or they might not be impartial. However, all current peacekeeping operations of UN and AU in the Horn of Africa are mostly comprised form next-neighboring countries and resulting in remarkable conflict management outcomes.

African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM):

AMISOM, created in January 2007 by AU’s Peace and Security Council, is the longest and largest peace support mission run by AU. The mission’s main strategic objectives are ‘to enable the gradual handover of its security responsibility to Somali security forces, reduce the threat posed by Al-Shabaab and other armed opposition groups, and assist Somali security forces in providing security for Somalia’s political process and peacebuilding efforts.11 As of April 2022, AMISOM was replaced by the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) with a mandate to fully implement the Somali Transition Plan (STP).

United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM)

UNSOM was established on 3 June 2013 in support of the establishment of the Federal Government of Somalia.12 Its mandates are to provide United Nations ‘good offices’ functions; support the Government’s peace and reconciliation process by providing strategic policy advice on peacebuilding and state-building; assist international donor support, particularly security sector assistance and maritime security; and help to monitor violations of human rights. Uganda contributed two experts on the mission and 530 contingent troops, which is 96% of the whole personnel in the mission.

United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS):

UNSOS was established on 09 November 2015, replacing the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA), which was established in 2009 as a logistical field support operation to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) led by the United Nations Department of Field Support (DFS).13 UNSOS is responsible for support to AMISOM, UNSOM, the Somali National Army (SNA), and the Somali Police Force (SPF) on joint operations with AMISOM.14 Only Uganda contributed one expert on a mission for UNSOM from the Horn of Africa. The mission has 49 personnel, and the UK contributed the whole 42 contingent troops, and Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Sierra Leone all send one expert on the mission and Mauritania two.


Editor’s Note :

In PublicationsJuly 6, 20223 Minutes

Editor’s Note :

Editor’s Note :

Dear readers,

In 2022, Africa is experiencing a surge in civil conflict. This month along, the M23 armed group seized an easter border town in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC has long accused the Rwandan government not only of backing participation in the occupation of the town of Bunagana. Similarly, the Sudanese Military leadership accuses Ethiopia of attacking its troops on the Sudanese territory. Rejecting the military’s claims, Ethiopia accused Sudan’s military junta of entering sovereign Ethiopian territory. Sudan’s leadership has consequently recalled its ambassador from Addis — mere days before Ethiopia is set to commence with the third filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Amidst the contested skirmishes, both nations are, to a varying degree, embroiled in civil conflict and facing increasing public dissent. In addition to poor institutions, that result week central governments, the proliferation of armed groups [often organized along ideological or identitarian lines] has characterized modern state-making African countries.

With a long history of failed intervention and military operations and failure of state
institutions, East Africa is more vulnerable than ever to disarray. This month’s edition of Horn Review focuses on the challenges, and outcomes, of increased militarization in the Horn. This 8th edition also touches on past international
military interventions, as well as great-power politics, in a delicately balanced region.

I would like to thank Dr.Shimels Sisay for his in depth examination of Ethiopia’s legal framework in specifically addressing terrorism. Dr. Shimels juxtaposes Ethiopia’s past and current laws addressing terrorism through a lens of existing international mechanisms.

I would also like to thank Dr. Kaleab T. Sigatu, Researcher at the Research Department of International and Regional Security, Ethiopian Defence War College, for his discussion on the history of peacekeeping and support operations in East African countries.

Lastly, I thank Abenezer Dawit for his reflective piece on geopolitical considerations in western foreign policy decisions vis-avis Horn Countries. With an emphasis on the Horn as a socially and culturally interwoven block, Abenezer argues the dangers of foreign political and economic pressures in permanently destabilizing the region.

Lastly, I would like to thank Wondwossen Sentayehu for the elaborate discussion on the
design of Destiny Ethiopia’s multi-stakeholder scenario building process. As a founding member of the Initiative, Wondwossen shares an intimate account of the widely successful process, from design to result, particularly at a time when the nation plans to engage in a national dialogue.


TPLF, OLA-Shene, and Al-Shabab: a Tripartite Alliance

In PublicationsMay 31, 202215 Minutes

TPLF, OLA-Shene, and Al-Shabab: a Tripartite Alliance

Tolera Gudeta Gurmesa

Independent Researcher

The author of this article employed various primary and secondary data sources, as well as personal travels to substantiate their claims. The views expressed in this article do not represent the views of our institution.

TPLF and OLA-Shene are widely active terrorist groups operating in Ethiopia with documented acts of terrorism in the country, and the wider region. These groups, who aim to widen their sphere of influence, wish to see a strong belt of terrorist forces, including the Al-Shabab, that can effectively strongarm governments in the region. If successful, this tactical alliance would threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both Ethiopia and other Horn nations, creating a region without strong states and governments.

Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and under Article 93(1) of the constitution, the federal government postponed the 6th general and regional elections tentatively planned for August 29, 2020. As a strong coalition in Ethiopian politics and economy, TPLF was not in favor of the political reform process that started in 2018. In defiance of the federal government, TPLF held state council elections which were not received well by other regional states. TPLF, in addition, refused to handover over suspects of various crimes hiding in the Tigray. Article 50 of the Ethiopian constitution stipulates that regional states shall respect the authority of the federal government. In violation of the constitution, which gives exclusive rights to establishing and deploying national defense forces to the federal government, TPLF established an unconstitutional paramilitary force named the “Tigray Defence Forces (TDF)” in 2019. TDF operating under the auspices of the ‘Tigray Military Command’ was led by retired and deflecting generals and colonels from the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF). Given TPLFs goals and means of attaining them, the Ethiopian parliament voted to designate TPL, along with OLA-Shene as terrorist organizations.

TPLF also diverted the allocated state budget to arms procurement and mobilizations. Deifying the Ethiopian Firearm Administration and Control Proclamation No.1177/2020, TPLF Special Forces and paramilitary owned mechanized weaponry that should not be owned by regional governments. Additionally, TPLF continues to finance and support ethnic-based violence in various parts of the country. For instance, in the Benishangul Gumuz region, TPLF has been sponsoring armed group operatives, causing several inter-ethnic conflicts that eventually resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. Similarly, TPLF, in collaboration with OLA-Shene, has caused the loss of hundreds of innocents, destruction of property, and displacement of hundreds of thousands in the Oromia region.

The OLA-Shene militias and operatives continue to violate human rights in Oromia Region; sexual assault and rape of girls and women, abductions, ruthlessly executing innocents; causing significant and/or full destruction, as well as looting of public and government property. Abandoning the federal government’s call for peace on several occasions, the group continues to reiterate its goal of toppling the federal government by every possible means, including armed force. OLA-Shene has formed a clandestine killing squad called Aba-Torbe, which has, in cold blood, killed thousands of officials, community leaders, alleged government supporters, and innocents in rural Oromia. Through ethnic profiling, OLA-Shene continues to commit targeted attacks, resulting in the brutal execution and displacement of thousands of people. This is an intentional act meant to not only frustrate the public but also weaken the legitimacy of the government.

Joint objectives and tactics

Although these groups have diverging ideologies and approaches, they have common characteristics and goals. It is the common goal of the three to create a conducive environment, a power vacuum, for their own ends in the region. Such a partnership allows Al-Shabab a greater vantage point into Somalia and access to establish a regional Islamic caliphate while also providing resources and opportunities for TPLF and OLAShene. By design, these groups jeopardize not only the territorial integrity of Ethiopia but also others in the region. For Al-Shabab, the goal is to see the establishment of an Islamic state structure, education, and legal system in Ethiopia and the Horn. Finding a common with Al-Shabab, in the wakening of state structures in the region, OLA-Shene and TPLF aim to pursue their secession agenda symbiotically with Al-Shabab. The destination of the OLAShene and TPLF tactical alliance is designed to
realize the secession of their respective regionsOromia and Tigray and ultimately result in the
balkanization of Ethiopia.

OLA-Shene has adopted the AlShabab modus operandi in the use of kidnapping as a tool to amass resources.

Tactically these terrorist groups have engaged in a range of cooperative arrangements, one of which is the exchange of experience and information. For instance, Al-Shabab acquired insurgency tactics from TPLF in exchange for TPLF importing guerilla experience. OLA-Shene has adopted the Al-Shabab modus operandi in the use of kidnapping as a tool to amass resources. In October of 2021 alone, OLA-Shene militias carried out attacks in 26 locations killing 192 people, wounding 44, and abducting 543 people. Of these hostages, 60 were released upon payments of 10,000 and 20,000 ETB. Another abduction case involved the mother of Gindeberet’s woreda administrator in West Showa Zone. She was released after a ransom of 100,000 ETB was paid. Foreign nationals are not exempt from kidnappings as evident by the detention of three Chinese nationals who were held hostage and released after 4 days to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Attacks by OLA-Shene have plagued civilian life with fear in Horoguduru Wollega, West Guji, East Guji, West Showa, and East Wollega zones of the Oromia region, where 34 government officials and more than 100 innocent civilians have been brutally killed. Similar accounts of TPLF brutalizing its citizen have been shared especially following the withdrawal of ENDF from the Tigray region and the declaration of unilateral ceasefire, where TPLF soldiers executed hundreds of Tigreans on charges of supporting the federal government.

Another finance source for their operation comes from looting public and government property. For example, OLA-Shene has looted 2.5 million ETB from Awash Bank, 2.2 million ETB from Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, and additional millions of Birr from both Cooperative banks of Oromia and Oromia International Bank in Oromia Region Begi town since October 8, 2021. Additionally, this group seized two excavators along with seven operators engaged in the excavation of materials for Muger cement factory in Ada’a Berga Woreda, West Shewa Zone, releasing them for 2 million ETB ransom. OLA-Shene in East Guji Zone, Sababoro Woreda, Urulu Kebele, looted 700,000 ETB from locals, seizing 28 weapons, and 20 motorcycles from government and private owners in the town of access in Gumi Eldolo Woreda. This group is also involved in the international smuggling of arms and drugs, namely to Kenya and Uganda, through territories that it influences.

Similarly, TPLF carried out a widespread campaign of killing and looting in Afar and Amhara regions, damaging public and government property including those of aid agencies. Sean Jones, Mission Director of USAID Ethiopia, told EBC18 on August 31, 2021, that TPLF militants looted several USAID depots and warehouses, and confiscated aid trucks. Corroborating the scale of the looting, UNWFP also announced on September 17, that only 38 trucks of 445 sent to Tigray since July 9, 2021, have returned. TPLF continues to obstruct the work of international humanitarian organizations by redirecting food aid away from the region’s most vulnerable.

Implications for Ethiopia and East Africa

Since its inception in 1974, TPLF has a clear project of secession, and it has put this project on its first manifesto in 1976. But when it established a government in which it maintained a hegemonic political and economic power, TPLF concealed its secession project in favor of economic extraction through politics. Following the premiership of H.E. Abiy Ahmed in 2018, TPLF was to lose the political and economic dominance it enjoyed for nearly three decades. The core TPLF leadership opted to retreat to the Tigray region and renewed their ambition of secession, using it to mobilize innocent Tigrayans into participating in a bloody war For the realization of the concealed secession agenda, TPLF has used OLA-Shene and other hand-picked individuals (in the name of organizations) as errand-runner. This wellthought-out project, per their claims, would erase Ethiopia from the world map, replacing it with multiple small and weak states in the Horn of Africa. Therefore, all should bear in mind, that where there is disintegrated Ethiopia there will be the disintegrated Horn of Africa.

But when it established a government in which it maintained a hegemonic political and economic power, TPLF concealed its secession project in favor of economic extraction through politics.

Al-Shabab has control in much of Central, Western, and South-Western Somalia, and used the TPLF and OLA-Shene to expand its operations to Ethiopia and Kenya. Given that Al-Shabab’s long-term plan is to establish an Islamic state in the East Africa region, the intensification of the TPLF and OLA-Shene terrorist groups poses a serious security threat. It is important to note that it exposes Horn countries, including Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, and others, to the worst possible terrorist attacks and that it would make the region the hotbed of terrorism.

States should consider that the loss of Ethiopia as a strategic partner in the Horn of Africa, is tantamount to losing strategic and national interests in the Horn region.

In light of the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia, many Western countries, institutions, and influential figures, along with the mainstream media, have unwittingly supported TPLF, primarily by placing undue pressure on the Ethiopian government. Any support provided for the TPLF is inadvertently extended to both AL-Shabab and OLA-Shene terrorist groups. States should consider that the loss of Ethiopia as a strategic partner in the Horn of Africa, is tantamount tolosing strategic and national interests in the Horn region. The United States and Europe, once considered custodians of international humanitarian law, have turned a deaf ear to individuals and groups who assist terrorist groups in the region.

According to the UN Security Council Resolution S/RES/2462/2019, those responsible for financing, planning, and supporting terrorists must be must face consequences. UN Security Council resolution S/RES/1189/1998 also stipulates that no government shall coordinate, incite, or participate in terrorist activities in another country. Similarly, the UN Security Council Resolutions S/RES/1373/2001 stipulate that all countries are criminally liable if they collect money, whether directly or indirectly, within their citizens or territorial boundaries, knowing that it is being used to aid terrorism or to commit acts of terrorism. Consistently, U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Act INA313 and INA240(c) stipulate that any U.S. citizen must comply with U.S. laws and regulations and that any member or supporter of the terrorist organization should have his or her citizenship revoked. Partners and allies of Ethiopia, countries, and organizations, should adhere to customary international law in maintaining stability in the Horn.


Food Insecurity in the Horn

In PublicationsMay 31, 20228 Minutes

Food Insecurity in the Horn

Bethlehem Mehari

Horn Review, Director
twitter: @Beth_Mehari

Climate shocks: a test of resilience

East Africa is currently facing a severe drought that threatens the food security of 13 to 15 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) estimates that 5 million children face malnourishment in the region, urging for a region-wide resiliencebuilding effort. In addition to variable rain patterns that lower agricultural productivity, resulting in crop failure, East Africa experienced dessert locust attacks which, according to FAO, are the worst seen in 25 years for both Ethiopia and Somalia, and the worst outbreak for Kenya and Uganda in 70 and 60 years respectively. Considered the most destructive migratory pest, a single square kilometer of a desert locust swarm consumes the equivalent of what 35,000 people consume in a day.

Severe, and prolonged drought is not the only climate-related disaster plaguing the region. In addition to the extreme effects of climate change, the Coronavirus pandemic has severely diminished the productivity of economies in the region, that struggle to formulate effective mitigation measures. The World Health Organization (WHO) official figures show that Eastern African countries, like the majority of Africa, have vaccinated less than a percent of their respective populations. East Africa stands to suffer the most from further infection waves given its other vulnerabilities: climate-related crises, conflict, inflation, and disruption to global supply chains.

Multiple failed attempts to bring the conflict to a decisive stop have only resulted in a spill-off of conflict into the neighboring Afar and Amhara regions.

The Ethiopian economy suffered immensely, particularly given that conflict erupted amid recurrent desert locust attacks in Tigray and parts of Amhara region. The harvest season was also preceded by the onset of conflict which severely disrupted agricultural productivity. After a concerted international pressure campaign on Ethiopia’s Federal Government to cease operations in Tigray for humanitarian reasons, the Federal Government succumbed to these pressures, stating that a pause in hostilities will primarily allow the resumption of agricultural activities in Tigray- Ethiopia’s most food-insecure region. Multiple failed attempts to bring the conflict to a decisive stop have only resulted in a spill-off of conflict into the neighboring Afar and Amhara regions. Relatedly, Ethiopia, like others in the region, risks crippling Western sanctions that would further exacerbate food insecurity. Loss of life and destruction of public infrastructure characterized Ethiopia’s conflict in the north; figures from independent groups show the economic cost of the war to be upwards of $2.5 billion. Ethio-Telecom, the nation’s largest telecommunications provider, reports losing $74 million in half a year as a result of the conflict.

Global supply chain shocks

According to the Pan African Chamber of Commerce, the Ukraine-Russia war primarily affects the African wheat, fertilizer, oilseeds, and petroleum commodity markets (PAC/ UKR/ IMPC/2022). The report forwards that 32.5% of Africa’s wheat imports originate in Russia, and 32.3% is sourced from Ukraine. The UkraineRussia war is expected to send shockwaves, particularly in the Horn where Ethiopia and Kenya source up to 40% of their wheat imports from both Russia and Ukraine. Djibouti stands to suffer the worst given that nearly 90% of its wheat import is sourced from Russia and Ukraine. Fertilizer prices, expected to increase alongside petroleum gas price increases, are also expected to spike not only because Russia is the world’s largest exporter, but also due to related sanctions in other Eastern European states. It is worth noting that, given the extreme polarization in the international arena, African nations are likely to face economic arm-twisting by trading partners. The PACC, however, points to new opportunities for inter-Africa trade to offset the effects of a global supply chain disruption.

Regional level resiliencebuilding

African governments should endeavor to implement regional early-warning mechanisms to collaboratively prepare for climate-related disasters. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) accurately predicted drought across multiple East African countries in the first half of 2022, emphasizing the need for a swift intervention at the household level, as well as increased collaboration for better resilience against food insecurity. IGAD reports that due to a coordinated multi-agency effort, a loss of $1.3 billion in cereals to desert locusts was averted— meeting the cereal requirement of nearly 30 million people. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS Net) also recommends an inter-agency and multistakeholder approach to mitigating drought in the region. In addition, FEWS Net warns that food insecurity in Ethiopia, the most populous country in the region, will likely prolong conflict conditions in the North and further imperil the population.

Somalia’s recently held elections, which were delayed by more than a year, show encouraging signs of political stability in the face of internal security threats and severe climate shocks.

FEWS Net reports that between October and December of 2021, the was a failure of rainfall across most of Somalia, as well as southern Ethiopia and eastern Kenya, making it the third consecutive year of below-average rainfall. As food security is directly tied to conflict, the region’s leaders must shift focus away from conflict rhetoric to that of resilience building in the face of an impending food crisis. Somalia’s recently held elections, which were delayed by more than a year, show encouraging signs of political stability in the face of internal security threats and severe climate shocks.

Neighboring Kenya is making preparations to hold general elections in August of 2022 while Ethiopia prepares for a national dialogue to address longstanding grievances of the various ethnic groups that make up the country. Ambassador Redwan Hussein, State Minister at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Spokesperson for the State of Emergency Taskforce, noted that an all-encompassing national dialogue is long-overdue to finally lay to rest issues of land, identity, and transitional justice. In addition, Ethiopia’s leaders face the daunting task of post-conflict economic reconstruction, at the minimum, in the regions that now experience relative peace. The Ethiopian government, however, is yet to propose an effective way to end the stalemate with Tigray and prevent a relapse into conflict.


Agreeing the Future: Co-Creating Ethiopia’s Destiny

In PublicationsMay 31, 202226 Minutes

Agreeing the Future: Co-Creating Ethiopia’s Destiny

Wondwossen Sintayehu

Justice Transformation Lab, Program CoordinatorPan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Executive Director
Linkdin : Wondwossen Sintayehu

Wondwossen Sintayehu is an environmental lawyer involved in several biodiversity, climate change, and chemicals laws in Ethiopia and beyond. He was instrumental in coordinating the development of Ethiopia’s Climate Change Strategy, and the recent update to it known as Ethiopia’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Wondwossen co-initiated the Destiny Ethiopia process, which implemented the Transformative Scenario Planning process creating Ethiopia’s 2040 Scenarios, and its sequel – the Multistakeholder Initiative for National Dialogue (MIND), which laid the basis for an all-inclusive national dialogue process in Ethiopia. Currently, this platform has given way to the establishment of the fully mandated National Dialogue Commission which will hopefully consider the work undertaken by the MIND. Before this, he served as a judge at the Federal First Instance Court in Ethiopia presiding over civil and criminal cases. He is currently coordinating a program known as Justice Transformation Lab, intended to initiate a multistakeholder process meant to transform the justice sector – a task implemented by the Ministry of Justice, JLRTI, Destiny Ethiopia together with The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law ( in the Netherlands. He leads the work for Natural Justice (https://naturaljustice. org/) Ethiopia segment, and is the co-founder of Eco-Justice Ethiopia

Scenario construction: the diverge-emerge-converge continuum

Participants were informed of the embedded nature of iterations during the three workshops where they were engaged in a rather confidential set-up over six months. The iterations included seismic rhythms of three phases of divergence, emergence, and convergence. The Ethiopian scenario development process drew guidance from Adam Kahane – the key facilitator – and as such defines diverging as the phase where participants raise divergent ideas and alternatives; while emerging is taking time to let ideas settle and to “talk it through”; while converging relates to collectively concluding agreed-upon points as well as on “what to do next.” The guidance urged participants to be open and to invite “ …diversity of inputs in the diverging phase; the patience to stay with the confusing and uncomfortable and creative emerging phase, and the confidence to decide and move on in the converging phase—even if not everything is settled and agreed upon” (Kahane 2012:64).

Understanding what to expect in these rhythmic iterations helped participants to overcome the early anxiety created when learning the extent of diversity in the group.

It enabled them at least to be patient to see what comes next though with the remotest expectation of a consensus in the backdrop of such an immense level of differences on polarized interest points on issues of national concern.

The history wall: understanding the current reality and conceptualizing mental models

The 2040 Ethiopian Scenarios development occurred in a highly polarized political context. Given the prevailing reality, it ambitiously aimed to map out possibilities of what could happen. It thus called for a reasonable understanding of what the current reality is. While some level of mutual understanding of the present reality is anticipated, a complete agreement on the present situation is not and may not of course be demanded since everyone has her/ his reality depending on the angle from which she/ he is looking. The steps taken to construct the current reality were through the conceptualization of what is known as mental models through a description of historical epochs seen as fundamental in creating the current reality.

It was agreed by the Scenario Team members that any understanding of Ethiopia’s current reality is hinged on the country’s history. So that informed narratives or stories about plausible futures succeed, these stories must represent a combination of analysis and imagination and be challenging, credible, and convincing to their architects and audience (Chermack et al. 2002:374). The team was then guided to look into the past through the lens of specific events, which were later clustered into patterns. The team was then led into thinking of underlying structures of which the patterns were examples. Structures where higher narratives explaining recurring patterns were then employed to draw mental models or systems which describe the attitude we currently developed and the reasons behind them.

Issue framing: power plays in defining uncertainties

Among other things, food security stands out among the seven structural uncertainties delineated by the participants to base future scenarios. However, when it was flagged out as one uncertainty, it did not garner immediate acclamation by fellow participants. It was rather met with resistance. However, its solid proponent strongly stood for its inclusion among the other uncertainties, claiming that food security is a “make or break situation” for the country’s future. Being a woman that compelled the government with the School Meals Initiative in the country and strong advocacy for it that later ended in the inclusion of the meals program within primary school policy, she insisted on telling a story that is important for determining uncertainty. The woman has this story to tell:

There was this boy at my elementary school in Bahir Dar who does not mingle with his colleagues during lunch recess. He routinely picks up his lunch box and runs to the trees. The teachers complained that the boy has antisocial behavior. I sent them back to watch where he is going and what he is doing during lunch break. A couple of days later they came back with tears in their eyes, “the boy brings empty lunch boxes.” We later searched all the lunchboxes and were dumbfounded to see that most of the lunch boxes were empty. What is political leadership that does not provide necessities to children at the age they are most in need?

The storytelling session ended leaving the ‘big’ political leader shedding tears. It was a revealing moment for most of them. During the second workshop, she brought three small children to demonstrate the disconnection between the large political narratives and the lived realities of the kids. Students were bringing empty lunch boxes to school and pretended to eat during lunch recess, and going to class on empty stomachs. The participants were deeply touched with some of them openly crying during the testimony from the kids. A senior opposition political party leader exiled for more than 40 years later commented, “I never knew I could be this emotional, I cried after many, many years.” Such an experience eases the tension and assists the creation of a “safe space” for further discussion.

It enabled them at least to be patient to see what comes next though with the remotest expectation of a consensus in the backdrop of such an immense level of differences on polarized interest points on issues of national concern.

Pivoting the issue to her agency, the scenario team member placed ‘food security as a fundamental factor determining future economic development and inclusion. In her assessment, it was a central issue that cannot be sidelined when forecasting any possible future for the country. Looking at the way she framed it, her peers could not keep the issue off the agenda during the discussion on “Uncertainties.” There were counterarguments for the proposal from those members who at best found it redundant and verbose as environmental change is already included and where food security or insecurity is established as a direct function of environmental degradation. Other counterarguments related to the uncertainty already established collectively by the group on economic inclusivity.

As one participating member argued, at the heart of economic inclusivity is economic development that pertains to all, and this is driven by food security or insecurity.” As stated above, the proponent could not let go of it and used all emerging opportunities to repeat andcement her arguments. During the second residential workshop, she offered to serve as a subject matter expert on the topic of food security. She used the circus tent to cast a video that narrated the history of the Ethiopian School Meals Initiative where three small children gave testimonies of the experience. It was an emotion-filled session that left most of the participants crying. The next day, food security was endorsed by the participants as one of the seven uncertainties determining Ethiopian future scenarios.

This was an explicit use of agency, entrepreneurship, and strong advocacy by a Scenario Team member to resist group rejection of an idea and make use of information towards one’s end. The rest of the participants relented fighting against an idea repeatedly forwarded and later wholeheartedly agreed to include food [in]security as an essential theme characterizing the future of Ethiopia.

Knowledge integration

Global SPI mechanisms such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) have seen the need to embrace location-based knowledge. Typically, the IPBES recognizes indigenous and local knowledge as this has a central role in biodiversity conservation. Both platforms have instituted mechanisms of aggregating localized knowledge through what are known as Technical Support Units (TSUs) within the structure of the platform.

In the Ethiopian Scenario development process, organizers saw the need of bringing onboard local knowledge in influencing future scenarios. Two elders – a local elder from the remote south and a religious leader of the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia were both invited to provide their insights on sharing experiences about realizing an amicable future for all Ethiopians. The elderly from southern Ethiopia, not only articulate in the local culture but also a linguist at a university, provided an example where he and a couple of other elders from his team bowed down before outraged mob leaders and saved the destruction of an iconic, local resort center.

In the Ethiopian Scenario development process, organizers saw the need of bringing onboard local knowledge in influencing future scenarios

Having heard that the mob was coming our way, we quickly dressed in the local outfits, grabbed freshly harvested grasses in our hands, and kneeled, blocking the lane towards the resort. It would mean that the agitated mob has to kill us first before the mob sets the hotel on fire as they have done elsewhere. Rather, the infuriated mob paused, took moments with themselves, and accepted our call for mercy in a complete local fashion.

What is in a name? Labeling the scenarios and the search for meanings

Deliberate or inadvertent, naming the four draft scenarios was a strenuous effort that took lengthy deliberations among participants compared to some of the constituent processes of scenario construction. A spin-off group was assigned to the larger Scenario participants to deal with naming the scenarios. Lessons were considered from other countries that underwent similar processes such as South Africa, Colombia, and Mexico. While it assumed the names of birds in South Africa, it was the title of folklores in Colombia and children’s games in Mexico. In each case, the future scenarios were presented in four alternative destinies futures with distinct pathways. In these countries, the naming did not have a specific negative reference at sight. With a closer look, all framing and naming of the three scenarios were negative while the remainder was a positive one, where it was looked upon by spectators.

The course it took in Ethiopia was different. There were 22 volunteers to take this assignment forward who fought for days on end to arrive at the four names – Dawn, Hegemony, Divided House, and Broken Chair Scenarios. All but one are negative at sight. It looks like it is designed to lock choice on the positively framed one as an obvious course to be pursued. However, this is not how different audiences interpreted it. During the dissemination phase, media personnel stated that Ethiopia needs a “divided house scenario where all regional states are more powerful than the federal, and the latter will only have spillover/ residual competences over the country.” In another session, a workshop participant argued for the rationale of having a hegemon for a while to bind an already divided society and saw that it is “the only option to continue as a nation”.

The fact that many of the participants volunteered in the extra effort of naming the scenarios was, in itself, telling of the ownership that evolved among the members. In an interview about the process, one participant said, “which parent would give up naming his child to a stranger? At least he takes advice, reserving the autonomy to himself.” The coordinator of the Destiny Ethiopia process reiterates “there were a maximum of 12 and a minimum of 6 names suggested to designate a particular scenario. One can see the challenge of building consensus and arriving at four names from a total of around 30 or more suggestions. At first, everyone seemed to cling to its particular name suggestion and did not wish to give it up for others. However, their improved relationship and the understanding they created helped them to make a courageous determination.”

The result of the scenarios development process did not end when achieving the core product but continued with naming them – which was the ultimate expression of ownership of the collective product in the co-creation.

Key takeaways from the process

It is abundantly clear that the policy space is much more complex than what the linearity assumptions and attempts to explain. Instead, collaborative knowledge creation is lending alternative conceptualization by bringing together knowledge generators, policymakers, and end-users into the policy space. Recent experiences demonstrate how these co-creative exercises shape even inbounded, localized, political spaces such as happened in Ethiopia’s Transformative Scenario Planning course. Provision and sustenance of safe spaces for trustworthy, and inclusive engagement of participants have proven to yield beyond the technicalities of facilitation often argued for in participatory processes. Collaboration is deceptively simple (Allo 2020) but difficult to implement as it may require working with people we don’t like, trust, or even want to work with (Kahane 2012).

…collaborative knowledge creation is lending alternative conceptualization by bringing together knowledge generators, policymakers, and endusers into the policy space.

In the Ethiopian scenario’s development process, participants from opposite corners with seemingly irreconcilable differences were seen to collaborate to influence the future.

As some would note later, the process was a demonstration of “how a major national conversation can be had between people who disagree with one another when we embrace the messy realities of political life, or, … to work with people you don’t agree with or like or trust.”(Allo 2020). While collaborative spaces would require tailored designs to enable the interchange of information among the many players specific to that space, there are significant learnings to glean from this recent process.

First, participants representing diverse corners of the space in question have to be pulled toward the intended conversation. The role of the convenors is undoubtedly important to ensure that participants will be comprehensive and inclusive of all to represent the system we want to change. Diversified representation can be attained by ensuring that the convening team itself is diverse enough to create a “microcosm” of the bigger reality intended to emulate. Secondly, there is a need to create a “safe space” for participants to engage at ease where trust grows slowly and organically. This is cumulative of nurturing trust, empathy, and a persistent assurance that all voices are taken seriously.

In areas where collective action problems are prevalent, and multiple players have individual roles in effecting change, collaboration is a must. This is evident in some of the wicked environmental problems that we see today amongst which climate change is the major one. When designing the space for collaboration, the value of attracting several voices to the middle in a space free and trusted by all is a consideration to make.

From the experience of global bodies such as IPCC and IPBES, where indigenous and local knowledge is tapped and brought to the fore, it is imperative to bring on board traditionally neglected knowledge sources. Local practitioners including grassroots communities should have a say on knowledge of climate adaptation. It is also important to understandnational and global knowledge uptake routes, for aggregating knowledge from the bottom up as well as integrating mainstream knowledge with the indigenous. In this regard, while the value of organizational structures in the likes of Technical Support Units is important at the global level, the influence of local leaders in bringing local knowledge to the national is equally recognizable. In the Ethiopian scenario building process, custodians of local knowledge are directly integrated into the collective scenario generation platform where they were allowed to integrate their previous understandings and individual experiences directly into the collective policy patchwork.

Climate scenario projections such as being coordinated through the IPCC need to result in a process for ownership. Ownership emanates from an improved relationship. It propels collective action. This has been demonstrated around the culmination of Ethiopia’s Transformative Scenario Planning process. While the process presented a tough challenge for the coordinators and the participants, it ended up creating a strong sense of ownership of the result. This was later demonstrated in the epic image of holding hands while declaring the future Ethiopia wants in an event on the 3rd December 2019, where the participants held hands and narrated the process they went through together, the possible futures for Ethiopians, and their desired scenario which they collectively agreed to pursue. Understandably, there are differences in thinking the same process as global or local climate policy processes. However, the need to create a sense of ownership is one vital element in co-creative platforms by infusing small steps such as processes for naming scenarios.


Allo, A. (2020, January 08). Opinion: Writing Ethiopia’s future: Reflections on Destiny Ethiopia’s Transformative Scenario Planning Process. Addis Standard. https:// destiny-ethiopiastransformative-scenario-planning-process/.
Accessed 20 January 2020.

Chermack, T. J., & Lynham, S. A. (2002). Definitions and outcome variables of scenario planning. Human Resource Development Review, 1(3), 366-383.

Kahane, A. (2012). Transformative scenario planning: Working together to change the future. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.


shares his experience of the design process behind the multi-stakeholder dialogue that projects four possible outcomes twenty years into the future. The first part of the article is an exploration of the process and literature that served as the knowledge base for the co-creative space known as the Destiny Ethiopia Initiative. It details the election process of the participants, explains how safe spaces were fostered due to the clandestine nature of the experience, and outlines the literature/research used to inform the process

As a result, a coalition of 50 prominent thinkers and relevant voices, despite their divergent perspectives, collaborated to address Ethiopia’s deep-rooted challenges through dialogue to produce a shared vision of a desirable future. This interactive process birthed the four scenarios Dawn, Divided House, Broken Chair, and Hegemony, one of which was endorsed as the favorable future.


Challenges and prospects for the Ethiopian economy

In PublicationsMay 31, 20229 Minutes

Challenges and prospects for the Ethiopian economy

an interview with Mr. Kebour Ghenna

Assistant Professor of Policy Studies Ethiopian Civil Service University

Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Executive Director

LinkedIn : Kebour Ghenna

Horn Review sat for an interview with Mr. Kebour Ghenna, a renowned economist and entrepreneur who founded and currently serves as the executive director of the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Having served as president of both Addis Ababa city and the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Ghenna has a unique perspective on the country’s economic standing. With an established background in the development sector, Mr. Genna served in leadership positions in the Ethiopian Red Cross, UN Economic Commission for Africa, the UN Development Programme, the World Bank Institute, and the International Development Research Centre. Moreover, Mr. Ghenna has a diverse business portfolio with investments in print media, agri-business, and consulting.

In this interview, Mr. Ghenna speaks about inflation, the benefits of the economic integration of East Africa as well as the role AfCTA can play to facilitate regional cooperation.

Horn Review:

Dr. Mukerrem, thank you for taking the time to speak to Horn Review on the topic of
political transitions and national dialogues as it relates to Sudan.

To set the context, could you speak to Sudan’s promising political transition in 2019, particularly as it relates to the various interest and identity groups therein?

figures. In the absence of figures, it is very difficult to say if the rising cost of living will trigger an upheaval in the city or not. The current inflation rate is around 20 percent, plus; this is quite a high number when you analyze it at the household level. Looking at the [CPI] basket of goods provided, some products show an increase and others show a decrease. At this stage, we can say that, yes, it has been challenging for the government to manage inflation, but not at a stage where there are fears of societal upheaval in the country, or in Addis Ababa. Yes, there is inflation but it is, in my view, manageable.

I am not certain whether additional measures are required at this stage as the ones in place seem to be stabilizing the economy.

Horn Review:

Does this include the prices of petroleum, fertilizer, and other consumer goods that we primarily import?

However, the AfCFTA becomes important as it frames the rules of trade, sets the guidelines for the movement of people, determines quotas, and sets standards, especially in the case of nontariff barriers. The AfCFTA intends to abolish tariffs and come to a consensus on removing different kinds of quotas and restrictions. Additionally, who becomes the arbiter or mediator should a conflict arise? And if there is a new invention, how does this invention not be copied elsewhere in Africa? These are the technical deliberations that require negotiations and discussions to get to an agreement.

Our work is to understand and prepare businesses to be part of this Intra-Africa trade. This discussion is between governments, this is clear. On the part of the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI), we help businesses understand and prepare to join this intra-Africa trade.

Horn Review:

Following up, the comprehensive nature of the AfCFTA makes it such that nations would have to extensively adopt domestic regulations. Do African nations risk delaying the trade regime until they modernize their laws?

These two processes should go hand in hand. One of the purposes of signing up for AfCFTA is to modernize your internal systems. Once countries sign intraregional or international trade agreements, as in the case of Ethiopia, the ministry of trade or other authorities must work to align the internal trade legislation with those of the neighboring countries, African countries, or even the World Trade Organization (WTO). Both the AfCFTA and WTO have guidelines that countries must follow to participate in a beneficiary system. Interestingly, these guidelines help accelerate the rate of modernization of internal systems to be better integrated into the global system.

In the case of Ethiopia, PPP projects can be successful with the government at the municipality level.

Horn Review:

How can the Ethiopian government, and African governments in general, encourage, and facilitate remittance from their global diasporas?

I think we should start with better equipping our population, not only to curb illegal immigration but also to produce a highly-skilled diaspora. If one considered the Ethiopian diaspora in the Middle East, they are largely low-wage employees. Comparatively, there is a higher proportion of Kenyans occupying mid-level and managerial positions. This issue is quite closely related to our education system as much as it is our immigration policies.

Remittances make up a large part of our economy. Hence, states should make it easier for people, at home, to access financial systems and services. We already see incentive systems like lotteries and contests to promote financial literacy in neighboring Somalia, this grows remittance resulting in economic growth.

Horn Review:

What are the merits of public-private partnerships (PPP) for the Ethiopian economy? Is there room for improvement?

In private-public partnerships, we have two large and powerful entities; a government and a business giant. Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) is an excellent example of such a partnership. Technically you want to attract PPP for larger projects, and in so doing, governments endeavor for bigger projects. The federal government is interested in large partners because it is too big for small projects and partners. In the case of Ethiopia, PPP projects can be successful with the government at the municipality level. There is, however, always a risk of the joint project being overrun by a private entity. Giant companies and conglomerates, like Total, can strongarm even governments.

Horn Review:

International investors often consider risk and security premiums when considering investing in developing countries. How do international investors circumvent the high cost, and risk, of investing that has been your observation?

Well the basic requirement for any investor, of course, is a return on investment. There are however instances where investors will come in the middle of wars because their companies do mining for example. If we’re talking about a country like Ethiopia, with limited natural resources, the investor would likely opt to operate in an environment that is somewhat safe and predictable, because the business is contingent upon conditions of peace, security, and prosperity. In resource-rich nations, we observe businesses operating in insecure conditions as there is a resource to extract and run away with. In that sense the issue of peace-making is primordial.


African resilience, beauty, and sorrow: a lecture on the great African paradox

In PublicationsMay 31, 202213 Minutes

African resilience, beauty, and sorrow: a lecture on the great African paradox

Professor Ahmed Ismail Samatar

Author and Professor

Having lectured at various prestigious institutions, the likes of which include Harvard University, London School of African and Oriental Studies, London School of Economics, Wellesley College, and Cornell University, Ahmed I. Samatar was the founding Dean of Macalester’s Institute for Global Citizenship. There, he was a James Wallace Professor of International Studies and chair of the department. In his lengthy career, which included a bid for the Somali presidency, Samatar has published over forty articles and authored/coauthored/edited 5 books. He is also the founder
and editor in chief of Bildhaan, an International Journal of Somali Studies established in 2001 to accelerate public engagement in political discourse. His scholastic interests continue to focus on the state of Somalia, its leadership, and the relationship between globalization and religion.

The following is a summary of a lecture derived from Power and Development, a class he taught at Macalester College, that addresses the contradiction between the potential of Africa and the parallel pitfalls hindering development- what he considers to be the dialectic of development.

For me, the three words that capture the essence of Africa are strength and resilience in the face of long-term challenges, beauty in diversity and cultural expressions, and sorrow relating to the lack of safety and security. Contemporary African leaders and scholars need to invest in narrowing the gap between African resilience and beauty, as well as its sorrows.

Resilience and vitality of the population

Geologically, Africa is the oldest landmass where humans first learned to tame the environment. Constituting 54 countries, and with a little under2.4 billion people, Africa is the second-largest continent contributing 2.7 trillion dollars to the global economy. The three largest GDP nations on the continent are Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa accounting for 480, 363, and 320 billion dollars respectively. *[1] In terms of population density, Nigeria leads Africa with a population amounting to 210 million followed by Ethiopia with nearly 117 million people. More than 60% of the continent’s land is arable, though the quality of the soil is not as productive as the soil found in temperate regions. Africa is also immensely resource-rich housing 90% of the world’s chromium and platinum and 40% of the gold. With 70% of the continental population under 35 years of age, it has the fastest-growing population with more demands made for democracy from its emerging middle class. Accordingly, the management of civil life is improving as signs indicate better quality of governance. And of course, the cultural diversity of the continent is extraordinary

The continent’s sorrows

Africa has issues with governance. Though there has been some improvement, there are limited ethical and competent leaders. Thus, pervasive corruption is a signature tune of many African societies. Weak rule of law, regimes incapable of creating constitutional integrity, and weak political participation, though there are anomalies, result in shallow and fragile democracies with limited transparency and brittle institutions leading to a fractured state.

This instability is compounded by the effects of global warming on the already vulnerable high temperature and water-stressed communities. *[2] Traffic congestion and air pollution, have also changed the composition of cities. And
though the number of young people has potential for economic expansion, it can also be explosive if unemployment rates go unchecked.

…to a whole system of administration and leadership with no analytical skills. The way to combat this liability is through a healthy and educated youth population. Brain drain is another prominent issue.

For example, Somalia has 70% youth unemployment. The rate of unemployment combined with the lack of good quality education leads to a whole system of administration and leadership with no analytical skills. The way to combat this liability is through a healthy and educated youth population. Brain drain is another prominent issue. Foreign remittance does not compensate for the brain drain from Africa as many of our doctors and nurses peruse better lives elsewhere. Poor or obsolete infrastructure drains economies. Just looking at electrical infrastructure, there is a 2-3% GDP loss because certain growing industries don’t have consistent access to electricity, not to mention the 600 million Africans that do not have access to electricity. Similarly, the lack of oil refinery infrastructure in Nigeria has resulted in losses of around 8 billion dollars a year despite

Nigeria being the 6th largest producer of crude oil. Health, a key indicator of the quality of life, is not widely accessible. The COVID 19 pandemic exposed many of the issues with health care in Africa as even in the case of COVID 19, a global pandemic, only 16% of Africans have received a single dose of the vaccine. Moreover, 30% of Africans reside 30 minutes away from safe drinking water. Furthermore, the long-standing struggle against external domination of imperial and sub-imperial influences has played a critical role in political and economic matters. This is greatly emphasized by the African Union’s incapacity to build coalitions amongst member states.

Power is who gets what when, and how. I want to add a modification: who gets what, when, how, and who
gets left out. The capacity to get others to do something they don’t want to do is power.

With these pitfalls facing Africa, how do we close the gap between the assets and the challenges?
By understanding modernization and transformation – without destroying history or cultures. To do this, we have to educate the civil population to cut across cultural taboos, update public health care, industrialize per the environmental and economic needs of the 21st century, innovate and produce firstly for local consumption and bolster the industries designed for exporting goods.

The concept of Politics

Politics, inalienable from the human experience, has two faces or two dimensions for me. One face looks to enhance the dignity and well-being of people. The other face has to do with managing the deep and persistent conflict amongst members of societies. Plato tells us politics is about the harmonization of conflict – with its core politics being about justice. Thus, if politics is a tool used to restrain injustice within society, the state is necessary to build a just community and protect against threats and misery. The goals of politics are to ensure peace and security, create wealth, and facilitate freedom and justice for both individuals and society. So even if politics is fixed, it’s not static and can adapt to the growing needs of societies.

Aristotle similarly expresses that politics is the collective strive to bring virtue amongst citizens, in effect asking citizens to be actively engaged in politics to be happy and virtuous. In our modern world, this concept is actualized by the happiness index (Gross National Happiness index) developed by the King of Bhutan in the 1970s.

Power and Development

According to Harold Lasswell, Power is who gets what when, and how. I want to add a modification: who gets what, when, how, and who gets left out. The capacity to get others to do something they don’t want to do is power. There are four classical means of power; physical/military, economic*[3], administration and bureaucratic management, and cultural. What’s fascinating about cultural power, the power associated with ideas, information, and belief systems, is that itfosters the desire of others to be like you – in other words, sticky power. An example of this is Turkey’s 40 years of attempts to join the EU to no avail.

Power is who gets what when, and how. I want to add a modification: who gets what, when, how, and who gets left out. The capacity to get others to do something they don’t want to do is power.

The concept of development illustrates the engagement of the historical, present, and future of states as it relates to power and politics. Development can be a cruel and perpetual process but if successful can be massively beneficial. Amartya Sen, an Indian economist who was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics claims that development is the removal of various types of unfreedoms that leave people little choice and opportunity to exercise their agency. An African scholar has described development as the expansion of choice articulated by the individual and collective. My definition is that development (a perpetual project) can massively transform economic, political, ecological, and cultural life, with all coordinated at the same time with emphasis placed on different components based on urgency.

What is the most important entity that embodies these concepts in a way that generates energy out of them and uses them to close the gap between potential and pitfalls?

It is the state. The greater the positive capacity of the state the greater the potential of the society to make changes. Particularly in developing societies like Ethiopia, the nature and quality of the state are greatly significant. Thus if the state is not a positive practitioner of politics and power, it undermines civil life. The difference between Asia and Africa is exemplified through the development of South Korea and Ghana. Both nations started on an even playing field in terms of quality of life. What differed in the past sixty years is the government’s commitment to providing quality education and restructuring the state to become an engine for economic growth.

[1] South Africa has the most sophisticated economy due to its early industrialization. The University of Cape Town was even the location of the first heart and kidney transplant surgeries on the when te
[2] Samatar predicts the greatest battles in the Middle East and North Africa will be over water and other issues spurred on by scarce resources.
[3] The key to this power is not providing money but rather withholding money or closing access to the means of acquiring money


Editor’s Note :

In PublicationsMay 31, 20222 Minutes

Editor’s Note :

Editor’s Note :

Dear readers,

Horn Review is proud to present this 7th edition of its monthly publication. This edition primarily focuses on the various security and resiliency issues facing the region. With intractable identity-based conflict in Ethiopia, government freefall in Sudan, and tentative elections in Kenya, Horn States are yet to sound the alarm of an impending food shortage. The governance problems in the region further exacerbate the effects of drought and food shortage. There is no doubt that the political interests and decisionmaking of regional leaders, going forward, comes with high humanitarian costs.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Professor Ahmed Samatar for the impassioned lecture on a crucial issue of his scholarship: development and policy-making in the Horn. As a leading authority in Horn states’ political and developmental trajectories, Professor Samatar juxtaposes the promise and potential that Africa offers with the current, sobering, reality of poverty and conflict. I would also like to thank
the Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) Department of Addis Ababa University for the initiative in hosting such engaging discussions on campus.

I would also like to thank Kibour Ghenna, President of the Pan-African Chamber of
Commerce, for taking the time to sit with Horn Review to discuss the economic challenges Ethiopia currently faces amidst a global pandemic, a costly internal conflict, as well as shocks to the global supply chains that further
exacerbate the public’s woes. Mr. Kibur also remarked on the prospects of better economic

performance with forward-looking investment initiatives and continental regimes that would revolutionize inter-African-cooperation, as well as enhance the ease of doing business at home.

Lastly, I would like to thank Wondwossen Sentayehu for the elaborate discussion on the
design of Destiny Ethiopia’s multi-stakeholder scenario building process. As a founding member of the Initiative, Wondwossen shares an intimate account of the widely successful process, from design to result, particularly at a time when the nation plans to engage in a national dialogue.