Is There Hope for the Horn of Africa? Reflections on the Political and Economic Impasses

by Paul B. Henze


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This Note is the extended and updated version of a paper that was presented at a conference on Crisis in the Horn of Africa: Causes and Prospects, at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., June 1987. The study, which draws on the author's visit to Ethiopia in March 1987, reviews the destabilizing effects on the Horn of Africa of increasing Soviet activism; famine in Ethiopia and Sudan; rebellions in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Eritrea; and Somalian irredentism. The author believes that to alleviate the economic and political deterioration of the region, Western governments must join in setting up an international peace and mediation commission that would work toward (1) the acceptance by the countries involved of the de facto borders and arbitration of disputes; (2) the persuasion of foreign powers to cease support of separatism and dissidence; (3) a moratorium on arms shipments to the region; (4) the creation of an international group to monitor compliance with the peace process and human rights standards; (5) adherence by all donors to common criteria for the provision of emergency relief and development aid; and (6) increased regional economic development aid.

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