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The Horn of Africa States and the Odds Stacked Against It

By
Dr. Suleiman Walhad
October 28th, 2022

All these envoys for the Horn of Africa States, were thought to be a blessing for the region. Indeed, it was generally thought that the world was coming to terms with the creation of the Horn of Africa States. But alas! This was not to be! The envoys were just envoys, another beautiful misnomer for ambassadors, reporting directly to the heads of governments sidelining the bureaucracy of foreign ministries in their countries and hence serving their countries but not the region. HAS is not only one of the main sea-lanes of the world both locally and internationally, but it is also the birthplace of humanity. It is the source of the Blue Nile, which is the main tributary of the river Nile that provides fresh water to millions of people in Northeast Africa. The fact that it is as important for international shipping and hence international trade as the Suez Canal, is not lost to the powers that be in the world. No wonder they sent so many envoys including not only those from Europe or the United States or China. But it seems their presence has not only messed up the place by getting involved in all the minor problems of the region and internationalizing them for obvious reasons.

In the past, the internal conflicts in Somalia engineered from outside, exploiting the traditional family feuds of Somali people dominated the region, but lately, this has been shifting to the Ethio-Eritrean sphere, sometimes involving artificially created Ethio-Eritrean conflicts spilling into tribal and religious discords amplified many times over to attract international involvement. The Eritrean-Djibouti border skirmishes was another foreign-inspired conflict to add more flavor to the region’s wows and troubles. It appears that the region, despite its historical importance coupled by its present strategic significance, is being turned into a kind of hell on earth to the satisfaction of those who have malicious intentions on the region.

The designs against the region appears to be turning to an even uglier phase, where Somalia, the only homogenous country in the continent of Africa seems to be under attack again, pushing it to join the East Africa Community, a region, it shares very little with in terms of culture, religion, ethnicity, language and pulling it away from its natural allies of the other members of the Horn of Africa States including Djibouti, Eritrea and, of course, Ethiopia.

The internal conflict of Ethiopia involving the Tigray region, is being overly extended to make it have an international flavor. A peace conference involving international actors working for non-regional parties is currently underway as if the conflict were between two countries with issues of international dimensions. It is a wrong and dangerous move that could affect many other African countries. Why would Obasanjo be heading such an ill-thought of move? Is he not aware that Nigeria could simply have a repeat of Biafra many times over in his country? Those leaders of old Africa, who took over from colonial Europe to steer the continent after the colonials left, despite their many shortcomings, were the wiser. They agreed to keep the colonial borders knowing that ethnicities in each country would open gates of hell for Africa, as is going on in Ethiopia today or as it happened in Biafra many years ago.

The continuing civil conflicts, the piracy in the seas and oceans of the region, the disputes on its fresh waters and the dams on its rivers and the many special envoys to the region from the powers that be in the world does not pose well for the region. And now, Somalia is being targeted to push it to join a community, with which it shares extraordinarily little other than being together in the continent of Africa. Why is the Horn of Africa States so unlucky as to be a target for evil-doers and how could it extricate itself from these multi-faceted attacks.

Perhaps, since there is no big brother to seek help from, the best way the region can help itself is to have its leaders come together and work together to address many of the foreign-inspired attacks. When we say leaders, we are not referring only to the political leaders. We are also referring to the peoples’ cultural, religious and academic leaders and the region has many of them, unexploited presently because of the political infrastructures in the countries of the Horn of Africa States. It is most unfortunate that some of the leaders of the region and especially, some of the political leaders play to the tunes  and music of the spoilers and enemies of the region. A summit of the leaders of the four countries of the region would be an ideal way to start correcting the wrong path set for the region. Such a summit could be held in anyone of the capital cities or one of the major historical cities of the region and there are several cities with great and significant historical settings and repeated many times over, if necessary. They could, then start setting up institutional infrastructures for the region, including but not limited to political settings, economic and customs settings in terms of integration and development, legal and judicial settings and others. It is quite clear that many odds are stacked against the region, but it should not give up hope. Falling and rising, falling and rising and picking up oneself again and again, strengthens a party and gives it the drive to survive and compete in this harsh, harsh world.

The so-called unending wars against terror, the armies of employment-seeking NGOs personnel, the armies of ignorant politicians that have become the darlings of the exploiters of the region, and the many special envoys to the region, would only add to the miseries of the region, as is currently the case. It is high time the leaders of the region and its people collectively and individually acted to steer away from the wrong path they have set for the region and on which it is currently floating upon seemingly directionless. Expecting things to happen right and correct themselves is not right or the correct way, and the leaders should make the effort to work together. One of them should have the courage to invite the others and have coffee with them, at least, and from whence work on a thankful route to extricate the region from the chaos it finds itself.

Our institute of HAS, which looks far into the future of the region would be helpful, in this respect and we would be willing to assist in anyway, we can. We aim to work towards and promote the creation of a fully integrated Horn of Africa States consisting of its four members: Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti (“SEED”). We  promote an integrated, prosperous and peaceful united Horn of Africa States whereby people in the region can live together through unity in diversity and in harmony anywhere in the territory to realize their full potentiality in order to achieve a sustainable development and represent a dynamic force in the global arena, despite the odds stacked against the region.

Join us, dear leaders, in our objectives of:

  • Enhancing the economic integration of SEED
  • Intensifying the political integration of SEED.
  • Strengthening cooperation in the domestic affairs and justice of SEED.
  • Creating a unified foreign and security policy of SEED.
  • Establishing a common citizenship right (Travel and Residence) of SEED
  • Reversing SEED’s old prejudices of enmity and dominance and replacing them by co-existence and friendship

We embrace high values of Unity in Diversity, Joint Ownership and Responsibility, Human Dignity, Accountability, Transparency and Rule of Law. We believe in integrity and creativity through the advancement of innovative solutions to achieve the main objectives of the Horn of Africa States as noted above.

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