By Dr. Suleiman Walhad
March 1st, 2023
A stimulus or antecedent usually brings forth a response. Pavlovian conditioning have continued to being practiced in the Horn of Africa States, for when the name of the region or its member states are mentioned anywhere, certain known responses immediately come forth through reinforced consequences. Hunger, starvation, political failures and quagmires, the tribe and tribal warrior and other conditioned and reinforced consequences and responses usually come to mind.
Those who want to take advantage of the region and its wealth, the same actors who have been playing their games of miseries on the region for now more than half a decade, need not do more other than just mentioning the name of the Horn of Africa. The Horn African normal citizen, has not been able to confront these stimuli, which produce in them hopelessness, and inability to reflect on their situations and find solutions. Even when good ideas are given to them, they would immediately read it as idealistic and would believe, it is not practical or this is far from realities of the region. The situation of the region as a miserable and hopeless region thus continues to be reinforced on a continual basis.
The year 2023 is still young although the third month is just starting, and we have been reading about the miseries of the region for some two months already. They started in early January and continued through the last two months diffusion of information about starvation and hunger in the region. We do not see this changing, for this is part of the game of miseries the same actors play on the region.
The regional leaders both the ruling parties and the opposition parties kept to behaving the same way, singularly capacitated to solve the nation state’s problems and never attempting to sit down together, for each one is played against the other and all of them are perhaps shown on screens uno pocco di dollari or the plight of their tribe and/or clan and immediately becomes a tribal/clan warrior instead of a national leader, let alone a regional leader!
The major players continued their miserable games on the Misérables of the Horn of Africa States. The numerous NGOs that do not attract attention but sufficiently financed by the same parties which appear to be different from each other continued to play havoc on the region much like an oversized amoebic/cellular organisms which are interconnected but appear to be disconnected.
The surrounding countries/regions who have some clout and/or advantage over the region continue to influence the region’s politicians and sell them the idea that they are on their side, when, indeed, they are not and are in the region looking after their own interests. The West Asians and even the Central/East Africans continued to influence through unfulfillable promises to take advantage of the poor leaders of the region’s nation states and even some of the region’s states are made to take advantage of the other members of the region.
The rivalries across the globe continued to affect the region, mainly drawn by its geostrategic location and especially because of the current European War or the potential East Asian conflict involving some of the major powers of the world. The leaders of the region, it appears, do not discuss with each other or perhaps are not even allowed to see each other to find solutions for their common problems be it underdevelopment, health and educational services, financial matters, foreign policy coordination, security matters and many other aspects of life, which they can easily solve by themselves working together.
The region is continuously represented as part of what is called the Greater Horn of Africa or the IGAD region which comprises of countries that share little with each other, other than being in the same continent. It should only have been reflected as the Horn of Africa States region consisting of its component countries of Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea. There are, indeed, differences among these countries but not as much as they are together different from the misnamed Central Africa Region – the East Africa Community or even the IGAD region.
The Horn of Africa States region can end its miseries and stop those playing Pavlovian conditioning of the region as a region that cannot help itself, but which continually needs others to manage it. An integrated Horn of Africa States region is reflected as an impractical impossibility. But who knew that one day Germany and France would sit down together around a table and create together the now immense and successful European Union? Why shouldn’t the Horn of Africa States member states sit down together to create a regional block for themselves?
The Horn of Africa States owns a large land and sea space, sufficiently large and youthful population and hence a sizeable market and enough natural resources, which would give them economies of scale that would also allow them to collectively negotiate better prices and conditions with other regions and countries of the world. Strength comes from teamwork and not from individual works. That is how football teams or for that matter most organized teams win games. We must repeat the old message that implanted terrorism, clan/tribal civil strives, unwanted so-called “peacekeepers”, foreign so-called benefactors and the large miserable NGOs in the region, should be done away with and the region should look inwards into itself, while other problems such those related to major world power competitions and conflicts and natural disasters related to climate change and extreme weather should managed.
The leadership of the region both ruling parties and opposition parties should note the beauty of unity in diversity. It is the better way; however, one sees it.
The Horn of Africa States the Game of Miseries