The Troubled Horn of Africa

June 2009 • Volume 3, Issue 6
Can the war-torn region be stabilized?
By Jason McLure

Introduction

Fighters loyal to newly elected Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed man a roadblock in the war-torn capital of Mogadishu on Feb. 19, 2009. The moderate Islamist is the latest Somali leader to try to establish a central government in a country that has become a global poster child for a “failed state.”  (AFP/Getty Images/Mohamed Dahir)
Fighters loyal to newly elected Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed man a roadblock in the war-torn capital of Mogadishu on Feb. 19, 2009. The moderate Islamist is the latest Somali leader to try to establish a central government in a country that has become a global poster child for a “failed state.” (AFP/Getty Images/Mohamed Dahir)

Plagued by conflict, poverty and poor governance, the Horn of Africa is arguably the most troubled corner of the world's poorest continent. In desperately poor Somalia, an 18-year civil war has forced more than a million people from their homes, leaving behind a safe haven for pirates and, possibly, Islamic terrorists. In Ethiopia, an increasingly authoritarian, Western-backed government has jailed opposition leaders and clamped down on the press and human rights activists. In tiny Eritrea, a government that once won the admiration of legions of Western diplomats and journalists for its self-sufficiency and discipline has become an isolated dictatorship. The recent withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Somalia and the election of a moderate leader to the country's transitional government have raised international hopes that the lawlessness there will be brought under control. But Somalia's new government faces an insurgency from radical Islamists and worldwide pressure to stop the increasingly aggressive pirates who terrorize cargo ship crews off Somalia's coast and find refuge in its seaside villages.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Africa
Jul. 10, 2015  Terrorism in Africa
Nov. 20, 2012  Booming Africa
Apr. 05, 2011  Conflict in Congo
Aug. 2009  Attacking Piracy
Jun. 2009  The Troubled Horn of Africa
Sep. 2008  Crisis in Darfur
Jan. 2008  China in Africa
Sep. 09, 2005  Ending Poverty
Aug. 27, 2004  Stopping Genocide
Aug. 29, 2003  Aiding Africa
Nov. 08, 2002  Famine in Africa
Mar. 24, 1995  Democracy in Africa
Jan. 14, 1994  South Africa's Future
Mar. 23, 1990  U.S. Role in South Africa's Future
Nov. 07, 1986  Economic Turnabout In Africa
Jan. 17, 1986  Angola and the Reagan Doctrine
Sep. 09, 1983  South Africa's ‘Total Strategy’
Jul. 14, 1978  African Policy Reversal
Sep. 03, 1976  Africa and the Big Powers
Apr. 04, 1975  Southern Africa in Transition
Dec. 06, 1974  Ethiopia in Turmoil
May 09, 1973  African Nation Building
Feb. 28, 1968  Nigeria at War
Nov. 02, 1966  White Outposts in Southern Africa
Feb. 03, 1965  Congo Dilemma
Aug. 12, 1964  Red Rivalry in Africa
May 22, 1963  Political Turmoil in Southern Africa
Nov. 02, 1960  Tribalism and Nationalism in Africa
Sep. 28, 1960  Education for Africans
Apr. 10, 1959  Power Struggles in Colonial Africa
Aug. 20, 1958  Algerian Conflicts
Apr. 09, 1958  White Supremacy in South Africa
Sep. 11, 1957  Future of Algeria
Apr. 03, 1957  Political Awakening of Black Africa
Sep. 17, 1952  Africa and the West
Feb. 20, 1952  Nationalism in North Africa
Dec. 04, 1942  War Resources in Africa
May 29, 1935  Pre-War and Post-War Imperialism in Africa
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Regional Political Affairs: Africa