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State and Societal Challenges in the Horn of Africa

Alexandra Magnólia Dias

Introduction: Understanding conflict and processes of state formation, reconfiguration and disintegration in the Horn of Africa

Alexandra Magnólia Dias

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Since the end of the colonial period, the Horn of Africa (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan) has been affected by a large number of inter-state and civil wars (Woodward, 1996). Uganda is part of the region’s security dynamics and a member of its organization, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.

In contrast with West and Southern Africa, the ill-defined nature of the borders in the Horn of Africa has led to two high-intensity inter-state wars, namely the 1977-1978 war between Somalia and Ethiopia and the 1998-2000 war between Eritrea and Ethiopia, and inter-state disputes between Djibouti and Eritrea, Eritrea and Yemen and more recently between Sudan and South Sudan (Jacquin-Berdal, 2002; Kornprobst, 2002).

Wars and famines have triggered major displacement within countries and across borders, making the Horn one of the main regions generating refugees and internally displaced persons. By the end of 2007 the region hosted 815,200 refugees and in 20...

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