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The countries of the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan) have been dragged into the war in Yemen on account of their entanglement in the regional politics of the Middle East. This process began with the assertive regional security strategies of Saudi Arabia and the UAE from 2011 onward, in which rival Gulf states, plus Iran and Turkey, sought to extend their influence in the Horn of Africa. These efforts had soft power, economic, and security dimensions. Since 2015, the Saudi-Emirati coalition’s need for battle-ready ground forces (obtained from Sudan) and military bases on the western shore of the Red Sea (in Eritrea) has turned those African countries into belligerents. The deepening Middle Eastern engagement across the Red Sea is also reorienting political alignments in the Horn of Africa, notably in Sudan, and deepening monetized transactional politics.
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- The Horn of Africa and the Yemen Crisis
Alex de Waal
- Chapter 13
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