Briefing Paper

Project: Africa Programme, Horn of Africa Project

Roy Love
  • Among the drivers of conflict in the Horn of Africa economic motivations have been ubiquitous and pervasive in prompting and sustaining conflict. At other times economic drivers have exhibited a potential for peaceful cooperation. An understanding of their role and relationship with other forces of change is essential.
  • Conflict in the Horn frequently has economic impacts across national borders. This paper identifies four major zones of borderland insecurity in which informal trade as much as formal relationships can both sustain conflict and offer potential for post-conflict cooperation.
  • Underlying the various sub-regional conflicts are a number of recurrent economic themes, including access to sea ports, livestock as a basis for livelihoods, energy-related issues, the wider impact of localized conflict, drought, land rights and remittances.
  • The establishment of permanent peace can only be built upon a common set of values reflecting equity, tolerance and an acknowledgment of the potential of traditional institutions in entrenching community cohesion. Only on such a foundation will specific programmes be assured of harnessing those economic drivers necessary for their success.

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