Somalilandsun:Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s involvement in negotiations over Sudan’s transitional government and bringing Somalia into the mooted Horn of Africa Cooperation body had promised to boost Ethiopia’s status in the region, but the Tigray conflict puts these initiatives at risk.
The Horn of Africa Cooperation was proposed as an addition to membership in the AU and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa). It was designed as the fulcrum for regional integration revolving around Ethiopia. Abiy had brought Somali President Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed ‘Farmajo’ into the negotiations (AC Vol 61 No 16, Clearing a path). Establishing the Horn of Africa Cooperation would require a peaceful, stable Ethiopia.
It would also require transparency over aims and policies, which has not been forthcoming from a secretive agreement between Abiy and Eritrean President Issayas Afewerki.
There was little enthusiasm in the region when it became apparent that Issayas saw the Horn of Africa Cooperation as a replacement for regional body the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.
Although there are concerns about IGAD’s effectiveness, no other state shares Eritrea’s aim of replacing it, and run the risk of undermining the security efforts of IGAD, the Eastern Africa Standby Force and the East African Community (AC Vol 60 No 7, Birthday blues). continue reading Hard choices ahead in Addis