Civil Society and Regional Peacebuilding in the Horn of Africa: A review of present engagement and future opportunities

"Over several decades, the Horn of Africa has been recognised as a complex system of conflicts, where the conflicts in the region are interlinked and trans-boundary in nature. In the field of peacebuilding, there is a growing realization that peacebuilding efforts in complex systems such as the Horn of Africa require holistic and coordinated responses which regional approach to peacebuilding could facilitate. Hence, regional peacebuilding is often prescribed as a means to address the complexity of interlinked conflicts in the Horn. However, despite the well-recognized need for strategic and regional peacebuilding efforts that address root causes of conflicts, there is no consensus on what regional peacebuilding means and constitutes of in practical terms. In fact, several civil society organizations (CSOs) carry out “regional peacebuilding” as individually defined by themselves, without a clear or shared definition of what it actually means. The recommendations emanating from this mapping, framed as key points and ways forward targeted primarily to civil society, serve as a good starting point geared towards short-term as well as long-term needs, in order to effectively address the peacebuilding needs in the Horn."