Horn of Africa Bulletin Vol 29 No. 5 September-October 2017
The complex and constantly evolving relations and interactions between the societies and states in the Horn and the countries of the Persian Gulf have significant peace and security implications for the region and globally. This issue of the Horn of Africa Bulletin (HAB) has sought contributions that would analyse and problematize current and emerging aspects of the relations between states in the two regions. The French article by Mr. Ferras is a critical and provocative overview of the expanding engagement of certain GCC states in the Horn. The article provides a brief overview of the historical and economic linkages between the two regions, and showcases the underlying structural inequalities between the two regional blocs, which coupled with other gaps impose structural limitations on the potential peace and development dividend to be derived from greater GCC engagement with the Horn. The article by Mr. Roble addresses an issue that is often elided in the conventional commentary on the relations between GCC states and IGAD member states. The article describes and also analyses the increasingly tenuous and tension-filled relations between the Somali Federal Government and the administrations of the regional states, which the author links to interests and demands derived from greater GCC involvement in Somalia. The article by Mr. Karim is an interesting analytical overview of the evolving interests and drivers behind the greater engagement of actors such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Republic of Turkey, in the Horn. The author shows how a concatenation of narrowly framed security interests, economic/commercial interests, public diplomacy needs and competitive behaviour and interests, provide the key drivers behind the greater engagement of new actors in the Horn. All of the authors also underline how the expanding and deepening GCC presence in the Horn could potentially destabilize inter-state relations between the member states of the IGAD.