Horn of Africa Bulletin Vol 26 No.3 May-June 2015
The articles and their conclusions in this journal, suggests a wide range of recommendations and issues of concern to policy makers. The article by Ferras, underlines how Djibouti’s growing strategic significance has fundamentally shifted its traditional orientation to the outside world and is the outcome of not only developments external to Djibouti but also derived from the skillful maneuvering of its current leadership. The obverse side of this state of affairs, at the same time, cannot also be overlooked in the potential for greater foreign influence in Djibouti and the possibility that it could be dragged into external conflicts. Djibouti’s fragility is being highlighted by Aden’s article, as well as the current political situation. It draws attention to the criticality of a smooth political transition in the context of widespread economic dissatisfaction and calls for political liberalisation. Mohamed Omar’s piece provides readers with useful insights into inter-state rivalries in the Horn and how these tensions have impacted regional initiatives to resolve the conflict in Somalia. This article underlines the need to take account of the competing needs and interests of regional states by the international community, when formulating policy and programmatic interventions in Somalia. Ambassador Djama’s article discussing Djibouti’s multifaceted relations with the Arab world should also draw attention to the possibility that developments in the Arabian Peninsula could also disproportionately affect Djibouti as is borne out by the influx of refugees fleeing the civil war in Yemen. Zelalem’s contribution highlights the growing importance of the economic and infrastructural collaboration between Ethiopia and Djibouti but in a context where collaboration has not been free of some tensions.