An Interest Approach to Resolution of Civil Wars in the Horn of Africa: Lessons from the Negotiations on the Eritrean Conflict
For years, civil wars have been raging in the region known as the Horn of Africa, which consists of Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti. In Sudan and Somalia the wars have progressed from bad to worse with the parties to the original conflict now further divided within themselves and fighting each other. In Djibouti, the situation of latent conflict that existed in that country since independence has now broken out into open warfare. In Ethiopia, the major civil wars appear to have come to an end with the military defeat of the government forces. The final offensive against the government army twarted a process that was underway aimed at a negotiated settlement to the conflict. It remains to be seen to what extent the military victory has resolved the basic disagreements that started the wars in the first place. One wonders if old problems that were ignored when the focus was on the major common enemy, the central government, will now come to the surface and start a new cycle of conflict and violence. It is apparent that the victory of the insurgents has left behind grudges and bitterness on the side of the vanquished, and let us hope that this anger and humiliation does not express itself in violence later.
KeywordsConflict Resolution Negotiation Process Territorial Unity Interest Level Civil Strife
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