'The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa': Making Sense of Current Developments

Thursday, 21 April 2016 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Date & Time: Thursday 21st April, 19:30-21:00  Venue: Djam Lecture Theatre, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG
Speaker: Alex de Waal (Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation) Chair: David Styan (Lecturer in Politics, Birkbeck University)

This compelling account provides a contemporary history of how politicians, generals and insurgents in the Horn of Africa bargain over money and power, and use of war to achieve their goals. Alex de Waal reveals the business model through which leaders run their countries, determined by oil exports, aid funds and Western military assistance for counterterrorism and peacekeeping. In this presentation, de Waal will address recent developments in the region, including the South Sudan peace agreement, the Red Sea crisis that has reconfigured the politics of Eritrea and Somalia, and the wave of anti-government protests in Oromia region of Ethiopia.

‘Drawing on a thirty-year career in Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, including experience as a participant in high-level peace talks, Alex de Waal provides a unique and compelling account of how these countries leaders run their governments, conduct their business, fight their wars and, occasionally, make peace. De Waal shows how leaders operate on a business model, securing funds for their political budgets which they use to rent the provisional allegiances of army officers, militia commanders, tribal chiefs and party officials at the going rate. This political marketplace is eroding the institutions of government and reversing statebuilding and it is fuelled in large part by oil exports, aid funds and western military assistance for counter-terrorism and peacekeeping. The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa is a sharp and disturbing book with profound implications for international relations, development and peacemaking in the Horn of Africa and beyond.’

This event is free but registration is required on Eventbrite. Please note that due to high demand, seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis from 19:15.