The Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington organized a group of people interested in the Horn of Africa and asked Paul D. Williams of George Washington University to prepare an analysis of conflict in the region and offer some recommendations to mitigate this conflict. Although the study is dated October 2011, the Woodrow Wilson Center published it in mid-January 2012. Titled Horn of Africa: Webs of Conflict & Pathways to Peace, a number of us contributed to the final product.
The study notes that the Horn of Africa has experienced more than 200 armed conflicts since 1990. The U.S. government has for too long looked at the Horn through lenses which have emphasized regime security, counterterrorism, religious fanaticism and tribalism. The focus on regime security, counterterrorism and extremism has clearly failed to produce either a stable or peaceful region.
The paper suggests that viewing the Horn through a conflict resolution and peacebuilding lens would focus policymakers' attention on an alternative agenda focused on issues of good governance, the rule of law, human security, and supporting local state-society complexes that work for their people.
The central purpose of the study is to to illuminate the complex political terrain in which policies to build peace and resolve conflict will have to take place and to make tentative suggestions as to what priorities should guide an alternative comprehensive and integrated approach to the Horn.
A companion document titled Pathways to Peace in the Horn of Africa: What Role for the United States? offers a set of recommendations for how the U.S. government might engage more constructively with the states and peoples in the Horn to build peace.