Mapping a Pandemic: East Africa and the Horn’s Conflict and Security Challenges in a Time of Pandemic

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RUSI experts offer their assessments on the impact of Covid-19 in Africa.

The Covid-19 pandemic is emerging in East Africa and the Horn at a moment when the region is facing crucial conflict and security challenges. 

While hopes for peace and progress on regional cooperation were ignited by the election of Abiy Ahmed as Prime Minister of Ethiopia in 2018 and subsequent steps to resolve the conflict with Eritrea, much of the early momentum toward reconciliation has dissipated.  

Ethiopia is facing growing internal instability and violence, while there is little sign of reform of Eritrea’s repressive order.  Major regional conflicts in Somalia and South Sudan remain unresolved.  

The political transition in Sudan offers a path away from the authoritarian order of recent decades but is fragile and there is constant risk of violence.  The construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam continues to cause major regional tensions.  

The region is experiencing a growing security engagement by external actors, notably from the Gulf and Asia, that has added a new, and often unpredictable, element to regional security.  Could the medical, economic and social impacts of the Covid-19 virus increase instability and harm efforts to promote peace and reconciliation as the region struggles to overcome its history of insecurity and conflict?

These issues will be discussed in a RUSI webinar by:

  • Dr. Neil Melvin, Director of International Security Studies
  • Dr. Andrew E Yaw Tchie, Senior Research for African Security and Obasanjo Fellow
  • RUSI Nairobi Office

The webinar will be moderated by Dr. Jonathan Eyal

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