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The Horn

English, News, 5 seasons, 120 episodes, 2 days, 23 hours, 43 minutes
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From revolution in Sudan, to Al Shabaab’s increasing regional reach and Ethiopia’s burgeoning political transformation, the Horn of Africa is in turmoil. The Horn, a new podcast series from the International Crisis Group, helps make sense of it all. Host Alan Boswell and guests explore what lies behind the headlines as they discuss ways to help bring peace and stability to the region. With special thanks to our host, Alan Boswell (https://twitter.com/alanboswell), and our producer Maeve Frances (https://twitter.com/maevefrances).
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Bonus Episode: What’s Left of Sudan After a Year At War?

Today we're bringing you a bonus episode on Sudan from Crisis Group's Global Podcast Hold Your Fire!.In this episode of Hold Your Fire!, Richard is joined again by Crisis Group’s Sudan expert Shewit Woldemichael and Horn of Africa director Alan Boswell to discuss Sudan’s war on the eve of its first anniversary. They talk about what’s happening on the battlefield, particularly recent gains by the Sudanese Armed Forces against the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which had appeared to have the upper hand. They unpack the humanitarian crisis, with millions displaced and aid access restricted by the warring parties as famine looms. They also discuss internal dynamics within Sudan’s Armed Forces, which increasingly rely on Islamist brigades and other armed groups, and the RSF. They examine outside powers’ roles, with Egypt supporting and Iran reportedly selling drones to the army, the United Arab Emirates widely thought to be arming the RSF, and how foreign involvement has evolved. They also discuss the difficulties of getting the warring parties’ leaders to talk even about a ceasefire, let alone a more sustainable end to the fighting, and the difficulties of returning Sudan to a civilian-led post-war transition.For more on the topics discussed in this episode, check out our latest statement Sudan: A Year of War and our Sudan country page. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
4/19/202444 minutes, 55 seconds
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Bonus Episode: The Red Sea and the Horn

Today we're bringing you a bonus episode on The Horn from Crisis Group's Global Podcast Hold Your Fire!.In this episode of Hold Your Fire!, Richard is joined by Crisis Group’s Africa Director Murithi Mutiga to discuss Horn of Africa politics, including Ethiopia’s push for sea access, Sudan’s war, Kenya’s regional role and Gulf rivalries playing out in the region. They talk about a recently announced deal between Ethiopia and Somaliland, the breakaway northern region of Somalia, that would see Ethiopia lease part of the Somaliland coast reportedly in exchange for Ethiopia’s recognition of Somaliland’s statehood. They discuss the reaction in Somalia, which rejects Somaliland independence, and whether anti-Ethiopian sentiment could strengthen Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab. They also talk about growing hostility between Ethiopia and Eritrea. They discuss increasing foreign involvement in Sudan’s war and the former paramilitary Rapid Support Forces’ advances. They touch on the regional role that Kenyan President William Ruto appears to aspire to and the evolving influence of Western powers, especially the U.S., in the Horn.For more on the topics discussed in this episode, visit our Horn of Africa regional page. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
2/9/202449 minutes, 58 seconds
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Special Episode: Sudan at War

In this Special Episode of The Horn, we are bringing you a panel discussion on Sudan moderated by Crisis Group’s President and CEO, Comfort Ero, at the 2023 Doha Forum. Comfort is joined by U.S. Special Envoy for The Horn of Africa Mike Hammer, UN Special Envoy for The Horn of Africa Hanna Tetteh, founding director of the Sudan-focused think tank Confluence Advisory, Kholood Khair and Crisis Group’s Africa director Murithi Mutiga. They assess the latest diplomatic push to try and get a ceasefire in Sudan, ways to better coordinate mediation efforts and the difficult task of bringing the warring parties in Sudan to the negotiating table. They discuss the investments needed to better protect civilians in Sudan and the state of civilian efforts to unify against the war. They also highlight how a prolonged war in Sudan risks further destabilising an already fragile region.Find the link to the video recording of the full panel here.For more in-depth analysis of the topics discussed in this episode, check out our Horn of Africa page, our Sudan page. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
12/21/202342 minutes, 34 seconds
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Bonus Episode: Sudan's Collapse and the Demise of Peacemaking

Today we're bringing you a bonus episode on Sudan from Crisis Group's Global Podcast Hold Your Fire!.In this episode of Hold Your Fire!, Richard is joined by Crisis Group experts Alan Boswell and Shewit Woldemichael to talk about the latest developments in Sudan’s civil war, where fighting between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) has been raging for almost seven months. They talk about the recent advances by the RSF in Darfur, where the Sudanese army has been largely routed, and what the recent gains mean for the war’s trajectory. They talk about the RSF’s motives in fighting and what its leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, or Hemedti, hopes to gain from the war. They discuss the army’s weakness and increasing reliance on Islamist forces formerly associated with long-serving ruler Omar al-Bashir. They also examine the dearth of serious diplomacy aimed at ending the war. For more analysis on the war in Sudan, check out our Sudan page. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
11/13/202350 minutes, 4 seconds
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Special Episode: BRICS, at a Crossroads, Converges in Africa

From 22-24 August, leaders of the BRICS countries, the economic grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, will meet in Johannesburg for their annual summit. The meeting is highly anticipated as it comes at a point of growing polarisation and uncertainty on the international stage. In this rapidly changing global order, some see BRICS becoming a political counterweight to the West, but internal divides and divergent goals among the group on topics like UN reform suggest that it is far from united.This week on The Horn, Alan Boswell is joined by Sanusha Naidu, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Global Dialogue, to discuss what to expect at the upcoming BRICS Summit. They unpack the origins of the alliance and how its goals have shifted in recent years. They talk about whether BRICS is moving from a group of emergent economies to a political bloc in opposition to the West. They also discuss how the war in Ukraine has changed dynamics within BRICS, and South Africa’s relationship with Russia, which has come under increased scrutiny. They also talk about what’s next for BRICS and where the group might look next for potential expansion. For more in-depth analysis on the topics discussed in this episode, check out our pages on Africa and Multilateral Diplomacy pages. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
8/16/202339 minutes
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Bonus Episode: What Can Stop Sudan’s Devastating War

Today we're bringing you a bonus episode on Ethiopia from Crisis Group's Global Podcast Hold Your Fire!.Sudan has entered its second week of fighting between rival military factions. Battles between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have torn apart cities and towns, especially the capital Khartoum, where millions of civilians are facing shortages of basic necessities. A 72-hour ceasefire between the rival forces has offered some respite, allowing many Sudanese to flee the country and diplomats’ and other foreign nationals’ evacuation. But clashes still continue and mediators have struggled to convince the two sides to get back to talks.This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard speaks with Murithi Mutiga, Crisis Group’s Africa Program director. They discuss what’s behind the power struggle between the Sudanese armed forces and the RSF, and between the men – General Abel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed “Hemedti” Hamdan Dagalo – in command of each. They discuss the devastation a full-scale civil war would cause, efforts by the U.S., Gulf power and African leaders to mediate, and the conflict’s geopolitics and risk of outside involvement. They look back at how Sudan’s transition unravelled and the challenges facing talks and getting to civilian rule if the parties do get back to the table. For more in-depth analysis of the topics discussed in this episode, make sure to check out our Sudan country page and our latest statement; Stopping Sudan’s Descent into Full-Blown Civil War. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
5/3/202342 minutes, 20 seconds
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Bonus Episode: War in Sudan

Today we're bringing you a bonus episode on Ethiopia from Crisis Group's Global Podcast Hold Your Fire!.Two rival armies are driving Sudan toward full-blown civil war. Fighting between the Sudanese armed forces, led by Abdelfattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary force led by Mohamed “Hemedti” Hamdan Dagalo, is tearing apart cities and towns across the country, including the capital Khartoum. The battles have already killed hundreds of civilians and left millions more facing shortages of basic necessities. This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard is joined by Crisis Group’s Senior Sudan Analyst Shewit Woldemichael and Crisis Group’s Horn of Africa Project Director Alan Boswell to look at the background to the crisis and what can be done to halt the fighting. They look at evolving tensions between the army and the RSF since Sudan’s 2019 popular uprising, especially since the 2021 coup, when Burhan and Hemedti seized full control of the state from civilians with whom they had been sharing power. They explain the trigger for the fighting: a dispute over how to integrate the RSF into regular army ranks. They discuss how Hemedti, a figure from outside Sudan’s traditional Nile elites, emerged as an influential power broker and what he wants in the confrontation with Burhan. They also talk about the two military leaders’ foreign ties, the danger that outside powers will get sucked into Sudan’s conflict and prospects for mediation. Finally, they ask what went wrong with Sudan’s transition after the 2019 uprising and whether external actors, particularly Western governments, could have done more to prevent its collapse. For more in-depth analysis of the topics discussed in this episode, make sure to check out our Sudan country page and our latest statement; Stopping Sudan’s Descent into Full-Blown Civil War. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
4/22/202352 minutes, 51 seconds
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Bonus Episode: Ethiopia’s Tigray War: After the Cessation of Hostilities, What Next?

Today we're bringing you a bonus episode on Ethiopia from Crisis Group's Global Podcast Hold Your Fire!.On 2 November, the Ethiopian federal government and Tigrayan forces reached an agreement to cease hostilities and end almost two years of bloody war in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region. The truce came after the Ethiopian army, together with Eritrean troops and forces from the Amhara region, which borders Tigray, made rapid advances into Tigray over recent weeks. It raises hopes that peace in Tigray might be within reach and that the region’s humanitarian crisis – amplified by a federal blockade on aid throughout much of the war – can finally be addressed. However, peace talks did not include Eritrea, despite its involvement in the war, and the deal includes no provisions about what will happen to the Eritrean forces in Tigray. It does involve other major concessions for the Tigrayans, who agreed to fully disarm within a month.  In this episode of Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood is joined by Murithi Mutiga, Crisis Group’s Africa director, to talk about the cessation of hostilities and its implications. They talk about the events leading to the truce, Ethiopia’s recent offensive in the Tigray region, Eritrea’s involvement in the conflict and how all sides are likely to view and respond to the agreement. They address the role of the African Union and its envoy, former Nigerian President Olesugun Obasanjo, in brokering the agreement. They also talk about the influence of external actors in Ethiopia and how the support of countries like the United Arab Emirates and Türkiye for the Ethiopian government shaped battlefield dynamics. They ask what went wrong with a transition in Ethiopia that had generated enormous optimism in its early years, and what the coming years might bring for politics in the Horn of Africa at a moment of considerable flux. For more on the situation in Ethiopia, check out Crisis Group’s extensive analysis on our Ethiopia country page. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
11/11/202258 minutes, 21 seconds
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Bonus Episode: Back to War in Ethiopia

Today we're bringing you a bonus episode on Ethiopia from Crisis Group's Global Podcast Hold Your Fire!.Just a few months back, a humanitarian truce in Ethiopia offered a glimmer of hope that an end might be in sight to the war in and around the country’s northern Tigray region. Fighting pitted the federal government, forces from the Amhara region, bordering Tigray, and Eritrean troops on one hand, against Tigrayan forces on the other. In March, the federal government and Tigrayan leaders announced a cessation of hostilities. Formal peace talks were supposed to follow. But the last few weeks have seen the truce collapse and conflict resume across several front lines, with Tigrayan leaders accusing Eritrean forces of advancing en masse. The return to the battlefield marks another nasty turn in a war that has had a catastrophic human toll – a UN report this week points to war crimes by all sides – but garners relatively little international attention. This week on Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood catches up with Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for Ethiopia William Davison to make sense of what’s happening. They discuss why the truce failed to hold over the summer, and notably why Tigrayan leaders chafe at the federal government’s refusal to restore basic services – electricity, telecommunications and banking – in Tigray. They talk about the war’s human toll and this past week’s UN human rights experts’ report. They examine the thorny challenges to peace talks, especially the disputed territory of Western Tigray, part of the region since the 1990s but captured by Amhara forces in the war’s early days. They talk about Eritrea’s role and whether the Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki would accept any deal that left the Tigrayan leadership in place. They also talk about both sides’ apparent goals – for the Ethiopian government and allied forces, subduing the Tigrayan leadership; for Tigrayan forces, breaking the siege – and why neither is likely to prevail militarily any time soon. Finally, they discuss the prospects for bringing the parties back to the table, and what foreign diplomats involved can do.For more on the situation in Tigray, check out Crisis Group’s recent statement: Avoiding the Abyss as War Resumes in Northern Ethiopia. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
9/29/202255 minutes, 50 seconds
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Special Episode: What Next After Ruto is Declared Winner of Kenya’s Nail-biter Election?

Kenyans went to the polls last week in what turned out to be a closely fought but so far strikingly peaceful election. After six tense days of vote counting, Deputy President Ruto was declared Kenya’s next President with a wafer-thin majority. While the election has been broadly regarded as free and fair, his challenger, Raila Odinga, a political heavyweight backed by outgoing President and former rival Uhuru Kenyatta, has launched a legal challenge to the results. This week in a special episode of The Horn, Alan speaks to Murithi Mutiga, Crisis Group’s Program Director for Africa, to discuss how Kenya’s nail-biting election has shaped up and the possible fallout of Odinga’s challenge. They outline both candidates' backgrounds and assess their respective campaigns in the build-up to election day. They talk about the significance of Odinga’s challenge to the vote, the role of Kenya’s electoral commission and the resilience of the country's democratic institutions in the wake of the election. They also assess how far ethnic divisions have played a role in the outcome of the election and where Kenya’s democracy might be headed if Ruto’s presidency is confirmed by the Supreme Court.For more analysis, check out Crisis Group’s Kenya country page.We want to hear from you as we start preparing Season Four of The Horn! If you have any feedback or suggestions for topics you’d like us to cover next season, you can write to [email protected] or get in touch with Alan directly on Twitter, @AlanBoswell. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
8/18/202242 minutes, 38 seconds
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Bonus Episode: Rollercoaster Politics Ahead of Kenya's August Elections

Today we're bringing you a bonus episode on Kenya from Crisis Group's Global Podcast Hold Your Fire!. Kenya’s presidential race has been turned upside down. After a high-profile split with President Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto – despite being in government for the last nine years – is running on an anti-establishment platform. Having distanced himself from Kenyatta, Ruto is positioning himself as a man of the people, or the “hustler in chief”, opposing the political elite. Meanwhile, his main rival Raila Odinga – for decades an opposition leader and fierce critic of the government – has been endorsed by Kenyatta, thus becoming the establishment candidate. At the same time, while previous Kenyan polls have been shaped mostly by ethnic politics, the 2022 race has also seen economic issues come to the fore, with Ruto promising wide-ranging reforms. Whatever its outcome, the election matters not just in Kenya, but for the entire region, riddled by war and crises.This week on Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood is joined by Crisis Group’s Africa Program Director, Murithi Mutiga, to talk about the campaign thus far and what to expect from the election. They discuss how things got so bitter between Kenyatta and Ruto, and what the bad blood might mean for the outcome of the vote. They talk about the main issues dominating the election, as Ruto plays on people’s economic frustrations and Odinga portrays himself as a unifier. They also discuss the risks of a disputed outcome, in a country that has suffered terrible bloodshed after contested results in the past. They look at the impact on Kenyan politics of indictments against Kenyatta and Ruto by the International Criminal Court, which were dropped in 2014 and 2016 respectively. They also look at how Nairobi views the war in Ukraine and the impact of the commodities crisis that war has triggered.For more on the situation in Kenya, check out Crisis Group’s extensive analysis on our Kenya country page, including our recent briefing “Kenya’s 2022 Election: High Stakes”. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
7/5/20221 hour, 21 seconds
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Bonus Episode: Can a “Humanitarian Truce” Help End Ethiopia’s Civil War?

Today we're bringing you a bonus episode on Ethiopia from Crisis Group's global podcast Hold Your Fire!. After almost seventeen months of devastating civil war in Ethiopia, the federal government on 24 March announced what it called a humanitarian truce. The offer would ostensibly allow aid into Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, which has, in effect, been under a blockade for months and where millions face what the UN describes as a serious lack of food. The government’s unilateral truce declaration comes after its offensive in late 2021 pushed back Tigrayan forces, who had advanced to within striking distance of the capital Addis Ababa – the latest about-face in a war that has seen the balance of force between federal troops and Tigrayan rebels swing back and forth. It also comes alongside other signals that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed may have tempered his initial goal of crushing Tigray’s leadership. This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood, Naz Modirzadeh and William Davison, Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Ethiopia, discuss the causes and significance of the government's proposal. They map out the military dynamics on the ground and the evolving calculations of Tigrayan leaders, Prime Minister Abiy, other Ethiopian protagonists in the conflict and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, whose forces were also fighting alongside the federal troops against the Tigrayans. They talk about the role of foreign powers in supporting President Abiy Ahmed and in pushing for peace and break down how regional relations are shaping the conflict. They ask how optimistic we should be that the truce eases Tigray’s humanitarian disaster or even serves as a foundation for peace talks and how such talks might surmount the thorniest obstacles – notably resolving a territorial dispute in Western Tigray – to a political settlement.  For more information, explore Crisis Group’s analysis on our Ethiopia page. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
4/4/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 33 seconds
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Special Episode: Putting the Horn of Africa Back Together

The project of forging a more united Horn of Africa has been a clear victim of the myriad crises rippling through East Africa. Regional security infrastructure has collapsed and attempts at multilateral conflict resolution have floundered. For its part, the body responsible for ensuring regional security, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), has become dysfunctional and seems incapable of fulfilling its peace and security mandate.This week we are bringing you a special episode of The Horn produced in partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES). Alan is joined by expert guests, Charles Onyango-Obbo, veteran Ugandan journalist, Betty Kaari Murungi, a Kenyan lawyer with wide regional experience, and Harry Verhoeven, an author and scholar at Columbia University, for a panel discussion on IGAD and the collapse of multilateral cooperation in the Horn. They talk about IGAD’s roots as an organisation tackling desertification and drought, the role of key players within this regional forum, continuing wariness toward outside actors and the recent political dynamics that have contributed to inaction and lethargy. They ask whether there is any way of reversing the region's political fragmentation and building a lasting order that can stem the flow of deadly conflict. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
12/23/202136 minutes, 55 seconds
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Bonus Episode: Will Tigrayan Rebels Attack Ethiopia’s Capital?

Today we're bringing you a bonus episode on Somalia from Crisis Group's global podcast Hold Your Fire!. This week, as Ethiopia’s civil war enters its second year, Tigrayan rebels captured the strategically placed cities of Dessie and Kombolcha, only hours away from the country’s capital Addis Ababa. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed imposed a state of emergency and exhorted citizens to take up arms to defend the capital. With Tigrayan forces at striking distance, is an all-out assault on the capital imminent?This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood is joined by Crisis Group’s Senior Ethiopia Analyst William Davison to discuss what might happen next. They discuss the factors explaining Tigrayan forces’ offensive, the strain on Ethiopia’s federal forces and the impact of Tigrayan gains on Prime Minister Abiy’s position and his ruling party. They look at the war’s international dimensions: Eritrea’s continued involvement, how Djibouti might respond were Tigrayan forces able to reach the Djiboutian border and seek to open supply lines, and the risk Sudan gets sucked in. They discuss what an assault on the capital by Tigrayan forces might entail and how that can be averted. For more information, explore Crisis Group’s analysis on our Ethiopia page and read our latest briefing Ethiopia’s Civil War: Cutting a Deal to Stop the Bloodshed. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
11/9/202137 minutes, 17 seconds
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Bonus Episode: Avoiding Another Afghanistan: Could Al-Shabaab Seize Power in Somalia? (from the Crisis Group podcast Hold Your Fire!)

Today we're bringing you a bonus episode on Somalia from Crisis Group's global podcast Hold Your Fire!. Many people in the Somali capital Mogadishu watched with apprehension as the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan. Could Somalia, struggling against its own Islamist insurgency – Al-Shabaab – face a similar fate? In this episode of Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh are joined by Omar Mahmood, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for Somalia, to discuss the resurgence of Al-Shabaab as political instability wracks the country and the withdrawal of African Union troops potentially looms. They discuss the state of the insurgency, the capability of Somali defence forces, the troubled relationship between the central government and Somalia’s regions, and the role of East African and other foreign powers. They also talk about whether there is any hope of a political settlement with Al-Shabaab. For more information, explore Crisis Group’s analysis on our Somalia and Horn of Africa pages. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
9/29/202144 minutes, 3 seconds
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Eastern Africa’s Jihadis: The “War on Terror”

As the twenty-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, this last instalment of The Horn’s mini-series about jihadism along the Swahili coast explores two decades of the “war on terror” and how they affected the Horn of Africa. Alan Boswell welcomes a panel including Crisis Group’s Murithi Mutiga, project director for the Horn of Africa, the BBC’s Mary Harper and Boston University Professor Michael Woldemariam to discuss how East Africa’s politics changed as Western policy toward the region shifted to its overriding focus on security concerns and counter-terrorism above all elseThey discuss the U.S. efforts to counter jihadism in East Africa prior to 9/11, and how the subsequent “war on terror” shifted politics across the region, from the pressure put on the regime in Khartoum, to regime change in Somalia, to America’s securitised partnerships with Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Kampala, and the isolation of Eritrea. They also discuss Somalia’s fate, shifting U.S. priorities, and how the events in Ethiopia may affect regional counter-terrorism efforts moving forward. They also look at the recent Taliban takeover in Afghanistan and how this chain of events has emboldened jihadist groups in East Africa, particularly Al-Shabaab in Somalia.The Eastern Africa’s Jihadis series of The Horn is produced in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.This episode also features in Crisis Group’s Special Coverage of the legacy of the 9/11 attacks and how the subsequent “war on terror” shaped global conflicts and crises. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
9/8/202147 minutes, 29 seconds
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Eastern Africa’s Jihadis: The Big Picture

As jihadist ideologies have spread across Eastern Africa, governments are struggling to counter their growth, while the militant movements themselves are divided between the competing franchises of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. Meanwhile, the dominant jihadist group in the region, Al-Shabaab, is emboldened by the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan. What does the future hold?In this episode of The Horn’s mini-series, Alan Boswell and Rashid Abdi, former project director for the Horn of Africa at Crisis Group, connect the dots between the jihadist groups that have sprung up across the region. They discuss what the implications for other armed rebellions might be in the wake of the recent Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and what the endgame is for groups like Al-Shabaab seeking similar power. They also discuss whether al-Qaeda or the Islamic State have regional momentum in their competition against each other, and the challenges governments face in finding the right time to dialogue with the groups. Finally, Rashid argues why regional cooperation can only go so far in countering the jihadist threat.The Eastern Africa’s Jihadis series of The Horn is produced in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
9/1/202140 minutes, 46 seconds
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Eastern Africa’s Jihadis: Mozambique

The roots of militancy in northern Mozambique go back years, but the insurgency’s true extent didn’t catch the world’s attention until the Cabo Delgado attacks earlier this year. Meanwhile, a humanitarian crisis worsens and neighbouring countries are deploying troops to help reverse the threat. As yet, however, there is little progress toward resolving the conflict.In a new episode of The Horn’s mini-series, Alan Boswell and Dr. Adriano Nuvunga, a political science professor and executive director of the Center for Democracy and Development in Maputo, unpack how socio-economic marginalisation in resource-rich Cabo Delgado bred grievances that drove recruitment into a new militant group. They discuss what the Mozambican government should prioritise in its response, including tackling the humanitarian fallout, improving governance in the area and overseeing regional military assistance. Most critically, Dr. Nuvunga stresses that Mozambique and its partners should consider political dialogue over a purely military strategy in order to avoid another “forever war” on the continent. The Eastern Africa’s Jihadis series of The Horn is produced in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.For more information, read Crisis Group’s report: Stemming the Insurrection in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
8/25/202128 minutes, 50 seconds
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Eastern Africa's Jihadis: Somalia

Somalia’s Al-Shabaab insurgency was born of a strong nationalistic reaction to the Ethiopian invasion in 2006. Over the years since, the group has treaded a thin line between galvanising local support and tapping into the rhetoric of global jihadism, including through allegiance to al-Qaeda – a strategy that has seen it grow in prominence amid a governance vacuum.In this second instalment of a mini-series on jihadism across Eastern Africa, Alan Boswell is joined by regional expert and former government adviser Samira Gaid for an in-depth look at Al-Shabaab’s origins and rise. Samira describes how the militants have embedded themselves in the dynamics of Somali politics – particularly through the clan system – to extend their reach across the country. She also explains why military efforts by Somalia and its international partners have failed to stem the insurgency, discusses whether political elites – embroiled in an electoral crisis – have the will to open a dialogue, and assesses how waning external support for stabilising Somalia could affect progress toward an eventual settlement to the conflict.The Eastern Africa’s Jihadis series of The Horn is produced in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
8/18/202130 minutes, 59 seconds
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Eastern Africa's Jihadis: The Roots

In this first episode of The Horn’s special mini-series about jihadism along the Eastern African seaboard, Alan Boswell talks with historian and analyst Ngala Chome about how new ideologies East Africans brought back from the Middle East sowed the seeds of militant doctrines that took root within some communities amid a climate of political marginalisation.  They unpack the role of colonialism in the region and how Saudi Arabian scholarship funding gave youth an opportunity to establish themselves within social and political hierarchies. They also explore the kinship networks, established during East Africa’s days as a trading hub, that link the Swahili coast from southern Somalia to northern Mozambique. They discuss the domestic and transnational interplay of these militant ideologies with national and local politics, and the heavy-handed response from regional states since the start of the so-called Global War on Terror. The Eastern Africa’s Jihadis series of The Horn is produced in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
8/11/202135 minutes, 22 seconds
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Bonus Episode: Ten Years of South Sudanese Statehood (from the Crisis Group podcast Hold Your Fire!)

This week marks the tenth anniversary of South Sudan’s independence, much-celebrated at the time but now eclipsed by the brutal civil war that followed. The conflict, which saw the army split along ethnic lines, killed an estimated 400,000 people and displaced a third of the country’s population. A 2018 peace deal signed by the war’s two main protagonists, President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Riek Machar, ended much of the fighting. But millions still suffer from chronic hunger and unchecked militia violence. This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh are joined by Alan Boswell, Crisis Group’s senior analyst for South Sudan, for an in-depth look at the past decade of statehood, the problems still blighting the world’s newest country and prospects for turning the page on the brutal civil war. For more information, explore Crisis Group’s analysis on our South Sudan page. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
7/15/202140 minutes, 9 seconds
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Bonus Episode: A Dramatic Turn in Ethiopia’s Tigray War (from the Crisis Group podcast Hold Your Fire!)

Earlier this week, fighters loyal to the ousted leaders of Ethiopia’s Tigray region recaptured Mekelle, the regional capital, as Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed withdrew federal forces and announced a unilateral ceasefire after eight months of brutal war. This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to William Davison, senior analyst for Ethiopia, about this dramatic turnaround, its immediate fallout and what may come next. William explains how Tigrayan forces managed to consolidate control in rural areas, build up forces thanks in large part to popular support and launch attacks on Tigrayan cities and towns. They look at the balance of power in Tigray today and the likelihood of further fighting between Tigrayan forces and those of Eritrea, who were fighting alongside the Ethiopian army. They also examine prospects for a Tigrayan offensive to capture back disputed territory currently held by the Amhara, another of Ethiopia’s ethnic groups. William explains how Abiy has portrayed the withdrawal of government troops and the potential implications of their retreat for his popularity in the rest of Ethiopia. They also discuss the importance of getting aid in and what international actors should focus on in the days ahead.For more information, explore Crisis Group’s analysis on our Ethiopia page. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
7/2/202136 minutes, 37 seconds
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Bonus Episode: The Insurrection in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado (from the Crisis Group podcast Hold Your Fire!)

In this episode of Crisis Group's podcast Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and guest co-host Comfort Ero, our Interim Vice President and Africa Program Director, talk to Crisis Group’s Deputy Africa Director Dino Mahtani about the insurrection unfolding in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado region. The militants - known locally as al-Shabab, and now labelled by the U.S. as a branch of the Islamic State - have been terrorising the population for years now without clearly stating their demands. Dino talks about who they really are and what their interests might be. He also discusses the Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting in Maputo coming up in two weeks’ time, when the bloc plans to lobby for the deployment of a regional force, amid growing fears that the conflict could spread beyond the borders of Mozambique. Dino unpacks the government’s response to al-Shabab, its turn to Rwanda for military support as it attempts to diversify its security partners, and what the next steps should be. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
6/8/202136 minutes, 49 seconds
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Bonus Episode : Ethiopia’s Tigray Crisis and Horn of Africa Politics (from the Crisis Group podcast Hold Your Fire!)

In this episode of Crisis Group's podcast Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood, Crisis Group’s interim president, and guest host Comfort Ero, our interim vice president and Africa Program director, talk to Murithi Mutiga, Crisis Group’s Horn of Africa director, about the fighting in Tigray and its implications for regional politics. Murithi sheds light on the calculations of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, rebel Tigray leaders and Eritrea, which has also sent forces into Tigray. He talks through the Horn of Africa’s evolving geopolitics, growing friction between Ethiopia and its neighbours, and the state of play of both Ethiopia’s and Sudan’s transitions. He looks at what continental and world leaders need to do to end the Tigray crisis and calm escalating regional tensions. For more information, explore Crisis Group’s analysis on our Ethiopia page. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
3/25/202137 minutes, 51 seconds
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Replay: Comfort Ero

During our brief season break, we're re-running an earlier episode from Season 2 that new subscribers may have missed. We will be back in January with a brand new line-up!Alan talks to Crisis Group’s Africa Program Director Comfort Ero about how the politics of conflict and peacemaking have changed — and not changed — across the African continent during the decade that she has led the organization’s work on Africa.They discuss power struggles in the Horn of Africa as America’s primacy wanes, the African Union’s more assertive role in peace and security, and how African leaders should manage their relationships with China to strengthen conflict resolution on the continent, not repressive authoritarian regimes. They also explore the benefits and risks of talking about African solutions to African problems, and the need to take into account the crucial national interests that can drive a state to try to shape the future of a neighboring country. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
12/29/202031 minutes, 5 seconds
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Special Episode: Ethiopia's Slide Toward Civil War

A war that many feared was possible but hoped would never happen appears to be underway between Ethiopia’s federal forces and those commanded by the northern Tigray region. William Davison, Crisis Group's Senior Analyst for Ethiopia, walks Alan through the long-simmering tensions that set both sides on the course to armed conflict. Joining from Addis Ababa, he gives his assessment of how the conflict is playing out, stressing the urgent need for concerted diplomatic intervention to bring a potentially protracted conflict situation to a halt. Alan is also joined by Crisis Group’s Deputy Africa Program Director Dino Mahtani for an overview of how a full-blown civil war could not only wreak devastation in Ethiopia but also have grave consequences for peace and security in its neighborhood and Africa at large. For more information, see:Ethiopia’s Clash with Tigray: Getting to a Ceasefire and National DialogueSteering Ethiopia’s Tigray Crisis Away from ConflictThe Horn S1 Episode 9: Ethiopia’s Fragile Transition Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
11/6/202038 minutes, 48 seconds
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Bonus Episode: Ethiopia's Political Crisis (from the Crisis Group podcast Hold Your Fire!)

In the third episode of Crisis Group's new podcast Hold Your Fire!, our Ethiopia Senior Analyst Will Davison joins host Rob Malley, our President, and co-host Naz Modirzadeh, a Crisis Group Trustee and Harvard professor of international law and conflict. Together they discuss the enormous challenges facing Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed amid rising ethnic tensions. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
9/24/202034 minutes, 12 seconds
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Replay: Rashid Abdi

In our second re-run of the Summer, Alan is joined by Rashid Abdi to discuss the legal battle Kenya and Somalia are fighting over their shared maritime border.Somalia’s President Mohammed Abdullahi "Farmajo" has taken a more assertive stance to demonstrate the country’s strength and appeal to his support base. Kenya views itself as a powerful country in a turbulent region and doesn’t wish to be seen caving into pressure.Rashid and Alan seek insights about why the dispute flared up, Ethiopia’s changing role under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and how mediation efforts have achieved some positive, modest success in de-escalating tensions. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
8/9/202031 minutes, 17 seconds
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Replay: Nanjala Nyabola

During our season break, we will be re-running two early podcasts from our first season that new subscribers might have missed. We will be back in September with some brand new episodes. Digital technologies are having a dramatic impact on politics. But while their influence in Western political spaces has been heavily scrutinized, little attention has been paid in Africa. Best-selling Kenyan author Nanjala Nyabola joins Alan Boswell on The Horn this week. They discuss everything from digital colonialism and the exploitation of technology by state powers to the power of social media, for better or for worse. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
7/20/202026 minutes, 42 seconds