Horn of Africa: Webs of Conflict and Pathways to Peace

Paul D. Williams

Measured by almost any criteria, in recent decades the Horn of Africa has been one of the world’s most conflicted regions, experiencing over 200 armed conflicts since 1990.

Author Paul Williams of George Washington University articulates a new policy framework that he sees as necessary for peace and development in the region, in a new study commissioned by the Wilson Center’s Leadership Program. He argues 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.

This paper reflects the views of the Wilson Center and emanates from a series of Steering Committee meetings an d public conferences that examined this subject.  It is explicitly intended to stimulate renewed debate about what a Horn of Africa policy focused on peacebuilding and conflict resolution might look like and what political and bureaucratic barriers the U.S. government would need to overcome to formulate and implement such an approach.

This publication is the first of two documents in a new series on the Horn of Africa. The second is a set of policy recommendations for a regional US policy towards the Horn titled, Pathways to Peace in the Horn of Africa: What Role for the US?




Experts & Staff