Article from ROAPE Volume 36 Number 120
Ethiopia-Eritrea Conflict & the Search for Peace

The Ethiopia-Eritrea Conflict & the Search for Peace in the Horn of Africa
Vol.36 No.120 (June 2009), pp167-180
The Ethiopia-Eritrea border dispute is embedded within a set of domestic political conflicts in each state, is linked further through proxy conflicts to instability in Somalia and the Ogaden, and is skewed additionally by the application of Washington’s global counter-terrorism policies to the region. Each of these arenas of contention has its own history, issues, actors, and dynamic; each is also distorted, however, by processes of conflict escalation and de-escalation in the other arenas. The intermeshing of domestic insecurities, interstate antagonisms, and global policies create regional ‘security complexes’ in which the security of each actor is intrinsically linked to the others and cannot realistically be considered apart from one another (Buzan, 1983; Lyons, 1998). Prospects for both the escalation and resolution of the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict are linked to domestic political processes (such as increasing authoritarianism), regional dynamics (such as local rivalries played out in Somalia) and international policies (such as US counter-terrorism policies).