SIPRI has expanded its research on security issues in the Horn of Africa by launching a new series of publications investigating major questions for the future security and stability of the region. Notably, it highlights the increasing importance of geopolitical, commercial and military competition as the driver of foreign military deployments to the region.
The Horn of Africa is undergoing far-reaching changes in its external security environment. A wide variety of international security actors—from Europe, the United States, the Middle East, the Gulf and Asia—are currently operating in the region. As a result, the Horn of Africa has experienced a proliferation of foreign military bases and a build-up of naval forces. The foreign military presence in the region increasingly operates as part of much wider military networks—across the Middle East and the Gulf, and the Indian and Pacific oceans.
The growing role of external security actors in the Horn of Africa presents major challenges for existing African and Horn regional security structures, which are poorly adapted to the new external security politics of the region. It raises the prospect of proxy struggles, growing geopolitical tensions and a further extension of externally driven security agendas in the region.
The series of publications includes a SIPRI Background Paper that maps the growth of foreign military forces in and around the Horn of Africa over the past two decades; a SIPRI Insights paper that explores the factors driving foreign military deployments to the region; and a SIPRI Policy Brief that identifies priority areas for action to help the Horn countries in managing the new external security politics of the region.
Read more about SIPRI’s Horn of Africa and Indian Ocean Security research.