Conflict Plagued East Africa Region and its Global Impact

Conflict Plagued East Africa Region and its Global Impact

Endris Mekonnen Faris (International University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0148-0.ch005
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Abstract

East Africa is one of the most politically complex, unstable and poorly administered parts of the world. The region has been such insecure and chaotic since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Somalia is a failed state. Sudan is still in state of both intra and interstate conflicts. The newly born South Sudan recently is in a deep crisis that already has resulted in the widely anticipated ethnic based civil war. The recent terrorist attack in Kenya is a signal of the long standing of its vulnerability. Ethiopia has been in border conflict with its former member state, Eritrea in addition to their perspective domestic political ups and downs. It is impossible to find a single country with a history of free-conflict both internally and beyond its territory. Horn of Africa is the quintessence state of conflict and remains to be center of research. This paper further investigates closely these conflicts in the region and its global impact in such away the region becomes the focus of the major global actors and international organizations.
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Security And Realism

The Westphalia agreement, in 1648, gave entities bound by sovereign territory called states an absolute power as the most powerful actors of the international system. This phenomenon scaled up the concern over self interestedness in such a way that states become sovereign to self determinism lacking a universal standard of political legitimacy with no higher authority to regulate their relation with each other. What does this mean? This means that states are the higher authority concerning their security in a system where no other responsible actor or group of actors, with superior autonomy, to protect. This kind of a system is a system in which each actor is responsible for its security which raised the level of mistrust and created unhealthy competition.

Realism has been taken as a predominantly powerful and highly applicable theory of international relations. In fact this is more sounding when it comes to studies related to security, war and conflict. Security is always in comma where there is anarchy and a sensitive issue of states. States are self interested. National interest becomes States motive to make decisions on how best to secure them. This gears the state towards seeking and acquiring military power and to be strong enough to keep its national interest secured. There is no other best way for states to secure their national interest but by military mighty. In short summary, the realist paradigm insists that sovereign states create vital interests that may sometimes collide with the interests of others, often creating scarcity, or the perception of scarcity. This scarcity creates a relationship in which the two states will use power as a means to resolve their conflicting interests because scarcity represents a threat to state survival.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Chaos: Security started to become controversial and issue of concern while international relation was exhaustively overwhelmed with a theory of realism and liberalism. The security threat in East Africa, which is also threat to the international system, sourced from either the instability within the states due to civil war, ethnic conflicts, chaos following election irregularities or from interstate because of border dispute and disputes over natural resources.

East Africa: East Africa‘s extraordinary size and diversity makes it exceptionally difficult to generalize about complex conflict and instability trends across the region.

Security: Intrastate situation is a determinant factor to regional security. If either of the countries is in state of failed security no other country will exclusively be safe. Each of the states in the region is overwhelmed by its own domestic and politically motivated tension. Ethnic and religion tensions are also the major contributors of security problems within the states themselves. It is hard to find a single state in the region with lasting peace and stability, if not at all.

Instability: The security threat in the region, which is also threat to the international system, sourced from either the instability within the states due to civil war, ethnic conflicts, chaos following election irregularities or from interstate because of border dispute and disputes over natural resources.

IRs Theory: Contrary to the dominant IRs theory the liberalism view the international politics from different perspective. Development of political institutions in both domestic and international realms should refer the principle of respecting individual autonomy which lays the base for the transition of an authoritarian state to a democratic one. A state with an internalized democratic value based on individual autonomy is less likely to be prey of realism assumption. The duplication of such states dominating any region results in reducing antagonism and tension that may lead to confrontation and conflicts. Rising economy and social interdependence has the capacity to change the nature of international politics. Rather than focusing on anarchical behavior states could achieve more benefit if they try to increase their power, for instance, through trade and cooperation. Placing greater emphasis on cooperation more accurately depicts international relations and enhances international tranquility national interest, including security will, no more, be panic.

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