The Gulf dispute over Qatar’s foreign policy has spilt over into the Horn of Africa. In trying to shape the regional landscape in their respective favours, Gulf states have intensified proxy conflicts in the Horn of Africa and Libya and made them harder to resolve. The January 2021 al-Ula declaration ends the blockade of Qatar and promises an end to the rift between them, at least formally, but will it lead to a de-escalation of their rivalries abroad?
Elham Fakhro, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for the Gulf States, joins Alan Boswell to discuss how Gulf states’ reconciliation might impact their foreign policy choices in the Horn of Africa, in particular. She unpacks the vested interests they have in the region and how they can engage constructively in countries like Sudan and Somalia. She tells Alan that additional dialogue among Gulf states to further resolve their disputes over foreign policy is still needed and says the upcoming elections in Somalia may be a test of what’s to come.
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