The Red Sea’s and Horn of Africa’s position at the centre of the global maritime network stretching from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean, makes them an area of high geo-strategic relevance. Over the last few months, this region has been witnessing rising geopolitical tensions. In Yemen, the enduring war has been draining the population and fuelling regional rivalries; in the Horn of Africa, rival ambitions have clashed and regional competition over supremacy, access to resources and alliances has increased. In the meanwhile, trade interests, the growing potential for investments on infrastructures, the military presence and migration flows have drawn the attention of international actors like China, Russia, and Europe, while Washington appears to be reluctant in getting engaged in the region. In parallel, the unsolved diplomatic dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) adds another layer of tension and competition to a macro-region marked by both a great developmental potential and chronic volatility.
What are the main challenges in the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa and how is the international community tackling them?
What prospects for regional cooperation on the Yemeni crisis?
Will international ambitions over this area be affected by the post-COVID-19 pandemic scenario?
What about competition for maritime infrastructures in the sub-region?
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