The Horn of Africa is a complex site of geopolitical and geostrategic importance, inextricably linked to key aspects of its history and geography. The uptick in engagement by external actors, and their attendant interests, alliances, and agendas, underscore the pivotal role of geopolitics in shaping the security and economic trajectory of the region. The proximity of the Horn of Africa to the oil-rich countries of the Persian Gulf, and the vital commercial lanes that transit the Bab al-Mandab and the Gulf of Aden, reinforce the region as a crucial maritime chokepoint and port of call in an increasingly connected global order. The complex web of external actors and interests, the potentiality of increased geopolitical competition, regionalization of conflicts and shifting domestic politics intersect at various points in the interregional order with implications for the role and mandate of the regional mechanism, the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGAD) in promoting peace and stability in the region.

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