The East and the Horn of Africa continues to experience prolonged conflicts, drought, displacement of people, food insecurity and the threat of famine primarily in Somalia and South Sudani which in turn has led to insecurity within the region. The two countries have been in focus in the region due to the protracted civil war in South Sudan and the war against Al-Shabaab in Somali.
The month of October was marred by many challenges including bomb attacks, electoral violence, drought and famine that led to mass migration. It is estimated that over 400 people lost their lives as a result of terrorist activities directly linked to the Al Qaeda an affiliate group to Al-Shabaab, and dozens other displaced due to drought and other conflicts related issues.
Hundreds of people were reported to have died in various attacks in Somali capital and dozens more left injured across the region. On 14th October 2017, in one of the deadliest attack in Somali, Hodan region left 300 people reported dead and hundreds of others seriously injured as a result of a twin truck bomb attack. Al-Shabaab, the Islamist insurgency, was most certainly behind the attack, though they did not claim responsibility.ii Two weeks after the twin truck attack in Mogadishu, the terrorist group held a night -long siege at a hotel in Mogadishu that left 23 people dead and more than 30 injured during the incident.iii The incident not only shock Somalia but also the world at large.
The attack came just as the United States under President Trump made a renewed push to defeat the Shabab militants who have terrorized the country and East Africa for years. The President further issued a directive to the US border authority to carry out airstrikes in Somali,iv after which, the US military stepped up efforts against al-Shabaab and have carried out nearly 20 drone strikes even as the global war on extremism intensifies.v
Kenya has also had its fair share of attacks from the group. In the recent past, it has been evident that the group has shifted its focus on Kenya which is a model that has been designed to Shift the Kenyan Political View towards withdrawing its KDF Forces from the country.vi
According to OCHA, by the end of October 2017, the East and Horn of Africa region was hosting approximately 3.2 million refugees, mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and South Sudan. It was also estimated that nearly 5.76 million people had been internally displaced in Somalia, Sudan and South Sudanvii due to drought, civil war and terrorist-related activities.
Uganda on the other hand has been going through a rough patch of having a dictator wanting to change the constitution of the country so as to give him some leeway of varying the seat again despite the age limit that has already been set. In a bill presented to the parliament wanting to amend the clause, most of the Members of parliament not party to this request have fallen prey to the government which has also lead to the death of two anti- bill protesters and the arrest of the leader of the official opposition in the country.
On South Sudan the struggle for overcoming and resolving the civil war is far from over with the deployment of foreign soldiers and aid works still going on to assist in ending the long war and helping the refugees and the internally displaced within the country. This Struggle has gained the attention of foreign governments including china in a bid to stabilize the country once again.