Civil war, political instability, the presence of terrorist militias, drought, famine: the current situation for most countries in the Horn of Africa is a cause for concern. Because of the difficulties and despite the immense challenges, international commitment to the region has remained strong. Switzerland also has a presence on the ground: through its governmental institutions and NGOs, it is trying not only to deal with the most pressing issues but also to establish stability and lasting peace, either directly or by supporting local organizations.
Humanitarian aid, development aid, peacebuilding: although priorities change and evolve according to region and context, all these sectors are present and increasingly interdependent. Whatever Swiss organizations are doing on the ground, it therefore seems vital that they all adopt a conflict-sensitive approach and coordinate their efforts if hopes are to be nurtured of bringing stability, which is crucial to the interests of all countries. The region will hold the key to its own peaceful future as soon as it will start to view itself as a single entity. That is what we attempt to show in this edition.
Marie Seidel, editor
NB: in the majority of articles in this edition, the term Horn of Africa covers all the member countries of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The FDFA uses a slightly different definition.