The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa delves into the business of politics in the turbulent, war-torn countries of north-east Africa. It is a contemporary history of how politicians, generals and insurgents bargain over money and power, and use of war to achieve their goals.
Drawing on a thirty-year career in Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, including experience as a participant in high-level peace talks, Alex de Waal provides a unique and compelling account of how these countries’ leaders run their governments, conduct their business, fight their wars and, occasionally, make peace. De Waal shows how leaders operate on a business model, securing funds for their ‘political budgets’ which they use to rent the provisional allegiances of army officers, militia commanders, tribal chiefs and party officials at the going rate. This political marketplace is eroding the institutions of government and reversing statebuildingÑand it is fuelled in large part by oil exports, aid funds and western military assistance for counter-terrorism and peacekeeping.