Qatar’s diplomatic incursions into the Horn of Africa


Although it is a small country in a dangerous neighbourhood, Qatar has regional ambitions. It punches above its weight diplomatically by acting as a mediator in conflicts in the Horn of Africa. The results have been mixed, with negotiations hampered by the centralisation of foreign policy in the person of the emir, who does not seek advice from his foreign affairs ministry. However, Qatar’s successes have been impressive and among the underpinnings of its efforts are wealth, shared with its citizens – from huge natural gas deposits, security guarantees from the United States and a strong alliance with Turkey – and Qatar’s position as the home of the media giant, Al Jazeera.

About the author

Berouk Mesfin is a senior researcher who joined the Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division of the ISS in 2008. He has worked as a political adviser to the US Mission to the AU, and held several positions at the Addis Ababa University. He was also a research associate at the Institute of Development Research. Before joining Addis Ababa University he had served as an intelligence analyst at the Ethiopian Ministry of National Defence (1997–1999).

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