The regionalisation of the South Sudanese crisis

As the security crisis continues in oil-rich South Sudan, neighbouring states are fiercely competing for influence. This could plunge the region into chaos.

The newest state in the Horn of Africa has become an arena where powerful neighbours manoeuvre for regional influence. The deteriorating security situation in oil-rich South Sudan took neighbouring states by surprise, but they have risen to the opportunities the situation offers. Uganda and South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea, Kenya and Egypt support different proxies and their competition could plunge the region into chaos. As South Sudan struggles with a military and political crisis, the Horn of Africa has turned into a region of burgeoning geopolitical significance with crucial military, diplomatic, energy and hydropolitical issues.

About the author

Berouk Mesfin is a senior researcher with the Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division of the Institute for Security Studies. Prior to joining the ISS, he worked as a political adviser to the US Mission to the African Union (2007). Mesfin held several positions at the Addis Ababa University (2002–2005), including assistant dean of the College of Social Sciences and lecturer in political science and international relations. 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).

Development partners
This report has been made possible with support from the government of the Netherlands. The ISS is also grateful for support from the other members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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