Egyptian National Security and Regional Security in the Seminar on “The Developments in the Horn of Africa and The Red Sea Region”
The Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with Egypt/ Africa Center at the British University in Egypt, organized a symposium on Monday 3rd December 2018 under the title of “Developments in the Region of The Horn of Africa and Security of the Red Sea”. A distinct elite of Intellectuals, Diplomats, Academics, and Business Men participated in this symposium. This symposium was held at a time when the Red Sea Surroundings are witnessing rapid and qualitative developments that would affect the security of the sea as well as patterns of interactions in and across the sea.
The first axis of the symposium tackled the latest developments in the Horn of Africa Region, its implications, challenges to stability in the region, and during which the geostrategic significance of the Red Sea and the challenges that threaten its stability and security were dealt with. On its eastern bank tensions are almost completely prevailing in the Arabian Peninsula, as well as the western bank of the sea, In spite of the positive signs that resulted from the moves of Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, challenges remain complex. Tensions over borders existing between Djibouti and Eritrea are still there, in addition to instability in Sudan and South Sudan, the rise of terrorist actions by “ Mujahideen Youth Movement (Al-Shabaab)” in Somalia, in addition to considerable Ethiopian presence there in violation of the agreement implying that not any of the forces of the states surrounding Somalia should enter its territories, and in addition to the trend shown by Djibouti, that its national security is continuously threatened and has no trust in its neighbors, and which is clearly manifested by the presence of various military bases of a number of major and regional powers over the Djiboutian territories.
The second axis of the symposium tackled the Red Sea Region security issue as regards opportunities and challenges, which participants spoke on challenges of Red Sea globalization and risks to its security constituted by instability and related future scenarios. In this regard, threats, constituted by all previous challenges to Egyptian national security that would not accomplish its pillars without achieving the security of this region, have been emphasized upon.
In this context, the symposium was concluded with a number of recommendations of which the most significant were; formulating a comprehensive strategy for managing challenges imposed by current situations in the surroundings of the Red Sea, enhancement of cooperation amongst states of the Red Sea region to prevent further escalation, and creating an Arab-African security and cooperation system, based on mutual benefits and interests, in this significant region. The Participants emphasized that Egypt’s Presidency of the African Union during the year 2019 offers a good opportunity for Cairo to introduce its vision in this respect, in terms that will secure the principles of Good Neighborliness and Non-Interference in the Internal Affairs of States in the region, and solving their disputes within an atmosphere of security and stability which are necessary to achieve sustainable development for all the peoples of these states.