Horn of Africa Bulletin Vol 29 No. 3 May-June 2017

This issue of the Horn of Africa Bulletin titled “Borderland communities in the Horn: Avoiding assumptions and learning from history” , sought articles that would highlight some of the
emerging dynamics that increasingly define the reality of borderlands in the Horn of Africa,
such as cross-border collaboration at the inter-state level and initiatives by borderland
communities. The first article by Molla, “The Dynamics of Inter-Communal Conflict in the Moyale
Borderland Region” discusses intra-state and inter-communal conflict in the Moyale
borderlands on the Kenya-Ethiopia border. The author argues that the traditional factors
driving inter-communal conflicts in the Moyale borderland have been exacerbated by the
competition over the control of newly-created political-administrative units, and also by
conflicting claims over internal administrative boundaries. The next article “The Murle and the security complex in the South Sudan-Ethiopia borderlands” by Judith McCallum challenges the dominant narrative and stereotypes that became very visible in the aftermath of the cross-border attack. The article argues that cross-border violence needs to be understood in terms of the political context and
the processes of marginalisation that have affected the Murle community in South Sudan. The article ” Reevaluating the African Approach toward Resolving Border Issues” by Lemma provides a comprehensive overview of the overarching political obstacles that have slowed down the emergence of a more liberalised border regime at the continental and regional level. The article argues that while many of the problems around borders in Africa derive from the imposition of the Westphalian model of statehood, the African Union (AU) has made significant progress both at the level of creating agencies such as African Union Border Programme (AUBP) tasked with facilitating inter-state collaboration around border management and also in developing normative instruments such as the Niamey Convention.