Mobilizing Solidarity: Africans for the Horn of Africa Initiative Sets Strategic Course for 2024

Mobilizing Solidarity: Africans for the Horn of Africa Initiative Sets Strategic Course for 2024

Pan African Lawyers Union (Arusha, TZ)

25th – 27th March 2024 (Nairobi, Kenya) – In the dynamic and conflict-ridden landscape of the Horn of Africa, solidarity and advocacy initiatives play a crucial role in amplifying the voices of affected communities and catalyzing positive change. The Africans for the Horn of Africa Initiative (Af4HA) comprises of Pan African Lawyers of Africa (PALU), Atrocities Watch Africa (AWA), Africa Leadership Centre (ALC), and the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI). Af4HA has emerged as a pivotal player in this arena, mobilizing support and advocating for peace and justice across the region. As Af4HA prepares to chart its course for 2024, it reflects on its past efforts and gears up for a strategic planning meeting aimed at shaping its future endeavors.

In 2023, Af4HA embarked on a series of solidarity activities and advocacy campaigns aimed at addressing the myriad conflicts plaguing the Horn of Africa. From mobilizing support through various media platforms to engaging in advocacy rounds at key policy centers such as the United Nations General Assembly and the African Union Summit, Af4HA remained steadfast in its commitment to amplifying the voices of affected citizens. Notably, the initiative focused on conflicts in Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, and Somalia, recognizing the interconnected nature of these crises and their regional implications. Af4HA’s advocacy efforts also targeted the involvement of regional and global actors in exacerbating conflicts, as well as the insufficient response from regional and continental bodies.

As Af4HA prepares to navigate the complexities of the Horn of Africa in 2024, it convened a three-day strategy and planning meeting aimed at Defining Strategic Focus, Conceptualizing Research and Advocacy Approach and Building on the insights gained from the past year, the meeting fostered discussions around focus areas and approaches for research and advocacy in 2024.

As Af4HA embarks on this strategic planning process, its commitment to solidarity and empowerment remains unwavering. By centering the voices and experiences of affected communities, Af4HA aims to drive meaningful change and foster inclusive peacebuilding efforts in the Horn of Africa. Through collaborative partnerships, innovative advocacy, and evidence-based research, Af4HA stands ready to confront the complex challenges facing the region and advance its vision of a more peaceful and prosperous Horn of Africa.

The PALU Chief Executive Donald Deya addressed the numerous conflicts in the Horn of Africa, attributing them to factors like resource monopolization, ethnic and religious differences, border disputes, regionalism, and poor governance. To improve the situation, recommendations were made, including strengthening the IGAD secretariat to address regional issues impartially, enhancing regional conflict management capacity, and involving the African Union (AU) to counteract detrimental international influences driven by self-interest. Additionally, it was proposed to bolster law enforcement institutions to effectively respond to conflicts, consider historical grievances in conflict resolution efforts, increase UN involvement in humanitarian aid and peace negotiations, establish a coordination mechanism for conflict resolution actors, and introduce a new AU framework to address these challenges comprehensively.

In conclusion, the strategy and planning meeting that took place represents a pivotal moment for Af4HA as it charts its course for 2024. With a clear focus on strategic alignment and impactful advocacy, Af4HA is poised to continue its vital work in mobilizing solidarity and promoting peace in the Horn of Africa.

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