Horn of Africa Caught in Between the Qatar-GCC Crisis: Case Studies of Somalia and Sudan

    The Qatar-GCC crisis has had a negative impact on Sudan and Somalia. Both countries, as the rivalry heated up, were compelled to adjust to the conflict dynamics.

    The Qatar-GCC diplomatic crisis began when three members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries namely Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain abruptly cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar in June 2017. The ‘Qatar-Gulf Crisis’ is now 10 months old, and has spread to Horn of Africa making it a hotspot for rivalry. Initially, two traditional pro-Saudi countries in the region, Sudan and Somalia, have preferred to stay neutral in the diplomatic spat and urged dialogue. This report argues that Qatar’s diplomatic presence in the region, especially in Sudan and Somalia, contributed to their neutral stance. It also contends that Turkey’s engagements in both these countries and its position in the Qatar-Gulf spat influenced their position.

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