Since the attacks of 9/11, U.S. security intertests in East Africa have often conflicted with U.S. policy that encourages democratization and more attention to human rights. Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda -- all central to U.S. security policy objectives in the region -- demonstrate the fine policy line that the United States is walking as it actively seeks the support of their governments, which exercise varying degrees of repression.

Walking the Line: U.S. Security Policy in East Africa and the Horn

By , , Feature

Until the end of the Cold War in the late-1980s, U.S. policy in East Africa and the Horn tried to balance regional security concerns with support for economic development and mitigating food shortages and famines. The primary goal of U.S. policy in the region was to minimize Soviet influence and that of China, Eastern Europe and Cuba. As the Cold War came to an end, the United States added to its policy agenda the objectives of encouraging democratic governance and improving human rights practices.

In the post-Cold War era, the primary U.S. human rights and governance concerns in the region have been the lack of transparent elections that allow meaningful participation by the opposition; the arrest of prominent opposition political leaders and journalists; corruption and discrimination against marginalized groups. Having belatedly condemned the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the U.S. was the only country to declare that genocide occurred in Darfur, after which Washington led the condemnation of the government of Sudan. ...

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