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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Podcast: The political economy of checkpoints in Somalia

In this podcast, hosted by Hannah Stogdon of the Rift Valley Institute (RVI), we delve into the intricate web of roadblocks, checkpoints, and their pivotal role in the political economy of cross-border trade and conflict in Somalia. Our guests, Peer Schouten, Abdirahman Edle, and Jamal Mohamed, share fresh evidence and invaluable insights from their research […]

PAYING THE PRICE

THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF CHECKPOINTS IN SOMALIA SUMMARY This report explores the political economy of checkpoints in Somalia: What drives their formation? What impacts do they have on trade, society and political projects? To explore these factors, new empirical data is presented on the distribution and costs of checkpoints operated by al-Shabaab and government actors, […]

BROKERING TRADE ROUTES

THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF CHECKPOINTS ALONG THE BAIDOA CORRIDOR SUMMARY • The Baidoa corridor is a transport and trade route that connects Somalia’s coastal capital, Mogadishu, to Kenya via the border towns of Bula Hawa and Dollow, respectively. As with all trade and transport routes in Somalia, there are many checkpoints along the route that […]

NAVIGATING TRADE CONTROLS

THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF CHECKPOINTS ALONG SOMALIA’S GARISSA CORRIDOR SUMMARY • The Garissa corridor is an essential artery for trade and exchange between Kismayo in Somalia’s Jubaland state, and the Kenyan city of Garissa. Checkpoints along this route were originally a militia phenomenon, with each sub-clan operating its own roadblocks.They proliferated during the clan militia […]

Darfur: The Ongoing Crisis and Humanitarian Responses 

The horrific fighting in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, has grabbed news headlines since violence broke out on 15 April 2023. This violence shattered Khartoum’s reputation as an island of stability, with many noting that Khartoum had not been attacked in such a manner since the 19th century. The novelty of the attacks on Khartoum has however […]

SUDAN CONFLICT: ASSESSING THE RISK OF REGIONALIZATION

This paper focuses on the potential for a regionalization of the conflict between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), including external involvement by Sudan’s neighbours and cross-border spill-over.  It is the second in a series of briefing papers from Rift Valley Institute for the UK government’s XCEPT (Cross-Border Conflict, Evidence, […]

HEMEDTI CHALLENGES SAF’S CONTROL OVER SUDAN

This paper focuses on the origins and the political and military objectives of the two main internal actors – the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) — in Sudan’s ongoing conflict. It is the first in a series of briefing papers from Rift Valley Institute for the UK government’s XCEPT (Cross-Border […]

RESISTANCE IN THE PERIPHERIES: CIVIL WAR AND FRAGILE PEACE IN SUDAN & ETHIOPIA’S BORDERLANDS

Summary  • Historically, the people living along the Blue Nile – Benishangul-Gumuz borderlands in what is now Sudan and Ethiopia have been politically and socially marginalized within their respective political entities. As such they have sought ways to address this marginalization by undertaking a number of strategies. They have sought to mobilize and increase their […]

HOW ARMED GROUPS PLAY THE LONG GAME IN THE SUDAN-ETHIOPIA BORDERLANDS

Armed opposition groups in Sudan and Ethiopia’s border regions have a history of leveraging support, often military, from their neighbours to aid their political aspirations at home. These dynamics have fluctuated in line with broader changes in the region and geopolitically, but rebel groups are used to waiting, and take their opportunities when they emerge. This […]