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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

TRANSBORDER MOBILE MONEY PLATFORMS IN THE GREATER SOMALI ECONOMIC SPACE

SUMMARY The informal transborder movement of goods and people have long captivated scholars, policymakers and security institutions in the East Africa region, in particular in the Horn of Africa (HoA). Special attention has been given to the transborder economic activities within what is referred to as the ‘greater Somali economic space’. This area encompasses Somali-inhabited […]

WAR AND THE BORDERLAND: SUDAN, ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA AT A TIME OF CONFLICT

This research paper builds on work the Rift Valley Institute (RVI) has conducted on the Sudan–Ethiopia borderland under the XCEPT programme since 2021. This culminated in the report ‘Resistance in the Peripheries: Fragile peace and civil war in Sudan and Ethiopia’s borderlands’, published in March 2023. It also draws on work undertaken by the RVI […]

THE STRUCTURE OF VIOLENCE: STATES, OFFICIAL MILITARIES, PARAMILITARIES,AND NON-STATE MILITIAS IN THE NORTHERN HORN OF AFRICA

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In Sudan and Ethiopia, official militaries are currently fighting against paramilitaries and non-state militias that, previously, had been important battlefield allies. The ongoing violence does not reflect a breakdown in the political order. Rather, these conflicts are the direct result of the persistence of a centuries-old regional military-political system created by unstable states […]

WAR AND THE BORDERLAND: NORTHERN BAHR EL-GHAZAL DURING THE SUDAN CONFLICT

The devastating war in Sudan between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has also had a profound impact on the country’s neighbours, particularly South Sudan. This is especially the case for areas that border Sudan, including Upper Nile, the Ruweng Administrative Area, and Northern Bahr el-Ghazal (NBG). RVI has been working […]

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 […]