What happens to tightly integrated border communities when the relationship between the bordering countries is deteriorating?
In this seminar, we will draw lessons from the borderlands between Sudan and Ethiopia. The communities here have long relied on cross-border agriculture, grazing and trade for their livelihoods, and have nurtured ethnic, linguistic, familial and cultural connections for centuries. During the past two years, however, these communities have witnessed extraordinary changes following the eruption of conflict in the Tigray region in North Ethiopia and border tension between Sudan and Ethiopia over the fertile land in Al-Fashaga between the Amhara region in Ethiopia and Gedarif state in Sudan.
We will focus on the opportunities for cross border community collaboration between Sudan and Ethiopia in reducing border tension. Researchers from universities on both side of the border will explore the factors that pull communities together and push them apart, ultimately aiming at identifying factors that can promote peaceful co-existence between the two major powers in the Horn of Africa.
Political scientist focusing on democracy, governance and women's employment and empowement in the Horn of Africa
Lovise Aalen has researched Ethiopian politics for the last two decades. She has focused on the implementation of ethnic federalism, the EPRDF’s ideas of revolutionary democracy and the developmental state, regime-youth interactions, and female political participation in authoritarian contexts.
Researcher dealing with border issues at the Center for Refugees, Migration, and Development Studies (CRMDS).
Adam Babekir has conducted researches on Ethio-Sudan border issues, including refugees, seasonal labour migrants, cross-border trade, peaceful co-existence, and water-related challenges.
Assistant professor of Population and Development Studies at the University of Gondar, Ethiopia,
His research interests include unemployment and labour force, migration and resettlement, livelihood and food security, adolescent and maternal health, civil and vital event registration, and urbanization.