How Did China Do in Its First Horn of Africa Peace Conference?

China’s Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Xue Bing, wrapped up a two-day peace conference in Addis Ababa last week, Beijing’s first-ever effort to mediate conflicts outside of Asia. Xue personally offered to serve as a broker to help resolve many of the ongoing tensions that currently roil the region.

Superficially, all of the participants responded favorably to China’s efforts but the real test will come in the months ahead to see if Beijing can match its promises with tangible results.

Aly Verjee, a non-resident senior advisor at the United States Institute of Peace, is a leading expert in the politics of the Horn of Africa. He joins Cobus to share his impressions of China’s performance at the conference and whether he thinks Beijing has what it takes to help mediate the region’s various conflicts.

About Aly Verjee:

Aly Verjee is a nonresident senior advisor to the Africa program at the U. S. Institute of Peace and was formerly a visiting expert at USIP.  While a visiting expert at USIP, he led research efforts in the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Sudan. In 2019, he received the Oslo Forum PeaceWriter Prize “for bold and innovative responses to today’s peacemaking challenges,” for his work on reforming and innovating cease-fire monitoring. Prior to joining USIP, he was deputy and then acting chief of staff of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, overseeing the implementation of the 2015 peace agreement in South Sudan. From 2014-2015, he was senior advisor to the chief mediator of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development-led peace process for South Sudan.


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