The global chessboard of geopolitics is witnessing a complex game play out in the Horn of Africa

SaxafiMedia Editorial Team

In the midst of the ever-shifting tides of global politics, a new narrative is unfolding in the Horn of Africa. The United States and Russia are embroiled in strategic negotiations in the region, with Ethiopia and Somaliland taking center stage. This article delves into the intricate web of diplomatic maneuvers and geopolitical dynamics that are molding the future of this crucial region.

A Strategic Chessboard

The global chessboard of geopolitics is witnessing a complex game play out in the Horn of Africa. Russia’s expanding footprint in Sudan and the revival of the Russian Navy’s logistics base project on the Red Sea have spurred the United States to escalate its efforts to counter these advancements. Washington’s alleged discussions to bolster Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces in return for recognizing Somaliland reflect a strategic calculus aimed at offsetting China’s growing influence in Africa.


Ethiopia’s Strategic Imperative

For Ethiopian leadership, the recognition of Somaliland carries immense significance. Earlier this year, Ethiopia and Somaliland struck a landmark deal, granting Ethiopia access to the Gulf of Aden in exchange for recognizing Somaliland’s statehood. However, Western opposition, notably from the United States, has added complexity to this agreement. The recognition of Somaliland not only aligns with Ethiopia’s goals of reclaiming lost sea access but also serves as a strategic move to fortify its regional standing.

Ethiopia America's Counterweight To Sudan To Counter Russian Influence

The Ethiopia-US Plan

According to Romanian media outlets associated with Russia’s Ministry of Defense, American officials are negotiating with the Ethiopian leadership to provide support to the RSF, a powerful paramilitary group, in exchange for recognition of Somaliland. The source added that the United States is countering Russia’s influence by leveraging its ties with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The purported plan involves dispatching Ethiopian mercenary forces to aid the Rapid Support Force in Sudan. In return, Ethiopia seeks U.S. support in recognizing Somaliland and regaining control over disputed territories.

A senior diplomatic source reveals a clandestine agreement between the White House and Addis Ababa, outlining two key Ethiopian conditions. The first condition pertains to Abiy Ahmed securing American backing for Somaliland’s recognition to facilitate Ethiopia’s access to the Gulf of Aden. The second condition involves restoring Ethiopian authority over the contentious Fashaga lands. In reciprocation, Abiy Ahmed pledges support to the Rapid Support Forces with mercenaries and armaments, as well as establishing logistical routes for the forces to topple Burhan’s rule.

Abiy Ahmed, in cooperation with Muse Bihi Abdi, the president of Somaliland, has offered to secure navigation in the Red Sea, prompting the White House to make Somaliland a “Taiwan” in Africa.

Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi said the Ethiopian deal “will allow Somaliland to support international efforts to ensure freedom of navigation in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea,”  where ships have been repeatedly attacked in recent months by Houthi rebels.

Congressional Delegation’s Visit

In a notable display of U.S. involvement in the region, a bipartisan congressional delegation journeyed to Somaliland, led by Dr. Al Khalafalla and comprising prominent members from influential legislative committees. The visit underscored the United States’ strategic interests in the geopolitical dynamics of the Horn of Africa and Somaliland’s distinctive sovereign status. Dialogues with Somaliland’s government officials, political factions, and military figures signal a deepening engagement in the region’s security and strategic positioning.

Strategic Chessboard US-Ethiopia Tactics To Offset Russia-China In Somaliland And SudanUpon departing Somaliland, the delegation proceeded to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, engaging with the President of Ethiopia and other government officials. Despite the discussions, the specifics of these meetings were not disclosed by the American delegation.


The emerging geopolitical landscape in the Horn of Africa unfolds a compelling saga of shifting alliances and strategic calculations. As the United States and Russia jostle for influence in the region, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somaliland find themselves at the nexus of this dynamic interplay. The recognition of Somaliland, the strategic maneuvers between Ethiopia and the U.S., and the high-level diplomatic engagements all herald a new chapter in the geopolitics of the Horn of Africa.