Qatar cri­sis shakes East Africa

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Na­tion + World -

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMI­RATES » Though far-re­moved from the Gulf, East Africa has been shaken by the Arab diplo­matic cri­sis grip­ping Qatar.

In re­cent years both Qatar and the other en­ergy-rich na­tions ar­rayed against it have made in­roads in the Horn of Africa by es­tab­lish­ing mil­i­tary bases, manag­ing ports and show­er­ing friendly na­tions with for­eign aid.

As the ri­valry heats up, with Saudi Ara­bia, Egypt, the United Arab Emi­rates and Bahrain seek­ing to iso­late Qatar, East African na­tions stand to gain or lose from an in­creas­ingly fierce com­pe­ti­tion for in­flu­ence. And with Saudi Ara­bia and its al­lies mired in a war just across the Red Sea in Ye­men, the area has never had more strate­gic value.

“I think we’re see­ing a game of geopo­lit­i­cal chess be­ing played out,” said Kris­tian Coates Ul­rich­sen, a re­search fel­low at the James A. Baker III In­sti­tute for Public Pol­icy at Rice Univer­sity.

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