As of 2008, Qatar has been trying to tighten its security and political grip on the Horn of Africa via a raft of complicated interferences, threatening the interests of other Arab countries in the region.
In the beginning, Qatar engaged itself in the political crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region. Doha has drawn on its financial diplomacy to achieve security and political presence in Sudan, affecting Egypt’s interests and fuelling some political tensions.
Qatar has extended its influence to Djibouti, which is the real gateway to the region.
In 2008, some border clashes between Djibouti and Eritrea erupted over the rights of the two countries in Ras Doumeira. Qatar immediately intervened in an escalating and unjustified conflict and deployed its troops on the border between the two African countries.
Although the conflict between Djibouti and Eritrea reveals was marginal for both countries, Qatar has made it bigger and the two countries accepted an alleged Qatari mediation.
Second, the mediation has not made progress towards resolving The relations between the two countries remained
In September 2018, Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti, met with his Eritrean counterpart Isaias Afwerki in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on the sidelines of signing a peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
The meeting managed to ‘break the ice’ between Djibouti and Eritrea, while Qatar has been trying to create tension between the two countries from 2008 to 2017.
The Ras Doumeira crisis has revealed that Doha took advantage of the conflict to deploy its troops in the Horn of Africa and to dominate the region.
After the Qatari intentions towards the Eritrean-Djibouti conflict were exposed and the failure of the Doha peace conference in 2010, Djibouti reduced its diplomatic mission in Doha in June 2017.
Djibouti’s move was in solidarity with the Arab Quartet that boycotted Qatar on the back of Doha’s support to terrorist groups. Qatar withdrew its troops from Djibouti pressuring Djibouti’s regime to reconcile with Doha later in 2018.
Qatar has also tightened its grip on the political and security scene in Somalia, where Doha exploited the lawless state to control the security and military scene in Somalia.
In 2018, Doha appointed former Al-Jazeera correspondent Fahd al-Yassin as deputy director of the Somali intelligence service after he served as director of the presidential palace office in Somalia.
Sudanese sources said that al-Yassin was a member of a group affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood organization.
Because al-Yassin had close ties with Ahmad Abdi, leader of Mujahideen Youth Movement, he was appointed as head of Al-Jazeera office in Mogadishu.
Moreover, Qatar has also sought to control the Somali government forces after taking hold of the Somali intelligence service.
Qatar has taken advantage of all the possible means to achieve its military and security presence in the Horn of Africa, affecting the interests of major Arab countries, i.e. Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Moreover, Turkey has also worked on boosting its presence in the region. Somalia, which is penetrated by Qatar’s intelligence service, has the largest Turkish military base outside Turkish territories.