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China’s Horn of Africa Conference Reveals the Limits of Mediation Role

Xue Bing (R), China Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa speaks as Redwan Hussein, National security advisor to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia looks on during the first Horn of Africa peace conference in Addis Ababa. Amanuel Sileshi / AFP

The China-led peace conference for the Horn of Africa was both a big step for China and a bit of a damp squib. The conference, which concluded on Tuesday, was China’s most prominent attempt at promoting its version of developmental peace in Africa since its mediation efforts in South Sudan in the mid-2010s

The meeting was explicitly framed as setting the scene for conflict resolution efforts. Xue Bing, the PRC’s Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa, told attendees: “I myself am ready to provide mediation efforts for the peaceful settlement of disputes based on the will of countries in this region.” 

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