chapter  2
39 Pages


The rupture of the Cold War paradigm in Africa
WithFlavia Gasbarri

The chapter focuses on the year 1988 and presents the international and regional dynamics that made this year paramount for the end of the Cold War in Africa. From the mid-1980s regional conflicts and proxy wars in the Third World became part of the broader US-Soviet dialogue. The effort of cooperating to solve the Cold War in the Third World began to transform the way in which Washington and Moscow looked at their involvement and interests in Africa. Within this changing international context, the autonomous regional political and military developments eventually led, in 1988, to a turning point in the main Cold War-related conflicts in Southern Africa and the Horn of Africa. In Southern Africa, the New York Agreement between Angola, Cuba and South Africa settled the struggle over Namibian independence and opened the door for the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola. In the Horn of Africa, a Somali-Ethiopian agreement ended ten years of hostile disputes over the control of the Ogaden region, while the co-occurring resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan reduced the strategic importance of the Horn and its connection with superpower interests in the Persian Gulf. The chapter explores these events and the way in which they had the effect of splitting the overlap between the international Cold War paradigm and the regional dynamics which developed in Africa during the 1970s.