Politics of Terrorism in East Africa: Case Studies of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Somalia
DeWitt, Carolyn Elise
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This paper will argue that in East Africa, a correlation exists between the extent of a state's ties to the West and the form of terrorism prevalent in that state. Specifically, in states with more developed ties to the West, terrorism is more likely to be of an imported nature. In contrast, states with less developed ties are more likely to experience state and domestic terrorism. Additionally, states with stronger ties to the West will have a decreased tendency to have terrorism within their borders. This is because the West often applies pressure to states that use terrorism to stop and provides its ally states that suffer from domestic or indigenous terrorism with aid to control the situation. In order to examine the hypothesis proposed, three themes will be addressed. First, this paper will look at the definition of terrorism. It will examine the complexities in attempting to define this ambiguous term. After deciding on a very basic reference point, this paper will look at the different characteristics of terrorism including ideologies, targets, methods of operation, financing, and recruitment. These characteristics will then be applied to the different categories of terrorism. In the second section of this paper, I will take a closer look at the unique aspects of each East African state. This will be structured in the form of state profiles, which will highlight the major domestic, state, and imported terrorist events and the complexities concerning the state. Each profile will examine specific aspects of the event and of the state that may influence the likelihood of terrorist acts. The third section is a conclusion. It will analyze the different issues raised regarding the states comprising East Africa. This section will more broadly examine the implications of an unstable political regime in relation to terrorism. It will draw conclusions by comparing the positions of, and terrorist activity in each state discussed in the second section.