Writing on the conflicts in the middle and the Horn of Africa in the Strategic Trends 2012, a newly released report of the Swiss-based Center for Security Studies, researcher An Jacobs admits that competition for resources and ethno-religious differences does often contribute to these conditions, but the crucial factor in most cases is bad governance.
One exception is Somalia, with thriving Islamist radicalism of various shades. What happens is more perverse: political figures play off ethnic and religious groups against each other for strategic purposes. While Sudan has supported Islamist insurgents in neighboring countries, it has also provided support to the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army, which has nothing to do with Islam.
In Somalia, however, religion is said to play a key role: the main characteristic is Islamic fragmentation, with different Islamic groups opposing each other. The absence of tionwide governance structures has created a space for religious leaders.(Strategic Trends 2012 can be read online or downloaded: http://www.sta.ethz.ch/Strategic-Trends-2012)