Houthis in Africa

Houthis in Africa

Why the Horn of Africa matters for the rest of the world

Since October 7, from Gaza to Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran has revealed itself as the king of Islamic terror. It’s losing ground in Gaza but expanding its territories elsewhere. One of the most overlooked regions Iran is expanding is in the Horn of Africa. Islamist insurgencies are nothing new to Africa, but Iran’s targeted operations in this particular corner of the dark continent will impact the rest of the world.

The Horn of Africa is comprised of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia. Its northern border sits at the Bab el-Mandeb strait, where the Red Sea exits into the Indian Ocean. Most of the region belongs to various Christian denominations. But a sizable Muslim population makes up the majority in Djibouti and Somalia.

Djibouti and Somalia also sit across the sea from Yemen, where Iran’s Houthi proxies have been disrupting Red Sea shipping since last year. Controlling this northern half of the Bab el-Mandeb gives Iran astronomical leverage over global commerce. And the Houthis’ escalating attacks are allowing Iran to branch out to both sides of the waterway.

Iran needs to supply the Houthis with weapons, but it is relatively far from the conflict zone. Its Western opponents know the usual smuggling routes. So Iran is turning to routes through Muslim East Africa.

“Instead of bringing weapons directly from Iran, [the Houthis] have found a new route through the Eastern African nation of Djibouti, where arms arriving from Iranian ports are transferred to civilian ships,” the Wall Street Journal reported June 16. This has apparently been confirmed by both Western officials and the Houthis.

The Houthis aren’t only looking for weapons. They are also selling them. According to United States intelligence cited by cnn, the Houthis are in talks to sell weapons to al-Shabaab, a jihadist group controlling large territories within Somalia. As of June 11, the U.S. cannot confirm if the Houthis are acting alone or if Iran is directly involved; however, Iran has used al-Shabaab before as a middleman to sell weapons and other supplies to its proxies, including the Houthis.

If verified, this would be the first major agreement confirmed between the Houthis and al-Shabaab.

Both Djibouti and Somalia have a U.S. military presence. Djibouti hosts a U.S. naval base, as well as French, Italian, Japanese and Chinese bases. The lawless Horn of Africa is not the easiest place for the U.S. and its allies to monitor who enters and exits, but the Houthis’ ability to work in an area with a decent U.S. military presence shows their increasing sophistication.

The Trumpet watches the situation around the Red Sea closely because of a prophecy in Daniel 11:40: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.”

This is a prophecy for “the time of the end”—far in the future from when Daniel wrote it. Biblical and secular history proves the king of the north to be a now-uniting European power. Since the early 1990s, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has identified the king of the south as radical Islam, led by Iran.

The root of the Hebrew word rendered “push” suggests an animal goring an opponent. It is a violent, provocative word. The Trumpet has watched for Iran and its proxies to “push” at Europe. Iran’s disruption of Red Sea trade via the Houthis is certainly a provocation. In our May-June issue, Mr. Flurry speculated the Houthi war could be “the big push that triggers far greater wars.”

Notice how the prophecy continues: “He [the king of the north] shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps” (verses 42-43). Daniel mentions Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia as being conquered by the king of the north the same time he conquers the king of the south. This implies they are allied with the king of the south.

“Why would Iran be so interested in gaining control over Libya and Ethiopia?” Mr. Flurry asks in The King of the South. The answer:

Get a good map of the Middle East, particularly of the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. You can quickly see why the king of the south, or radical Islam, is so interested in an alliance with or control over these two countries (as well as Egypt and Tunisia). They are on the two seas that comprise the most important trade route in the world!

Whoever heavily influences or controls Ethiopia will undoubtedly also control the small areas of Eritrea and Djibouti on the Red Sea coastline. These areas only recently became independent of Ethiopia. Also, I believe the Bible view is that these small areas are a part of Ethiopia.

Through Iran’s war for the Red Sea, the coastline surrounding Ethiopia, including Djibouti, is getting sucked into Iran’s orbit. Much more must happen before the region is fully under Iran’s thumb—but this could happen very quickly.

To learn more, request a free copy of The King of the South.