Early warning systems and response mechanisms in African conflicts: the case of Rwanda, 1992-2010
Onyango, Christine A
MetadataShow full item record
This study gives an overview of early warning and response mechanisms (EWR) in Africa which have not significantly improved over the past two centuries. Regarding historical aspects of early warning systems and response mechanisms, the study establishes that conflict EWR was 'conceived as a means of protecting and preserving life. Since its initial conceptualization, the . field has evolved and EWR has been integrated into the policies of many governments and organizations. The study provides an overview to the Rwandan conflict, examines the existing early warning mechanisms in African conflict, and explores the theoretical explanation of conflicts and early warning systems and response mechanisms. The study establishes that preparedness, prevention and mitigation reduce the risk of conflicts. Using qualitative research methodology, the study asserts that when preventive measures are in place, the occurrence of violence is significantly reduced thus conflicts are averted. Taking Rwanda as a case study of the effectiveness of the existing EWR mechanisms and critiquing the same, the study proposes the best EWR mechanisms needed for effective risk management in conflict. This study therefore concludes that the availability of EWR mechanisms is important for conflict management especially in African context, hence makes the following key findings: That regional early warning systems and response mechanisms should focus on improving the quality of reporting; the warning-response link; and sensitivity of the value of evidence-based decision making in situations of violent conflict and state fragility. The international EWR on its part should explore the establishment of a new global network for early warning and response involving regional organizations, governments, and non-governmental agencies to address conflicts. The international EWR mechanisms should also endorse efforts to build internal capacity and functional external relations dealing with conflict-affected countries and situations of state fragility.