Sub-regional organizations in conflict management : IGAD's mediation of the Somali conflicts.
Violent conflicts and resultant humanitarian tragedies in large parts of the world combined with the United Nations' still insufficient capabilities to address effectively these cases merited a closer look at the idea of regionalizing peace operations. Since the end of the Cold War it has become increasingly fashionable to suggest that sub-regional organizations should play a prominent role in conflict management often argued as the principle of subsidiarity. Furthermore, the critical combination of the OAU shortcomings, on one side, and the appalling African situation on the other side seem to have necessitated that sub-regional organizations play vital role in their respective sub-regions African regional and sub-regional organizations have been called upon to lead in providing security and conflict management either in the form of conflict prevention and mediation or civilian or military intervention or post-conflict peace building. These regional groupings were initially meant to provide opportunities for establishing sustainable economic growth. However, contemporary regionalism in Africa has seen these organizations change their mandates to cover security issues that include conflict and peace management. The conflicts in Africa require proactive response strategies. The reality is that unless the conflicts that have pervaded different sub-regions of the continent are resolved there would be no hope for the lofty goals of economic integration, development and prosperity. IGAD's role in this regard cannot be understated as will be observed within this study. It should receive continued support from the governments of the region as they all strive to increase regional capacity to handle matters of conflict management.