Sub-regional conflict early warning and response mechanism : a case study of IGAD 2002-2007
The Horn of Africa which comprises of seven countries has witnessed intermittent internal conflicts which have common roots in the colonial past and were largely contained during the cold war period by super powers' patronage and ideological allegiances. The end of the cold war witnessed a growth in internationalization of conflicts which called for the international community to reconsider the notion of state sovereignty and external involvement in domestic disputes. This development saw the emergent of mechanisms in the regional and sub-regional levels charged with responsibilities of intervening in internal conflicts which threaten the sub regional peace, security and stability. The study will briefly discuss the backgrounds of member states in order to understand the origins of the current conflict system and analyse the early warning and response mechanism as an instrument of conflict management within the IGAD to foresee conflicts before they occur and provide the information to relevant response institutions to act in order to forestall catastrophies. The study observes that the states of the sub-region individually and collectively continue to seek solutions to the conflict problem most of which are domestic but have regional implications. The study utilizes the liberal institutionalism theoretical framework to critically analyse the operational and institutional arrangements for the IGAD's conflict early warning and response mechanism (CEW ARN). It also examines the mechanism's performance in its short time of operation in selected areas of conflict and in few member states with a view to recommending future structural and strategy adjustments to meet future sub regional conflict challenges.