Lt. Gen. Asrat Denero Amad
Chairperson of CTSAMVM
Launch of Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism (CEWARN) book: “Conflict Early Warning in the Horn: CEWARN’s Journey”
March 29, 2022
IGAD Head of Mission to South Sudan,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It’s my pleasure to be here to address this seminal event. On behalf of myself and CTSAMVM, I want to pass my sincere thanks to the organizers for inviting me to make remarks at this exciting book launch event.
The concept of Conflict Early Warning and Response started in the mid-1980s and has passed through continuous developments. It involves the regular collection and analysis of data on conflicts, by systematically monitoring and reporting conflict indicators; generating a set of products, based on quantitative and qualitative analytical methods; formulating scenarios and response options; managing to resolve or prevent violent conflicts by using preventive instruments and mechanisms.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has designed the Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism (CEWARN), as an institutional foundation for addressing conflicts in the region.
Sections 1 and 3 of this book offer a wide range of information on the efforts made by IGAD Leadership and leaders and experts of CEWARN in using the cumulated knowledge and experience in the field as part of their innovative approach to adapt to issues within the region.
We know that nearly 50% of the total land of the East African region is arid or semi-arid which hosts pastoralists. It is also a region where ensembles of diverse ethnic groups are living. Moreover, we found abundant cases where Natural resources such as water and mineral deposits lay across communal and international borders. In addition to the ethnic diversification and the eco-system, there are manmade factors such as illegal arms trading and the misuse of co-existing diverse ethnic groups at the international and internal borders for political interests.
Let me take a sentence from what KAIZA has written in his article on the problem of KARAMOJA (page 113); there written “…the culture says if it’s not a cow, there is no marriage…”. He added, “They believe that they lose everything if they send girls to school”. This attitude is not limited to the Karamojong only. It is rather a widespread belief among pastoralists in the region and suggests the need for IGAD and IGAD member states to revisit their long-term development plan.
We can notice how the protection of their cattle from insecurity caused by the militia and neighboring clans is a serious issue for pastoralists of the region. The article by Ambassador Mohammed Abdul Ghaffar and Abdelrahim Ahmed Khalil provides a very clear picture of the situation. Weapons for both cattle raiding and for protection against cattle raiding are obtained from the illegal arms trade.
CTSAMVM operates across the whole of South Sudan using its monitors at the Nine Monitoring and Verification Team sites. Cattle raiding is the most frequent issue its monitors encounter in their AOR. Because of the scope of our mandate, our first step is to critically investigate to identify whether the raiding is theft or an ethnic clash, or something that involves a Party-Signatory to the Peace Agreement. On page 171 of this volume, Taban Charles also says that “We have two domains of conflict: the traditional pastoralist conflicts and the national-level political conflict. Although we can assume they are separate, sometimes they overlap because they all involve competition over resources.”
Ladies and gentlemen
We can witness this book covers a wide range of data on the subject. The book in its 28 articles documents profound and innovative early warning and response approaches exercised both at the ground and the higher leadership levels.
Please join me in congratulating the IGAD secretariat leadership, consultants, and all members of the team behind the production of this book.
I thank you.