Many of us in the field of conflict prevention and early warning have argued that there seldom is a lack of warnings on conflict escalation. The problem, we argue, is often response, not lack of early warning. Cue today’s main news story on BBC:
Ten international aid groups say a 2005 peace deal in Sudan is on the verge of collapse and that the world must act now to prevent conflict.
- Agencies blamed a “lethal cocktail” of rising violence, chronic poverty and political tensions.
- Agencies cite disputes over Sudan’s oil resources, national elections in April and the independence referendum as potential flashpoints.
- The BBC’s James Copnall in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, says the country is clearly at the start of a highly charged and risky 12 months.
- Sudan’s ambassador to London, Omar Muhammad Siddiq, acknowledged that the situation in South Sudan was “deteriorating”.
I’ll be following the lead up to the April elections and the January 2011 referendum. If violent conflict does erupt, the international community will yet again have failed in the prevention of armed conflict despite clear early warning signals. And will yet again have failed to train local communities about how to get out of harm’s way.