Sudan: An Early Warning of Impending Conflict

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.

Patrick Philippe Meier


8 responses to “Sudan: An Early Warning of Impending Conflict

  1. Dear Patrick,
    By following Your outstanding activities concerning Haiti I somehow missed to follow this blog as well. This comment is just the right thing to say. I dearly hope people will read and react. It is not that seldom that dictators etc. make use of a horrible situation (Haiti) to get through with what they want. Awful

  2. Pingback: Can Civil Society Prevent Election Violence?: Burundi IT Election Warning Project « Conflict Early Warning and Early Response

  3. the way how coliflicts are widening pushes us towars a major revision of our conflict prevention tools. Some how I feel that we are behind!

  4. Dear Patrick and others with interest in the development in South Sudan leading up to the referendum, check out the newly established Eastern Equatoria CEWERS (State Level Conflict Early Warning and Early Response System) @
    Best Siris (Danish Demining Group)

  5. Dear Patrick
    Of course!
    I have tried to reach you through email, but without luck. Would very much like your perspective on a concept for community-based early warning I’m currently working on. Could you please send me an email when you got time? That would be great!

  6. Hi Patrick,

    There is a Conflict Early Warning and Early Response system being developed with the Southern Sudanese government and many other actors. We are still in the early stages. We were exploring using Ushahidi but have decided not to pursue it – one of our colleagues mistakenly put our expermentation live. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused. If there are any questions please contact me directly.

    Rochelle Johnston
    CEWERS Manager
    Catholic Relief Services

    • Hi Rochelle,

      Thanks for your comment. Could you by any chance let me know why you decided not to use the Ushahidi platform? Many organizations use the platform internally with password protection, so it is not public or live. Will follow up with you via email.

      Thanks and best,

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