USAID/East Africa's Regional Director, Larry Meserve, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development's (IGAD) Executive Secretary, Eng. Mahboub M. Maalim, have signed an agreement to continue to support regional conflict prevention and response activities in the Horn of Africa among pastoral communities through IGAD's Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism (CEWARN).
CEWARN's vision is to 'empower stakeholders to prevent violent conflicts,' especially in three areas: the Somali Cluster (border areas of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia), the Karamoja Cluster (border areas of Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda) and the Dikihil Cluster (between Djibouti and Ethiopia). CEWARN works with a network of field monitors, country coordinators, national research institutes, civil society organizations and Conflict Early Warning and Response Units to receive and share information about potentially violent conflicts in the IGAD region; and to analyze information and suggest options for early response.
Through this agreement, one million U.S. dollars will be provided to CEWARN through IGAD for a one year period ending September 30, 2011, to help avert and secure peace in the region with emphasis on the Somali Cluster.
According to USAID's Larry Meserve, "Conflict often arises due to a lack of or breakdown in communication. USAID and CEWARN are working together on the implementation of the Information Communications Technology for Peace ('ICT4Peace') activity to ensure information flows to and from conflict prone areas."
During the past year CEWARN has made progress in responding to local conflicts in the region. For example, communications equipment provided under ICT4Peace is being used to report incidences of conflict, enabling local peace committees to mitigate and prevent pending conflicts in the region.
For more information please contact: