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WARN - Introduction

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The debate over early warning conflict prevention is no longer whether it is necessary but how to sustain it with timely coordinated appropriate responses. The Early Warning and Early Response Program, WARN, focuses on enhancing human security in West Africa by detecting and preventing conflicts that could turn violent; prevent or mitigate ongoing conflicts from further escalation; working with countries in post conflict stages to ensure that “never again” should there be relapse to violence. The institutionalization of early warning (particularly community-based early warning) as an integral part of peacebuilding has yielded tremendous dividends and constituted the basis for the WANEP-ECOWAS partnership for conflict prevention that has existed since 2002. The now operationalized ECOWAS Early Warning System (ECOWARN) is the outcome of joint efforts between the two organisations. WARN’s goal is to go beyond the ECOWAS level and be linked to the Continental Early Warning System (CEWS) of the African Union (AU).