By ORSHI TERHEMBA EPHRAIM
There is no shortage of adages about the merits of prevention. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Lawrence W. (2009) simply put it “Prevention is the best medicine”. Perhaps the unimpeachable logic of those aphorisms should suffice to move government and international organisation to develop robust capacities to prevent violent conflict and to deploy them strategically. This paper discusses the concepts of conflict prevention focusing on preventive measures. Symptoms of conflict early warning are also identified as well as the cost of late response to early warning. Advancing the conflict prevention agenda will require navigating a series of challenges, including the rapidly changing context in which prevention strategies are applied. The research went ahead to determine if preventive measures have an impact to prevent ongoing and escalation of conflict. A set of difficult political and institutional factors that militate against vigorous prevention action were also examined, as well as the changing role of Nigeria. Policy recommendations are offered to provide effective early warning system. To be effective, conflict prevention capacities will not necessarily require pronouncement, institution and new offices, but they will require focused attention, resources, and a process to spur action in response to warning signs.
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