Regional Organizations and Conflict Management in Africa: A Contextual Assessment of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Somalia
The role of regional organizations in managing protracted conflicts within and among Member States cannot be overemphasized. This has been the case of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in the Horn of Africa, a region characterised by protracted conflict, instability and state failure as in the case of Somalia. Established in 1986 as Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD), the organization was re-established in 1996 as IGAD with its mandate expanded to include regional peace and security. Adopting diplomacy of conflict management as an approach towards conflicts in the Horn of Africa, IGAD has visibly been involved in the continued search for peace in the embattled state of Somalia. Political stability and sustainable peace in Somalia however remains elusive as new actors and interest in the conflict emerge. While acknowledging IGAD’s critical role towards political stability in Somalia and the larger Horn of Africa, I argue that IGAD lacks institutional capacity to sustainably resolve complex and protracted conflicts as in the case of Somalia, which calls for multiple approaches to conflict management than those provided for in the IGAD’s founding Agreement.