The Continental Early Warning System (CEWS) is one of the five pillars of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). 

Mandate


The CEWS is responsible for data collection and analysis and is mandated to collaborate with “the United Nations (UN), its agencies, other relevant international organizations, research centres, academic institutions and Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)” with its information to be used by the Chairperson of the Commission” to advise the Peace and Security Council (PSC), on potential conflicts and threats to peace and security in Africa and recommend the best courses of action.”


Background


Article 12 of the PSC Protocol relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) provides for the establishment of a Continental Early Warning System (CEWS), in order to facilitate the anticipation and prevention of conflicts in Africa. As stipulated in article 12 (2) of the Protocol, the CEWS consists of;

  • an observation and monitoring unit, to be known as “the Situation Room’’, which is located at the Conflict Prevention and Early Warning Division of the African Union and is responsible for data collection and analysis; and
  • the observation and monitoring units of the Regional  Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management  and Resolution, which are to be linked directly to the Situation Room.

The Governmental Experts meeting on early warning and conflict prevention, held in South Africa in 2006,  adopted the Framework for the Operationalization of the CEWS, which was subsequently endorsed by the 10th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council, held in Addis Ababa, in January 2007. The Council requested the Commission to take all the necessary steps for the timely and full implementation of the Framework, including the mobilization of the financial and technical resources required from both AU Member States and partners, the speedy recruitment of the human resources needed and other relevant steps, within a time-frame of three (3) years, to ensure that the CEWS is fully operational by 2009.

Objectives


  • To anticipate and prevent conflicts on the continent
  • To provide timely information on evolving violent conflicts based on specifically developed indicators.