Assessing the missing link within the concept of preventive diplomacy with reference to African conflicts
Niyitunga, Eric B.
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The role of preventive diplomacy is to prevent the emergence of violent conflicts, to prevent on-going conflicts from spreading and to prevent the relapse of an already settled conflict. The purpose of this article is to critically assess the existing gaps within the concept of preventive diplomacy that render it less appropriate in preventing and managing African conflicts in the post-Cold War era. The article gives an overview of the historical development of preventive diplomacy, referred to as orthodox preventive diplomacy. It examines the existent missing link within the concept of orthodox preventive diplomacy, and explains why the concept was ineffective in resolving African conflicts and preventing their recurrence. In conclusion, it is asserted that, given the fact that both the character and the agents of conflicts changed from interstate to intrastate, a new preventive diplomacy is needed to successfully prevent deadly conflicts before they occur. A qualitative research method, with an exploratory approach, was adopted.