Conflict management, reconciliation and stability in communities
CPSP platforms record more success stories
The Community Peace and Safety Partnerships (CPSP) have sustained initiatives to address security and safety concerns in their localities. By the end of October, 31 CPSPs in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states have discussed 408 issues, undertaken 339 actions, and achieved 77 results. Two of these results are reported in detail in this issue.
CPSP platforms in Borno State address major public safety concerns
Approximately 4,000 residents of Gubio Township (Gubio LGA) and Anguwan Jara (Bayo LGA) have benefited from CPSP initiatives to address the risks of
flooding and the outbreak of cholera and other diseases. The initiatives followed concerns over flooding caused by refuse (garbage, sewage and other waste) dumped in drainage and waterways.
The advocacy initiatives of the CPSP in the Gubio LGA encouraged local government authorities to allocate funds to clear the drainage in Gubio Township. The local authorities, community leaders, and religious leaders launched a public sensitisation programme to encourage community members to dispose of refuse in safer ways. Community leaders have also introduced a weekly clean-up programme. Similar results were achieved in Anguwan Jara (Bayo LGA) here the traditional ruler mobilised his constituents to evacuate a refuse dump site and clean-up the culvert. The community has also introduced a monitoring system to prevent further dumping on the culvert, thereby reducing the probability of flooding and outbreak of diseases in the community during the next rainy season.
‘Since the clearing of this site, this place has been
kept clean and the waterways are cleared of all
blockages. The monitoring committee is doing a
very good job.’
Mallam Ibrahim Kafinta,
Resident, Anguwan Jarawa
Dialogue and mediation initiatives
Farmers and herders partner to end violence in Bole
The dialogue and mediation initiative in Bole communities (Yola LGA, Adamawa) is recording early positive results. Throughout October and November, the Murmushi Peoples Development Foundation organised consultative meetings with farmer and herder groups. The meetings improved the confidence of both parties in mediation and deepened their understanding of the context and factors that contribute to violence. A joint mediation committee, comprised of farmers and herders, was established to initiate dialogue on community issues.
During the first dialogue session held on October 16th, the committee discussed the various drivers of violence and agreed on the necessary actions to address each driver. Issues discussed include: overnight grazing, involvement of minors in grazing, arms proliferation among farmers and herders, encroachment into grazing routes, fencing of land by farmers that hinders movement of livestock, drug abuse among the youth of herder and farmer communities, sexual harassment and violence, among others.
The committee was charged with overseeing the implementation of the agreed action points. Initial feedback from community members indicates that the initiative has helped build confidence among parties and reduce tensions in the community. Early successes have included the recovery of stolen cattle and the payment of compensation of damages to farmers.
‘Individuals in Bole community are a lot more
informed than in the past. Disputes are resolved
either peacefully amongst families or brought to the
dialogue table amongst traditional leaders and
other mediators. This dialogue facilitation, had it
come earlier, most conflicts would not have
happened. For example, within the period that
Murmushi commenced work, we noticed that
community groups have begun to change in their
manners. Farmers/herders report disputes because
they desire resolution and not violence. This was
not the case in the recent past.’
Zira Tumba, a clan head, Bole Community
‘A woman, Martha from Bole 1, brought a complaint
that her farm was invaded by a herder. The
accused was apprehended and brought to the
committee. At the end of proceedings, he faced
disciplinary action and was made to pay N 5,000 to
the committee. For the damaged farm, he was
made to pay N 150,000. Since the Bole community
has benefited from the trainings, there has been
relative peace and harmony between the farmers
and the herders.’
Mallam Mohammed Yahaya, Secretary, Bole
Dialogue and Mediation Committee
Initiatives to address sexual and gender based violence
Borno SARC supports conviction of rapist
The Sexual Assault Referral Centre (N3LEWA Centre) in Borno has led the successful conviction of a person for sexually assaulting a minor. The accused was guilty of committing the crime in the Monguno IDP camp. The incident, a key problem facing women and girls in IDP camps, was brought to the attention of the police in Monguno who referred the survivor to the N3LEWA Centre for medical treatment.
The N3LEWA Centre provided medical treatment and the forensic evidence required for prosecution. Members of the SARC Steering Committee - the International Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA) and state counsels at the Ministry of Justice – represented the minor in the court. The case was settled on November 1st. The Borno State High Court (No. 10) sentenced the culprit to the maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.
‘The judgment is a big win for the state. It shows
that when members of the public come forward to
report cases their identity and dignity will be
protected and we will ensure they get justice on
time. We now have to promote awareness among
members of the public to report suspected cases of
rape and sexual assault to the nearest police
station, offices of National Security and Civil
Defense Corp (NSCDC) or directly contact the
N3LEWA Centre for immediate medical assistance
and collection of forensic evidence that will aid
prosecution of offenders.’
Alhaji Ali Grema, Chairman, Borno State SARC
Steering Committee and Deputy Director of
Humanitarian Services at the Borno State
Ministry of Health
Police officers trained on sexual and gender-based violence
MCN has now trained 63 police officers who will service 12 Family Support Units (FSUs) in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states (43 officers from 8 divisional units in Borno and Yobe states, 20 officers in Adamawa state). The trained officers are working with the Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) established by MCN to ensure that survivors of sexual assault receive medical, psycho-social, and legal support. In addition to training, MCN supported the establishment of the FSUs by providing equipment for the facilities.
Economic empowerment in communities
Empowerment programme launched for civilian members of the Joint Task Force in Borno State
MCN launched an empowerment programme for selected members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in the Maiduguri Metropolitan Council and Jere LGAs in Borno State. The training programme is delivered by the HERWA Community Development Initiative, a local NGO.
The CJTF is a local vigilante body that has been at the centre-stage of counter-insurgency operations in the state. The initiative will arm members with skills to access alternate economic opportunities in their communities. Over 403 CJTF members (those who have not benefited from other programme initiatives) are expected to benefit. The programme started with a needs assessment (consultations, market surveys) to determine what kind of training and skills were required for the local economy, including: tailoring, electrical installation, carpentry, hairdressing, leatherworks and shoe-making. On completion of the training, beneficiaries will be supported with start-up capital for their new businesses.
‘We really appreciate that MCN has shown concern
and commitment towards building the capacity of
youths in Borno State. We will also work hard to
help our members complete their master trainers.’
Modu Ali, CJTF leader
Female youth in Yobe State benefit from empowerment programme
Female youth residents (150) from the Damaturu, Fika and Fune LGAs in Yobe State are participating in an empowerment initiative supported by MCN. The young women were selected from vulnerable groups including school drop-outs, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and survivors of sexual and gender based violence. Their selection followed extensive consultations conducted by the Initiative for the Needy, Orphans, Less Privileged and Widows (INOL) with relevant government ministries, traditional authorities, and youth groups.
The nine-month initiative was launched in October and will train the female youth in tailoring and fashion design, pomade and soap production, potato chips production, and spaghetti production. The beneficiaries will also learn about gender issues and peacebuilding. The programme aims to re-ignite the hopes of the girls to feel more confident about their future. Already one of the beneficiaries, a victim of rape, has been empowered to participate in an advocacy campaign to end sexual and gender based violence in her community.
‘My family moved to Fika as IDPs when our
community (Gujba) was invaded by Boko Haram.
Though all of us are alive, we lost everything
because there was no time to collect our
belongings. I feel happy because I had nothing
doing since we left Gujba for Fika as an IDP. Being
part of this empowerment programme will greatly
assist me to take care of my needs and support my
younger ones. We are very grateful for the support
shown to us by the people of Europe and the
British Council for implementing the programme.”
Hauwa Ibrahim Masaya
‘The ongoing empowerment support and
discussions about sexual and gender-based
violence with my peers have increased my
understanding about my role as a model to speak
out against what happened to me. I have now
regained my confidence. With more support and
mentoring, I’ll perform like Malala Yusuf and serve
as role model for speaking against rape in this
Halima Ibrahim (not real name),
Youths from IDP camps and host communities in Adamawa benefit from empowerment programme
In Adamawa State, MCN has supported the Murmushi Peoples Development Foundation to deliver an empowerment programme for 50 vulnerable youths (42 from IDP camps and 8 from host communities in Girei and Yola South LGAs).
The young people were selected after consultations with community leaders, youth associations, and local council officers. The youth are being trained in
photography, film production, recording and documentary production. In addition, beneficiaries will learn peacebuilding skills, such as trauma counselling,
reconciliation and forgiveness. On completion of the training, the youth will receive mentoring and support to develop more practical skills to grow their
Women benefit from business management skills training in Yobe State
MCN has supported an empowerment initiative for 300 women in Fika, Fune and Damaturu LGAs of Yobe State. A local NGO, the Initiative for the Needy, Orphans, Less Privileged and Widows (INOL), implemented the programme for 100 women with small-scale enterprises from the three LGAs. The women were trained on basic skills on business management, conflict management, and peacebuilding. Upon completion of the training beneficiaries, were given seed
funding to boost their businesses. Some women have also been encouraged to form cooperatives to promote peer mentoring and encourage other women to access the credit required to grow their businesses.
Community conflict management
Leaders of local community organisations trained on conflict management
Over 90 leaders from 30 civil society organisations from Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states were trained in conflict management. The capacity building programme promoted community resilience and social cohesion. It complements previous training organised for traditional rulers in the same states.
Leaders of organisations that work on major conflict issues in their communities were targeted for the programme. These include trade associations, religious organisations, youth associations, and ethnic unions. Participants were trained in dialogue, mediation and dispute resolution, negotiation, reconciliation, and community advocacy strategies.
The training has helped leaders to better manage inter-group conflicts. It promoted the benefits of documenting and sharing experiences in conflict management. The participants developed action plans to address key concerns in their communities. The leaders were supported by mentors to implement their plans and share their achievements. The aim is to engage with diverse state and non-state actors to implement activities to address the drivers of violence. Beneficiaries and representatives from state governments and traditional institutions have already commended the programme and pledged their support.
‘This initiative is most welcome and fits perfectly
with the plans and programmes of the Adamawa
State government to build and sustain a vibrant
early warning and response system for conflict
management. It will be a critical component of the
Adamawa State Peace Architecture. Beneficiaries
should ensure they use the skills acquired to
address conflict issues and prevent violence in their
communities and the state at large.’
Dr. Agusto Bamaiyi, Director General, Adamawa
State Agency for Peace, Rehabilitation and
‘We thank the EU and the British Council for this
special training. The skills acquired will help us to
better perform our roles in conflict management.’
Malam Bashir Tahir, Assistant Secretary,
Muslim Council, Adamawa State
Media organisations trained on conflict sensitive communications in Borno State
Media practitioners were trained on conflict sensitive communications and election reporting. Twenty-five participants (managers and reporters) were drawn from 20 state and national media organisations in Borno State. The training aimed to enhance the capacity of media, including spokespersons of security agencies, to communicate in ways that would contribute to conflict transformation, free, fair and non-violent elections, and peacebuilding. Beneficiaries were trained on how to ensure reporting of the insurgency and violence does no harm, cover the elections without exacerbating political tensions, address hate and dangerous speech, tackle fake news, and others. Participants also developed action plans on initiatives to promote sensitive communications.
‘We thank the European Union and the
international community for supporting the
government and the people of Borno State to
overcome the effects of the insurgency. This
training is very important and indispensable for the
media in the North East because the media is a
critical actor in responses to violent conflict. We
appeal to you to extend the training to all staff of
the Borno Radio and Television (BRTV).’
Dr. Mohammed Bulama, Borno State
Commissioner for Information and
Presidential Committee on North East Initiatives supports training of traditional rulers
The Presidential Committee on North East Initiatives (PCNI) was impressed by the results and lessons learned at the capacity building workshop for traditional rulers on alternative dispute resolution initiated by MCN. The PCNI has now replicated the training in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states. Green Horizon, MCN’s implementing partner, was engaged to adapt the training modules. The training was delivered for 480 traditional rulers in each of the six North East states, including four first class chiefs in Taraba State. Two-hundred and eleven of the traditional rulers trained were from Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. The commitment to scale up the training to reach more traditional rulers demonstrates the government’s aims to strengthen the traditional justice system to promote effective local governance.
An early result from Borno State was the development of a position paper by participants. It focused on how traditional rulers should be engaged in peacebuilding efforts in the North East. Feedback from stakeholders, such as the representatives of Shehu of Borno and Lamido Adamawa, Senator Ali Ndume of Borno South District, and Borno State Commissioner of Police, among others highlighted was positive. It highlighted the importance and timeliness of the training since traditional rulers are needed for rebuilding communities affected by the insurgency.