Community in North East Nigeria ©

British Council/J4A

June 2021

The Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) programme commissioned research to generate ideas on how the government can address the conflict and end the insurgency. The study was carried out by the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD).

The research identified options for ending the decade old insurgency in the region through dialogue and reconciliation. It focused on the states worst affected by the violence Borno, Adamawa and Yobe as well as Kano that had experienced the successful containment of the insurgency. 

The study sought to answer 7 interrelated questions: 

  1. What is the stage of the conflict in each state? 
  2. What is the position of key stakeholders on dialogue and reconciliation as options for ending the conflict? 
  3. Which actors can best promote dialogue? 
  4. What are the best approaches of engaging these actors? 
  5. What are the demands of major actors in the insurgency and how feasible are their demands? 
  6. What risks are associated with dialogue and reconciliation approaches and how can these risks be mitigated? 
  7. Which actors should be engaged in dialogue and reconciliation initiatives? 

The study found that much progress has been recorded in counter-insurgency operations. However, the resettlement of displaced communities remains a challenge because of the capacity of insurgency groups to attack both civilian and military targets. It established that addressing the insurgency has been complicated by the variety of actors involved and their complex motivations.

The research also found that though there are significant concerns among stakeholders on the prospects of dialogue and reconciliation by insurgent groups, most people would welcome the approach if properly engaged. The study recommended different approaches and actors that should be engaged in the search for non-violent resolution. 

Dissemination workshops were organised by CITAD, with support from MCN, and held in Abuja and Damuturu on 26 January 2021, in Yola on 28 July 2021, in Maiduguri on 29 January 2021 and in Kano on 4 February 2021. Participants at the dissemination workshops have adopted the findings and recommendations of a study on the options for non-violent resolution of the insurgency in North East Nigeria. 

Read more about the study and download the policy brief here

"This report has correctly shown that some progress has been made by the security agencies in fighting the insurgents but we need dialogue to bring it to an end because we should not fight violence with violence alone."

Uzairu Abdullahi, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Kano state

See also