Conflict monitors, analysts and respondents from Adamawa, Gombe and Plateau have resolved to boost networking and collaborative efforts to strengthen peace and address security challenges in the three states.
They made the resolution at the end of a three-day workshop organised by the Nigerian Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, the West African Network for Peace and the UN Women EU funded programme, Promoting Women’s Engagement in Peace and Security in Northern Nigeria. The programme is executed in Adamawa, Gombe and Plateau States.
The meeting focused on the structural dysfunctional mechanisms that hinder inclusion of women and gender sensitivity in peace processes.
It also enabled the participants, comprising conflict monitors, analysts and respondents to share experiences with each other and strengthen their bond towards a common goal of conflict prevention and resolution.
Strategies for peace restoration
The Stakeholders meeting provided an opportunity to understand strategies for inclusive responses to peace and security challenges in Northern Nigeria.
This includes; the upscaling options, improve interaction and synergy of purpose between and amongst the three states of Adamawa, Gombe and Plateau.
The organisers say “with the 2019 elections round the corner and the current farmer/herder conflict, it is necessary for the three states to have peace architecture in place to detect early warning indicators in order to prevent conflict, or resolve it by involving women in the peace processes.’’
The participants are also people who might possibly spearhead the proposed Peace Council in line with the Standard Operating procedures.
Early warning indicators
Adamawa, Gombe and Plateau states had worked on the early warning indicators and how a peace council would be set to detect early conflict signs before they degenerate.
The process has been successful in Plateau State, with the establishment of the Peace building Agency on February 2, 2016.
More opportunity for women
The Executive Director of West African Network for Peace, WANEP, Dr. Chukwuemeka Eze called for the provision of more opportunities for women to be included in the negotiating delegations so that their views can be heard and their ideas included in peace processes.
Dr Eze said gender consideration in peace processes would promote equality and equity.
He also stated that peace negotiations and agreements generated would set the structure and direction for post conflict reconstruction, which would affect the lives of all in the society.
“In our attempt to address these gaps together in the last six months implemented key activities, including vulnerability risk assessment, capacity assessment and analysis, 133 persons, including 68 women and 68 men participated on capacity building for conflict monitors, analysts and respondents, development and validation of early warning indicators as well as development of gender early warning manual in the three states. We hope that our efforts together will be the turning point in addressing this obvious aberration and begin a new narrative in our peace building agenda,” Dr. Eze explained.
The UN Women Country Representative, Ms. Comfort Lamptey said the meeting aimed at stock taking to consolidate on the gains of the EU Funded programme in Adamawa, Gombe and Taraba States.
“It is important that we have the stock taking exercise to look at lessons learnt and best practices that will also inform how we sustain some of the gains of the project beyond the lifespan,” Ms. Lamptey said.
The Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Professor Oshita Oshita commended the impact of the UN Women project in the three states.
“We know the kind of awareness that exists in the three states now. People are talking about early warning monitoring, people are talking about how to synergise information at various levels to ensure that we prevent those violent conflicts that are preventable,” Professor Oshita said.
At the end of the meeting, lessons were shared from Adamawa, Gombe and Plateau States from a range of resources, which captured the perspectives of different stakeholders within and outside the states.
The meeting also signalled the end of the UN Women EU funded programme in the three states, aimed at Promoting Women’s Engagement in Peace and Security in Northern Nigeria and the contribution of the West African Network for Peace towards the achievement of the overall goal of the EU funded project.