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WANEP laments rising conflicts in Nigeria, unveils peace projects in six states

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PHOTO: NAN

The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) Nigeria has lamented the increasing violent conflicts in the country, which has resulted in wanton destruction of lives and property.

This follows its establishment of a weekly live radio programme in seven states of the country on ‘Women’s Voices for Peace’ in English, Fulani, Hausa, Kanuri and Pidgin languages.

National Coordinator, WANEP-Nigeria, Bridget Osakwe, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, said Boko Haram terrorism, farmers-herders clashes, militancy, secessionist agitations, land disputes, power tussle, banditry and kidnappings were on the increase.

Citing the Round 26 Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) assessment by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), she revealed that about 1.9 million people have been internally displaced, while over 50,000 people have been killed with numerous property and farmlands destroyed between October 20, 2018 and January 20, 2019.

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She said the states most affected according to the DTM assessment are, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe.

Osakwe noted that in spite of government’s strategies for conflict intervention, states’ institutions could not sufficiently cope with the interventions alone, adding that women who are key stakeholders in conflicts prevention and peace building have been undermined in peace processes.

“This situation has created a hierarchy where men are relied upon to develop frameworks and strategies for preventing conflicts and violence torn societies to the exclusion of women as their voices remain suppressed on key issues that affect their wellbeing,” she said.

To this end, she noted that WANEP in its effort to ensure that women’s contributions and concerns are duly harnessed, was implementing the “Enhancing Participation of Women in Peace and Human Security in Nigeria” with support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) in six states of the country.

Osakwe explained that the project was being anchored on the need to respond to the impact of violent conflicts, mainstream gender capacities and promote women’s rights to participate in peace building, conflict prevention and decision-making in Bauchi, Bornu, Delta, Edo, Gombe and Rivers states.

Osakwe also explained that the project builds on national policy-making and implementation structures, while influencing governments to be more accountable, inclusive, transparent and democratic.

At the local level, the project builds on decentralised government’s systems as it is integrated in community development processes already in place in local government structures.


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