IOM begins conflict mitigation project in Northwest Nigeria
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has unveiled a project to mitigate conflict and encourage community reconciliation in Northwest Nigeria.
The “Conflict Mitigation and Community Reconciliation in Northwest Nigeria” was inaugurated in Katsina on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project, supported by the European Union (EU), would be implemented in concert with Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) and Mercy Corps.
The IOM Chief of Mission, Mr Laurent De Boeck, said the project was aimed at reducing community violence, promoting locally driven peace initiatives and mitigating conflicts over natural resources.
He said that in Katsina state, the project will be implemented in Batsari, Danmusa, Jibia and Kankara local government areas where conflicts had ravaged many communities.
“We have gathered today here to mark the formal High-Level launch of the project around community structures.
“To promote social transformation and peaceful coexistence, natural resource management, mental health and psychological support to victims of human right violation including the survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
“And to establish transitional justice mechanism,” he said.
Laurent, therefore, urged Katsina State Government to support the implementation of community responses against violence to enhance social cohesion and address the needs and grievances of affected communities.
He said that IOM has long peace-building experience since 1951 when it was created and has been supporting governments and populations all over the world.
According to him, IOM would work with CDD and Mercy Corps, including the EU to support humanitarian needs and peacebuilding in the selected areas.
Laurent said that the areas have been bedeviled by insecurity challenges like banditry, cattle rustling and farmers-herders clashes.
According to him, about one million people in the four local government areas have been displaced as a result of the challenges since 2014.
In his remarks, Gov. Dikko Radda of Katsina State thanked the IOM and other development partners for the initiative that would help to restore peace and stability in the state.
Radda, represented by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Nasir Muazu-Danmusa, said that state has been facing challenges of banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping, and farmers-herders clashes.
He noted that the cattle rustling and farmers-herders clashes were largely because of resource control.
The governor said that the psychological trauma caused by those problems requires such support as being provided by the IOM project to address. (NAN)