Kajuru crisis: Mercy Corps trains community leaders on peace building, reconciliation
July 20, 2020 – As the banditry in Northwest Nigeria continues to intensify, Mercy Corps, a Non-Governmental Organisation in a bid to tackling the menace is training community leaders in troubled Kajuru Local Government in
Kaduna State on peace building and reconciliation.
The two-day training, which began on Monday in Kaduna, is being organised by Mercy Corp in collaboration with the Kaduna State Peace Commission.
Amongst participants of the training are: members of Kajuru Truth and Reconciliation Committee, religious and traditional leaders.
Mr Sani Suleiman, Deputy Chief Party, Mercy Corps said the initiative was in recognition of the importance of community leaders to sustainable peace.
According to Suleiman, building the capacity of stakeholders in communities would empower them to work more effectively in promoting reconciliation and peaceful co-existance.
He said that Mercy Corps has a special model of approach which is for interest based negotiations and mediation and other alternatives to resolving disputes rather than conflict.
“This approach focus on the interest and relationship of the parties in conflict so that they can negotiate their conflict, find alternative solutions to the conflict which will create a win win situation not a winner, loser solution
“And win win means not necessarily the 50/50 solution to their conflict but at least everyone will have some satisfaction
and not think of retaliation.
“Mercy Corps recognizes the importance of collaborative peace building as an NGO working with agencies like the peace commissionas; it’s the best approach in ensuring and deepening peace in communities.”
Suleiman explained that the training was in line with the organisation’s community initiative and peace project being sponsored by the United Nations Agency for international Development (USAID).
“We will continue after the training to support the peace commission to create a conducive space for negotiations, for dialogue, mediation, so that sustainable peace can be achieved,” he said.
The Executive Vice Chairperson of the state peace commission, Priscilla Ankut disclosed that the engagement was to build more skills in conflict management, mediation and peace building.
She said that the commission had been putting emphasis on peace building through negotiations and mediation in tackling the recurring conflicts in the state.
Ankut noted that conflicts in the state were not just based on politics and religion, but also increased criminality.
“Some of them are not just limited to inter communal tension, they are no longer limited to the usual fault lines that we are talking about around religion, ethnicity and politics.
“We are experiencing an increase in criminality and these crimes are changing in scope and are changing in intensity.
“What is happening when this crime occurs they interact with the existing conflicts in some of the areas where we work, like Kajuru.”
According to her, getting additional skills and capacity by the stakeholders would make them more educated and competent to work through their own peculiar situations.
She explained that similar engagements were going on in other conflict prone areas like Zangon Kataf and Kauru local
Chairman, Kajuru Local Government, Mr Kafra Cefno said the training would provide more experience and expertise to the stakeholders in managing crisis.
“We are here to gain more experience and we are hopeful today that we are going to gain something new and different from the usual,” he said.
According to him, the training would also help strengthen the narrative and help them to unite and speak as one.
He assured that the training would be stepped down to the grassroots level to ensure uniformity of approach in ensuring peaceful coexistence in the area.