By Hamza Suleiman
European Union (EU) and British Council has constituted a conflict resolution committee in Borno to enhance crisis management and peace building process at the grassroots.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee was set up under the EU/British Council supported Managing Conflict Nigeria (MCN) project.
Zara Bukar, MCN Team Lead in the state, made the disclosure at the inauguration of the committee on Thursday in Maiduguri.
She said the Committee would work with communities and other stakeholders to chart a course to facilitate successful implementation of the MCN project to achieve its objectives.
Bukar added that the Committee would assist in promoting community engagement and address challenges militating against effective project implementation at state and local government levels.
“MCN focuses on some programmes including conflict management, reconciliation and stability in communities.
” We also support community based women associations to address the impact of violence against women and girls as well as help reintegration of those affected through skill development and economic empowerment programmes.
“Under the MCN programme small grants and skill development are provided to youth and women including those involved in informal policing and peace initiatives.
“We support voluntary policing groups to build their capacity and ensure their operations respect, promote and protect human rights,”she said.
According to her, MCN project has so far trained more than 1.2 million direct beneficiaries in the northeast since inception.
Bukar revealed that more than 4, 500 government and security personnel were trained while about 11, 700 individuals are involved in conflict prevention and peace building interventions as at end of April 2019.
She said that: “In conflict management, we trained over 400 community leaders on alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
“The exercise aim at empowering participants to be responsive, transparent and accountable to the people they serve.
“MCN also trained women groups to strengthen community level conflict management mechanism, enhance reconciliation and resilience”.
Also speaking, Kabiru Abbas, EU Representative, said the EU was working in 21 local government areas of the state focusing on 10 different sectors, adding that protection was main engagement of EU under the MCN project.
Kabiru noted that protection component was important to the EU especially as it bothers on issues of sexual violence.
He stressed that social protection was critical in areas of conflict induced migration, adding that emphasis were also placed on humanitarian development, peace building, rehabilitation and resettlement processes.
Kabiru further tasked the committee to strengthen the MCN project through constructive suggestions and criticism, adding that: “We all need to build a better Borno because of the changing social dynamics”.
On his part, Mustapha Gubio, Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RRR), pledged government support to facilitate successful implementation of the MCN project in the state.
Gubio reiterated government commitment to work in collaboration with relevant stakeholders toward achieving lasting peace and sustainable development in the state.
Chairman of the Committee, Zara Bukar, pledged to work to justify the confidence repose in them.
She said the committee would play advisory role to MCN project to enable it to achieve its objectives.
“We accept the responsibility to work with MCN to assist the government in its effort to bring peace and stability. We will not relent in contribution toward realizing the objectives set out for the programme,” Bukar added.(NAN)