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Boko Haram: Experts list ways of re-integrating repentant insurgents

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The West African Network of Peacebuilders (WANEP-Nigeria) and the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) have urged the Federal Government to ensure all ratified international and regional legal instruments regarding Countering Violence Extremism (CVE) are incorporated in any Rehabilitation and Reintegration (R&R) framework.

They made the call yesterday in Abuja at the validation workshop with stakeholders on Security and Rule of Law: themed “Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE), Rehabilitation and Reintegration (R&R) Project in Nigeria” organised by the WANEP Nigeria in collaboration with ICCT.

The National Coordinator, WANEP-Nigeria, Chief Bridget Osakwe; and Programme Manager ICCT, Faisal Khan presented the report.
Mrs. Osakwe while reading recommendations said apart from the incorporation of the ratified legal instruments regarding the CVE, to the R&R framework, the government should work in close cooperation with NGOs and CSOs in the development and implementation of national R&R frameworks.

“In order to maintain the trust of communities, it is paramount that NGOs/CSOs are autonomous entities acting within a government-devised framework; it is necessary that local governments, the police, and community authorities all commit to a high-level of transparency if R&R frameworks are to be sustainable for the long-term.

“Stakeholders should emphasize preventative rather than reactive measures for example, by training traditional and religious leaders to become “agents of change”, or by empowering youth to be economically independent; Social work partners should be empowered and supported in their provision of psycho-social support.

“Stakeholders should take responsibility for ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions. This should be done through the strengthening of judicial and legal processes; and the interventions on CVE should not be discriminatory as current practices seem to reward violence,” Osakwe said.

She said the project aims to map the mechanisms at play for NGO/CSOs to provide R&R services in (post) conflict settings, specifically analyzing how different actors possess and gain legitimacy in the context of R&R service delivery.

According to her, two kick-off meetings were held to, firstly, provide insight on how legitimacy is viewed and, secondly, to understand the challenges facing R&R frameworks at the local and national levels.

“The first meeting held in Ganjuwa, Bauchi State on 2 February 2019, invited stakeholders from the Police Force (NPF), Local Government, Traditional and Religious Council, CSOs, as well as women and youth leaders. Participants at this event expressed that this was a timely meeting as conflict in the area has increased.

“Although they expressed positive sentiment about the work of the national government, all attendees indicated concern for the local administration’s lack of capacity to effectively handle local grievances, or to coordinate R&R strategies with non-state actors,” she said.

She said the second kick-off meeting took place on 21 and 22 March 2019 in Abuja and included participants from the Office of the Vice President, Nigeria police force, the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) and local CSOs.

Daily Trust

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