Monday 25th September, 2017
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Plateau Unrest: Group tasks communities to monitor early warning signs to avoid violent conflicts

Plateau Unrest: Group tasks communities to monitor early warning signs to avoid violent conflicts

Residents of Plateau State have been called upon to ensure they monitor early warning signs in their various communities to mit­igate against violent conflicts which could be triggered if not reported in time to appropriate authorities.
The call was made by the Acting Executive Director, Community Action for Pop­ular Participation, Mr. Nelson Ananze, during a training on Early Warning and Early Re­sponse for Jenta Adamu, Ka­bong, Anguwan Rukuba and Congo-Russia communities all in Jos North LGA of the state.
The training which was tar­geted at community, wom­en, youth and religious lead­ers, and also vigilante security operatives in the aforemen­tioned communities, was or­ganized in partnership with Search for Common Ground, under supervision of the Euro­pean Union.
Ananze said, “The overall objective of the training is to give skills to the communi­ty members on how to report early warning signs of conflicts in their communities.
“In the course of implement­ing the project, we found out that a lot of things happened in the communities but they are not been reported, and some­times if they are allowed, they escalate and lead to violent con­flicts.
“What we are trying to do is to build a culture of report­ing incidences or early warn­ing signs in our communities no matter how small; so that there will be quick response from relevant government agen­cies, most especially the securi­ty agencies.
“Sometimes reporting such incidences becomes a problem for community members, so in the training we emphasize on just for them to say the exact lo­cation of the incident, time, and if possible the parties involve.
“So that people who are com­ing to intervene will prepare well, and know how to response to the issue.
Speaking further, Anan­ze said, they have also trained the aforementioned communi­ties in,
“Locally Led Conflict Re­sponse Process, where from time to time, we organize a fo­rum to dialogue or to build trust and confidence of community members on peace building, with more emphasis on peace, tolerance and reconciliation.
“So that if there are other emerging issues of conflict, you will come out, so that you will be able to deal with them im­mediately.
“Its a forum that we orga­nize from time to time to feel the pulse of the communities and know exactly what is hap­pening.
“If there is peace you continue to urge them to keep the peace and protect it, but if there are issues that need intervention, then we try to find ways of in­tervening and resolving them.
According to the Program Manager, the first Phase of the “Plateau Will Arise” project was aim at building the architecture of peace in Plateau State.
“At that time we laid the foun­dation, mostly it was intensive trainings during the first phase, and then some local led con­flict processes, where we sit with community members either to dialogue, mediation among oth­ers.
“But at the end of the first phase of the project, some of these things were still ongo­ing, they were not concluded, so the Phase 2 of ‘Plateau Will Arise’ came in to consolidate on the peace architecture that we started in the first phase.
Ananze maintained that at the end of phase two which ended last December, they de­manded for a no cost exten­sion of six months, which was gracefully given by the Euro­pean Union, who are the do­nors, hence the need to con­tinue with the project.
Speaking on behalf of the communities, a Youth Chair­man from Jenta Adamu com­munity, Mr. Ogak Tukur, commended the efforts of the organisers, saying their efforts have helped in mitigating con­flicts in their various commu­nities.
Tukur said, “We have been able to report some issues to the appropriate authorities, which if not because of our early warning response could have become a problem in the communities.
“We hope that similar train­ings would be extended to oth­er communities who have not benefited”, he stressed.

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