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US Says It Has Spent $15 million On Peace Programmes In Northern Nigeria Over 5 Years

The United States says it has, through CIPP programmes, trained over 46,000 Nigerian community members in conflict resolution skills.

The United States has said that over the past five years, it had through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), invested $15 million in Community Initiatives to Promote Peace (CIPP) programmes.

It said it was working with Nigeria to address and mitigate the drivers of conflict in northern and middle-belt Nigeria, including ethnic, regional, and sectarian tensions across communities.

In a statement, it said that the initiative had trained more than 46,000 community members, including traditional leaders, women, men, and youth, in six states.

It listed the states as Benue, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, and Plateau, where  skills such as dispute resolution, early warning and early response, reconciliation efforts, and prevention of violent extremism, were imparted.

The CIPP programme, it said, had helped mitigate violent conflict in at-risk communities and engaged women and youth in peace processes.

The statement disclosed that after four years of implementation, the study showed that only 29 percent of CIPP treatment communities experienced violent incidents, compared to 55 percent in control communities with a difference of 26 percent.

USAID Mission Director, Melissa Jones said: “The CIPP activity has shown that a timely investment in peace can yield remarkable dividends. Individuals trained in conflict mediation skills across Nigeria’s Middle Belt helped resolve hundreds of disputes before they escalated further.

“As part of its closeout plan, USAID will transfer some of CIPP’s community structures, such as Conflict Mitigation Regional Councils and Women Peace Councils, to its new Peace Action for Rapid and Transformative Nigerian Early Response activity.

“This will ensure continuity and sustained progress in our shared mission to promote peace and security in the northern and middle-belt regions,” the statement added.

Ugo Aliogo

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