from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – ARMED groups reportedly killed more than 3 500 civilians and security personnel in northern Nigeria in 2021.
No less than 2 491 individuals were kidnapped as complex networks of militants intensify acts of insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and criminality.
Nextier Security, Peace and Development (SPD) documented the fatalities from the violent conflicts.
The think-tank reported that in 2021, 248 security personnel and 3 333 civilians were killed.
Nextier SPD said beyond the loss of lives and properties, the ongoing violent conflicts in northern Nigeria undermined community resilience and weakened vertical social cohesion in affected communities.
Governments at all levels and other critical stakeholders have made concerted efforts to address the violence and build peace through various hard and soft approaches.
However, Nextier SPD said a significant weakness of many peace-building initiatives was the top-down approaches, which focus on state institutional capacities.
“Such top-down approaches to peace-building tend to ignore the critical place of community resilience and social cohesion in combating violent conflicts and building sustainable peace in conflict-affected communities,” it stated.
Africa’s most populous country, with more than 200 million people, Nigeria is also one of the continent’s most volatile nations.
Most violations are blamed on the Islamist Boko Haram sect and its splinter groups.
– CAJ News