CDD, IOM to Mitigate Conflict in Four Banditry Affected LGs in Katsina

•Trains journalists on peacebuilding reporting

Francis Sardauna in Katsina

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has launched a conflict mitigation and community reconciliation programme to tackle conflict in four local government areas affected by banditry in Katsina State.

The CDD Director, Idayat Hassan, disclosed this Tuesday at the opening of a two-day capacity building training for journalists in Katsina on reporting transitional justice and peace building.

She said the project, funded by the European Union, would be implemented in Batsari, Jibia, Danmusa and Kankara Local Government Areas of the state in partnership with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Mercy Corps (MC).

Represented by Kolawole Ogunbiyi, Hassan said the centre would implement the comprehensive pilot programme to support the government’s efforts to mitigate conflict and promote community reconciliation in the affected local governments.

She added that the CDD will engage the youth, women and other stakeholders through transitional justice mechanisms to bring tranquillity to the affected areas in the state and by extension to the North-west region of the country.

According to her, the North-west is experiencing a complex crisis and high levels of violence arising from communal clashes, friction between farmers and herders, criminal gangs and non-state armed groups. 

She said the conflict has claimed many lives each year since 2018, causing substantial losses of assets, weakening institutional and socio-economic infrastructures and leaving communities without livelihoods.

She maintained that the violence bedevilling the region has affected a significant part of the population as a result of economic injustice, inequality and poor justice enforcement mechanisms.

She, however, said the two-day capacity building training would equip the participants with prerequisite skills on conflict sensitivity reporting in fragile communities.

The CDD director envisaged that at the end of the training, participants’ capacity will be enhanced in the presentation and anchoring of programmes on peacebuilding and transitional justice.

She said: “The media is a critical stakeholder in promoting peace or escalating conflicts with the right or inappropriate information pushed to the public either intentionally or unintentionally hence, the import of this training. 

“I am confident that at the end of these two days training, the participants’ capacity will be enhanced in the presentation and anchoring of programmes on peacebuilding and transitional justice.”

In his presentation titled: ‘Conflict Sensitive Reporting’, Dr. Theophilus Abbah urged practising journalists to always understand the nature and background of conflicts before reporting.

He added that in conflict reporting, journalists should ensure that their reports are accurate, balanced and avoid ethnic profiling to prevent the escalation of the conflict.

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