Government of Nigeria, IOM, EU, and Partners Bolster Support for Conflict Mitigation and Community Empowerment Efforts in Northeast Nigeria

A group photo of the participants at the Steering Committee. Photo: IOM/Oluwafemi Iselowo 2024

Abuja – In Nigeria, intercommunal tensions have been on the rise in recent years due to, among other things, rapid demographic growth, dwindling access over natural resources such as water and land caused by environmental degradation and the effects of climate change. 

In rural areas, this has fomented distrust among communities which once lived in harmony, and which often result in violent clashes, and massive population displacements.  

The International Organization of Migration (IOM), together with Search for Common Ground (SFCG), and Mercy Corps are working together to address this situation through the “Contributing to the mitigation of conflict over natural resources between farmer and herder communities in Adamawa and Taraba State” programme, also known as COMITAS II.  

The programme aims to reduce intercommunal conflicts and foster social cohesion by strengthening local governance, creating safe spaces for community dialogues, and by bolstering early warning systems. 

Through the programme, the Taraba Forum for Farmers and Herders Relations (TAFFAHR) and the Adamawa Forum of Farmers Herder Relations (AFFAHR) were held to provide platforms for policy dialogues and engagement between farmer and herder communities to foster cooperation and understanding among stakeholders, facilitate constructive exchanges and response strategies to emerging conflicts. 

“With what have been achieved, one can boldly say that the COMITAS model works. This needs to be adopted and expanded to other States in Nigeria with the support of both government and donor agencies especially to areas that have experienced high incident related to the farmers/herders' conflicts”, said Dennis Oziioko, Staff Officer, Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE), National Counterterrorism Centre (NCTC), Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) during the second Steering Committee meeting of the COMITAS II project held in Abuja, Nigeria on 24 April 2024. The meeting brought together over 40 representatives of Federal Government agencies, Adamawa and Taraba State Governments, as well as the European Union, UN agencies, Mercy Corps, and Search for Common Ground. 

The programme’s Early Warning mechanisms helped record, analyse and resolve 2,391 conflict prevention between January and December 2023, showcasing the system's effectiveness in promoting peaceful coexistence. 

Efforts to enhance natural resource management and community resilience included awareness campaigns and gender-focused training sessions. These initiatives contributed to shifting perceptions and fostering sustainable peacebuilding initiatives. 

The success of the COMITAS II project underscores the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration and targeted interventions in conflict resolution and peacebuilding efforts. Moving forward, the organizations remain committed to building on these achievements and expanding the project's scope for greater impact and sustainability. 

For more information, please contact Francois-Xavier Ada, Public Information Officer. Email:

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 16 - Peace Justice and Strong Institutions