Government of Nigeria in partnership with the European Union launch a joint Programme to Support Reconciliation and Reintegration in North-eastern Nigeria

Participants at the launch event of the new programme. Photo: IOM 2024.

The Government of Nigeria, with funding from the European Union and with the support of a consortium of UN agencies as key implementing partners have launched a new joint initiative supporting the Government's efforts for reconciliation and reintegration within communities affected by non-state armed groups (NSAGs) in the northeast of the country. The joint initiative aims to foster social cohesion, reduce stigmatization, promote tolerance, and create space for acceptance and belonging within targeted communities in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States.

The initiative was officially launched on March 14 by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, National Security Advisor, the EU Ambassador, Samuela Isopi, Mr. Mohamed M. Malick Fall, UN Nigeria Resident Coordinator, and representatives from the consortium of UN agencies implementing the programme.  Also present were the International Organization for Migration (IOM) which is the lead agency, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

“The project strives to support authorities in effectively investigating and prosecuting individuals accused of terrorism offences in the northeast, ensuring meaningful accountability and redress for serious crimes”, said Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, National Security Advisor during the launch event.

This programme builds on the outcomes of previous efforts to promote peace and social inclusion in Northeastern Nigeria.  It is expected to significantly reinforce community-based approaches by enhancing the capacity of existing community-led frameworks to go through essential healing processes, promote reconciliation and accompany gradual reintegration of former associates of non-state armed groups.

The programme implementation plan recognises the critical importance of community outreach and sensitization, effective administration of survivor-centred transitional justice, psychosocial support, and trauma healing, Moreover, community resilience and livelihood opportunities shall constitute an integral part of the programme and shall take the form of vocational training, micro-grants, and infrastructure rehabilitation.  Capacity building for local authorities in collaboration with civil society organisations with emphasis on the amelioration of access to basic services including joint monitoring and evaluation with the local communities.

“Healing, reconciliation and reintegration in the North-east of Nigeria are possible. However, to achieve it, we must work together with all local stakeholders and leverage our collective expertise in close consultation and the necessary respect for the affected communities”, said Ms. Samuela ISOPI, Ambassador of the European Union to Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), during the event held at the Office of the National Security Advisor. “This is why we are happy to continue supporting this process in the hope that it will help rebuild broken bridges within families and communities and open pathways of hope”, she added.

The programme is part of the broader EU support to the promotion of stabilisation, peace and security in the Lake Chad region that started in 2014 and has mobilised a grand total of €2.5 billion. Its implementation will leverage the expertise and experience of the four UN agencies involved, which have been working in the northeast of Nigeria for several years.


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