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Nigeria middle belt crisis in the spotlight

28 October 2016, 17:00

Lagos - An American think tank is seeking to highlight the inter-communal violence in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, which is overshadowed by the Boko Haram terror crisis northeast of the country.

To bring the attention of the crisis in the Middle Belt, the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, will next month hold a conference in the United States.

The event will be held on November 10 under the aegis of the “Insecurity and Militancy in the Middle Belt of Nigeria.”

It will explore the nature and scope of insecurity and militancy in the Middle Belt, and discuss policy options to more effectively address this evolving and complex crisis.

Also read: PHOTOS: Boko Haram suffers humiliating defeat

Scholars and experts from Nigeria and the US will participate.

Organizers noted the Middle Belt crisis had also been overshadowed by the piracy in the Niger Delta.

The Middle Belt is ethnically diverse, religiously mixed, and supports both pastoralists and agricultural communities, whose overlapping claims have led to a complex crisis involving economics, traditional livelihood patterns, religion, and ethnicity.

It has been labeled a “farmer-herdsman conflict,” a categorization that may obscure analysis and the generation of additional policy options.

“To this end, the Nigerian government and the international community should take heed of the evolving nature of the conflict, in light of escalating arms, impunity, and substantial human rights abuses that contribute to the growing humanitarian crisis,” organizers stated. 

- CAJ News

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