Last Saturday, only five hours before polling day, Nigeria’s presidential elections were postponed with one week. This putting further pressure on the present social and political tensions in the country. Risks for escalation of conflict exist specifically in Nigeria Middle Belt region, a region divided between the Muslim herders in the North and the mainly Christian farmers in the South.
Continuous dialogues between both camps on the local community level could reduce open hostilities and lead to the signing of landmark declarations. Clingendael Academy started a cooperation with the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue Nigeria (CHD) to support such inclusive communal dialogue processes across the Middle Belt region.
CHD consultants and staff who run these dialogue initiatives, are all experts in their field due to many years of experience but only a few of them have received formal training. This is where Clingendael Academy comes in: by seeking to enhance conflict negotiation and mediation skills, thereby supporting existing peace initiatives.
The training that we ran together with the CHD Nigeria team, was a mix of role plays to better understand negotiation processes and behaviour and to practice with preparation tools. This year, two additional negotiation and mediation trainings have been set to take place in the region.
To read more about our training methodology in Nigeria, please refer to: training strengthening peace initiatives.