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Lecture | Studium Generale

Security and conflict resolution in northern Nigeria

Wednesday 7 November 2018
Anna van Buerenplein
Anna van Buerenplein 301
2595 DG The Hague

From Boko Haram to farmer-herder violence

In recent years, northern Nigeria has become near-synonymous with violent conflict: from religious riots to Boko Haram and the current farmer-herder conflicts. This lecture sketches out the main causes and trends behind these conflicts and frames them in a context of oil politics and immensely complex intercommunal relations. It then maps out the ways in which Nigerians try to enhance tolerance and cooperation and manage (violent) conflict, with or without the support of the Nigerian state. The emphasis will be on the many social organisations and authorities that operate in the margins of the state: from peacebuilding NGOs to religious leaders, and from youth-based militias to emirs and other traditional rulers. In Nigeria’s cynical political climate, these actors are often most effective at conflict prevention and resolution, and most responsive to the wishes of ‘their’ people; but their influence and authority also faces important constraints. How do we assess the quality of such extra-governmental governance? And what, more importantly, are the longer-term prospects for peace and democratisation in this political constellation?

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