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Benue State – Nigeria/TVC News

A non-governmental organisation known as Search for Common Ground (Search) has stressed the need for peaceful coexistence between farmers and herders in grassroots communities of Benue State.

Concise News reports that Senior Training Coordinator of Search, Emmanuella Rita Atsen, who facilitated a three-day training in Otukpo and Guma local government areas of the state, says the importance of fostering peace at all levels in the state could not be overemphasised.

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According to Atsen, the training on Conflict Transformation, Human Right and Dialogue with over 80 participants in attendance, brought together a diverse range of stakeholders including traditional, religious and community leaders, women and youth leaders, local government officials and members of the Community Security Architecture Dialogue (CSAD) forum across the two LGAs.

The Benue State Project Coordinator, Chorbe Joshua Gonlur, says that the objective of the training was to increase collaboration between farmers and herders to develop joint, effective, sustainable local mechanisms for early warning response, dispute management, violence prevention and mitigation at the community levels.

He explains that CSAD – a forum with targeted stakeholders including law enforcement agencies, government, civil society actors, traditional and religious leaders and community members of both farmers and herders – would at all times mediate and maintain peace at the grassroots.

Chorbe adds that the training would equip participants with the necessary information to prevent violence and address the causes, drivers and consequences of farmer-herder conflicts in their respective communities.

“Conflict is normal but how a person manages it is the major concern. They now understand the difference between adversarial and non-adversarial confrontation and I believed they will put the none adversarial confrontation into effective use to prevent and mitigate conflict that might lead to violence in their communities,” he says.