Developing Early Warning System for Peace and Security in Nigeria: the Wanep-Nigeria Experience

Topics: United Nations, Conflict, West Africa Pages: 9 (2390 words) Published: June 29, 2013

PCS 702: Principles of Conflict Management

Assignment Title: Developing Early Warning System for Peace and Security in Nigeria: The WANEP-Nigeria Experience

Okechukwu Ifeanyi C.

Lecturer:Prof. Isaac Albert

Table of Content:Page

1. Brief Demographic Background of Nigeria3

2. The Peace and Security Dimension in Nigeria4

3. The Concept of Early Warning for Peace and Security5

4. Developing Institutional Platform for Conflict Early Warning System:

Reflecting on WANEP-Nigeria’s Experience7

5. Methodology of Implementation9

6. Outputs from the Early Warning System10

1. Brief Demographic Background of Nigeria:

The demographic characteristics of Nigeria set the platform for an understanding of the case for conflict based National early warning system. A historical analysis of major conflicts in Nigeria since independence points to strong linkages to its demographic composition. It has been unarguably regarded as the most populous country in the Africa and also accounts for half of the entire population of West Africa. The last census exercise in 2007 conducted by the Nigeria Population Commision (NPC) put the country’s population at over 140 million.(NPC, 2006). Politically, it practices a three tier federal system of government comprising the Federal, State and Local Government Councils which implies relative levels of autonomy in governance as well as oversight and control which many political analyst has attributed as a mixture of British Parliamentary and U.S Presidential system of governance. It has 36 states with a Federal Capital Territory at Abuja. These are further sub-divided into 774 semi-autonomous local government councils. For political and economic exigencies of governance and development, it is segregated into what is referred to as six geo political zones which include the North Central, North East, North West, South East, South South and South West.

With over 240 ethnic groups spread across the country, the challenges of representation, equity in political representation as well as economic accessibility has been the bedrock of many diverse conflicts in the country. This is further complicated by the heterogeneous mixture of Christian and Muslim religion greatly polarised between the Christian south and Muslim Northern region. (op cit.)The population of traditional religion is sparsely located across the six geo-political zones of the country.

Despite the immense rich natural resources in the country, crude oil located at the south south, south east and south west geo political zones of the country remain the major revenue source for the country and also the major source of various causative factors of conflict in Nigeria which has led to its reference in many social science research cycles as the ‘resource curse’ to the extent that the country is now considered one of the 20 poorest countries in the world. Over 70% of the population is classified as poor, with 35 percent living in absolute poverty. This is especially severe in rural areas, where social services are limited or non existent.

2. The Peace and Security Dimension in Nigeria:

In contrast, Nigeria’s complex political, socio-cultural and economic diversity has been a source of varied and multiple levels of conflicts and humanitarian crises with implication to sustainable peace, security and development within the country and the West Africa sub region. A retrospection of these conflicts highlights six basic conflict types that have pervaded the country in the last two decades. These include communal conflicts, chieftaincy conflicts, ethno-religious conflicts, oil related conflicts, election related conflicts and agro-pastoralist conflicts....

References: 1. National Population Commission, “Statistics of the 2006 Population Census in Nigeria”, Nigeria: www.population.gov.ng.
2. Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. Nigeria: Institutional Mechanisms Fail to Address Recurrent Violence and Displacement.2007 The Norwegian Refugee Council. Switzerland: Geneva.
3. West Africa Network for Peacebuilding, “Operationalising the ECOWAS Early Warning System: Training Manual. Ghana: WANEP, 2008. P.21
4. Kofi Annan, “Report to Security Council on Prevention of Armed Conflict”, New York: A/55/985-S/2001/574
5. United States Department of States, “Diplomacy in Action”, www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/other/un/65761.
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