- The reoccurring Tiv/Junkun crisis has gotten the attention of the influential Coalition of Northern Groups
- The coalition is now initiating a peace process between the warring parties
- Representatives of both the Tivs and Junkuns were part of the inaugural meeting
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) have waded into the Tiv/Junkun crisis in Taraba state.
The coalition met with elders of the Junkun and Tiv communities on Thursday, October 10 in order to find a lasting solution to the reoccurring clashes between both tribes.
Reading out a communique issued at the end of the two-day conflict and resolution meeting, spokesman of the CNG, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said the meeting was convened in pursuit of the group's principles that any problem anywhere in northern Nigeria is the problem of the entire north.
The communique noted that the CNG is
1. Sensitive to the fact that the inter-communal clashes between the Jukun and Tiv have gone on intermittently since the late nineteen seventies;
2. Aware that the current violence is quite possibly the worst considering its cumulative threats to the corporate survival, peace and general security of not only Taraba state but to the entire north;
3. Convinced that the current circumstances demand the highest levels of responsibility and commitment to the survival, unity, and progress of every stakeholder from all sections and generations of northerners;
4. Encouraged by overwhelming evidence that both the Tiv and the Jukun need a courageous and committed initiative to discuss and find solutions to these lingering problems.
The group noted that having listened to the submissions of the Tiv and Jukun community leaders and taken stock of the totality of the representations made, it;
1. Appreciated the fact that no one wins a religious or ethnic war and no ethnic group can dominate another forever just as no benefit comes from fights and conflicts over what God has blessed the state with: population, land and its resources and our collective values as northerners.
2. Noted that the current level of interference to peace processes in the state by elements who thrive on conflict escalation and not resolution is undeserved and unacceptable;
3. Observed that the combined effects of widespread threats to its personal and material security resulting from the crisis only deepens the peoples' economic problems and would only weaken them further politically and pose a grave danger to the North and the rest of Nigeria;
4. Understands that people of Taraba state, particularly the youth population which stands at the receiving end of this incessant conflict, have to be guided to rediscover the intrinsic value in our cultural and religious pluralism, and discourage the manner they are exploited to weaken the region;
5. Recognized the fact that every tribe in Taraba state and the North must join in the process of harnessing our diversity to create communities in which every citizen enjoys equal access to opportunities and justice, and lives in a secure environment
Consequently, the meeting resolved to among other things; initiate a cessation of hostilities, convene an enlarged roundtable dialogue, mobilize people from both tribes for the sake of peace, sensitize all levels of leadership of the warring communities and set up an implementation committee comprising three representatives from each of the Tiv and Jukun communities.
Goodman Dahida, president of the Tiv community and Daniel Emmanuel Angyu, spokesperson Jukun community represented their various groups.
Recall that the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding, Nigeria (WANEP-Nigeria) recently expressed deep concerns over the recurrent inter-ethnic violence between Tiv and Jukun communities.
WANEP said reports on the statistics of fatalities arising from the ethnic violence reveal a death toll of over 600 people with several others injured between Tuesday, April 2 to Saturday, August 3 in both states.
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